Memorial symposium in honor of Prof. Duska Dragun and on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program
On 28–29 May 2021, the International Memorial Symposium was held in honor of Prof. Duška Dragun and on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program. The symposium offered a comprehensive insight into the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program founded ten years ago by Ms. Dragun - from its conceptual beginnings and implementation, its rapid expansion and permanent further development, to results of the recent evaluation of the program. Personal flashbacks of fellows and alumni once again highlighted the special influence of Duška Dragun. In addition, there were scientific sessions, which were designed in the proven format of tandems of program Fellows and invited high-ranking speakers.
The symposium was opened on the morning of 28 May by Prof. Dr. Britta Siegmund, the interim director of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program. Further welcome addresses were spoken by the Dean of the Charité Prof. Dr. Axel R. Pries, the Chairman of the BIH Board of Directors and Chairman of the Translational Research Unit of the Charité Prof. Christopher Baum and Dr. André Lottmann, the General Manager, Head Office Berlin of the Stiftung Charité.
The first morning of the symposium was organized in the form of a memorial session with lectures and video contributions by national and international associates of Prof. Dragun. Numerous fellows and alumni spoke personally in video clips and expressed the importance of Duška Dragun's personal commitment, clinical as well as scientific knowledge and extraordinary mentoring role in a diverse, very impressive and extremely appreciative way.
This was followed by a science policy session in which Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, Chairman of the Board of Charité, PD Dr. Peter Bobbert, President of the Berlin Chamber of Physicians and alumnus of the Clinician Scientist Pilot Program, and Prof. Matthias Frosch, President of the German Association of Medical Faculties (MFT), emphasized the special role of the Berlin program in the development of Clinician Scientist programs for Charité and nation-wide. In this session, the results of the program evaluation conducted in cooperation with the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) were also presented, as well as the BIA research project "Structural Effects of CSP Programs in Germany" conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Another highlight was the traditional scientific part, which was organized by clinician scientists and their invited internationally renowned physicians and scientists "tandem partners". This gave the fellows the opportunity to discuss their Clinician Scientist project with important personalities from the field of their own research. In total, there were four scientific sessions on the topics of "Digital Medicine", "Vascular Metabolic Medicine", "Clinical Neuroscience" and "Oncology, Hematology and Tumor Immunology". The lectures of the invited guest speakers and the clinician scientists cooperating with them in "tandems" provided an excellent insight into the broad spectrum and the quality of the translational research of the fellows and opened up new networking opportunities. The scientific sessions were framed by excellent keynote lectures and lively discussions.
Also this year, at the end of the first symposium day, there was a ceremonial farewell to the Fellows who have successfully completed the program since the last symposium. It should be emphasized that among the 54 program graduates this year was the 150th BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Alumna!
Due to the current COVID-19 conditions, this year's fifth Clinician Scientist Symposium was held "semi-digitally" and was livestreamed from the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus. Participants followed the lectures online and were able to join in the discussion with questions via chat or exchange ideas virtually at "digital tables" during the coffee break.
In addition to the livestream, a digital platform provided networking opportunities throughout the symposium as well as access to the virtual memorial space for Duška Dragun with film contributions, publications, a Wikipedia article on the life and work of Ms. Dragun, and much more. Furthermore, as part of the memorial symposium, parents and loved ones were presented with a book of condolences in which expressions of sympathy to the BIA in memory of Duška Dragun were printed. The sessions of the symposium are also available on the BIH Youtube channel.