Final session of the phage workshop
Last month we delivered our first virtual Phage Workshop — and it was also our first workshop for scientists in Southeast Asia. As with each of the four in-person workshops that we previously delivered in East and West Africa, we had two broad goals for this Southeast Asia workshop: (1) teach key aspects of phage biology and experimental techniques and (2) develop relationships amongst a network of phage researchers in the given region. We were pleasantly surprised with how well both goals were achieved, even though the coronavirus pandemic forced us to deliver this workshop virtually.
Throughout the workshop sessions, the participants displayed an impressive enthusiasm for learning how phages can be used to address the antibiotic resistance crisis in their countries. During question and answer sessions with different lecturers and panelists, as well as through facilitated small group discussions in Zoom breakout rooms, the participants clearly got to know each other, as well as the 23 instructors who taught at various times and on different topics during the month of March.
At the conclusion of the workshop, we asked participants to fill out an anonymous questionnaire, giving feedback about their experience. The overwhelming response was that they found the workshop to be extremely helpful in preparing them for future phage research and teaching. In fact, some already began teaching phage biology to their students during the five weeks of the workshop! In addition, the workshop participants uniformly reported that they feel comfortable approaching any of the instructors if they have questions in the future (and the instructors eagerly welcome this!).
Thank you for your support in making this virtual workshop a reality. We'll also share some words of gratitude from the participants themselves, received through the anonymous questionnaire: "My sincerest thank you to everyone! Such an enjoyable workshop despite it being virtual. Really learned a lot and got to know more people that have the same interest. Such a memorable experience!"
Some topics covered during the workshop