Involving users in the regular CF operations

Jan Pribyl – CEITEC MU, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Monday, September 13th – 16h00 CEST


Our CF Nanobiotechnology is a bit different from other CFs in our institute. We provide a highly specialized service where it is challenging to integrate users into CF operations. The main specializations include bioAFM microscopy and other methods, such as Raman microscopy, microelectrode array, biosensor platforms, etc. The primary services, therefore, include the imaging of biomolecules, nano-objects, but also cells. To do this, we provide a mechanobiological characterization of samples in a range of sizes, from molecules to tissue sections. This offer is extended by characterization of chemical composition (Raman) and electrophysiological characterization (MEA). All this is complemented by other methods, such as microtiter plate readers (ELISA, UPCON readers) or SPR biosensor platforms. These are all innovative and rapidly evolving areas where new application possibilities are constantly emerging. However, the policy of CFs management allows minimal core employee involvement, and the CF users are forced to perform the measurement themselves. Satisfying this requirement is relatively tricky for highly advanced methods. Achieve this is possible only through long-term education of users (teaching, workshops, etc.) and intensive user support. On the other hand, the CF users also need to understand this operation system and identify with it.

Expected outcomes

From the discussion I expect an exchange of experience between the different laboratories. A proposal for solutions to involve users more in the operation of the laboratory, especially to reduce personnel costs, could be a further output.

Reducing our "carbon footprint" and Sustainability Development Goals for Core Facilities

Lavanya Premvardhan – Institut Curie, France
Monday, September 13th – 16h00 CEST


Sustainability takes on a particularly important dimension today, as we are living in a time when the negative impact of human activity on the environment around us has accelerated ‘in real time’, contributing to the exhaustion of dwindling resources.

The Core-facility model already incorporates sustainability in its resource sharing and ‘waste’ reduction. But we could do even more with (even) better management of resource usage.

In addition to leaving behind a less 'carbon-heavy' footprint, sustainability also encompasses the sharing of knowledge to drive development and contribute to reducing waste, while democratizing knowledge.

In this discussion room, we would like to continue the discussion that began during the CTLS webinar in June - on Sustainability Development Goals and Reducing the Carbon Footprint of CFs – and come up with concrete actions that can be undertaken together.

Expected outcomes

- Concerted actions that can be undertaken, a) starting soon, b) for the future

- What type of information and tools can be shared.

- Communication and dissemination actions

If you would like to join this discussion room, please send an e-mail to the organizer:

How can a core be good at everything?

Chloe van Oostende-Triplet – University of Ottawa, Canada
Monday, September 13th – 16h00 CEST


It would be interesting to discuss how facilities manage and learn completely different skills. We will first have a round table to know each other discover the different backgrounds of facility managers. We will then discuss the fields they struggled the most during the first year and how did they learn and acquired skills in IT, BioSafety, finance management, time management and other area. How do they continue their training in their specialized area of expertise, while facing the high demand of new technics users bring up every day.

Expected outcomes

- Get to know how the other facilities are managing these challenges.

- Find some ideas/solutions to help the facility managers to go through these challenges.

Small and Medium Sized Research Infrastructures (SMRIs)

Ondřej Hradil – Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Monday, September 13th – 16h00 CEST


- Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez, President of CTLS Association,

- Marta Dias Agostinho, Coordinator of EU-LIFE,

- Henri van Luenen, Director of Operations, NKI,

- Richard Cole, former chair of ABRF, Director of Advanced Light Microscopy & Image Analysis Core, School of Public Health State University of New York,


Research & Innovation (R&I) has shaped our world and is essential for our future; it is key to address the global challenges that we face and will be facing and it will bring prosperity and well-being. In order for R&I to be able to contribute to our future, it needs endorsement to allow people to work on R&I in a setting that supports their work. One essential aspect is the Research Infrastructure that is provided to perform R&I. What do we mean with Research Infrastructure? R&I is not a purely mental process; it requires functioning buildings, data, materials and/or equipment. These Research Infrastructures come in many different forms and shapes; e.g. collections consisting of books, paintings, animals, plants, human tissues, chemicals, compounds, data but also equipment from simple microscopes, lab benches, desk top computers and centrifuges to advanced space telescopes, clean rooms, super computers with peta bytes of data storage and single particle detectors. This wide spectrum of Research Infrastructures forms a continuum along many axes as listed below. The extremes in this continuum are supported by either individual researcher/institutes (institutional core facilities) or by national/international organizations (e.g. ESFRI projects, or large facilities such as CERN, ILL, ESRF, ESS Lund). However, there is a large group of Research Infrastructures in the middle of this spectrum which is essential for R&I but is not adequately recognized and supported. They are essential because many, if not all, R&I activities depend on them, they support a very large user group, they drive technology development, and they train the next generation of experts. As these intermediate Research Infrastructures are very diverse, it is difficult to formulate a definition that will capture all Research Infrastructures in this group. It is easier to define the Research Infrastructures at the extreme ends leaving the intermediate group as our point of focus. The extreme Research Infrastructures are either used by a relatively small, local group who can easily collect all the experience, knowledge and funding to maintain the infrastructure or it is an infrastructure that is very large, very costly and/or requires very specific and rare expertise and knowledge and serves an international community. The Research Infrastructures at the extremes are either taken care for by individual researchers or institutes or by international collaboration. For the intermediate group of Research Infrastructures, this is not always clear and might lead to their lack of recognition and lack of support. However, these intermediate Research Infrastructures need full support as they form an essential enabler of R&I. We call upon all stakeholders involved to recognize this essential group of Research Infrastructures and count on their support.

Expected outcomes

• Verify the narrative of Small and Medium Sized Research Infrastructures

• Gather input into future discussions about the role and importance of SMRIs

Scaling Quality Management for Scientific Core Facilities

Monday, September 13th – 16h00 CEST


Spencer Shorte, Leonor Heleno Wielgosz


Implementation of Quality Certification & Management (QC&M) is an integral part of successful scaling of scientific shared resources and facilities. However, it is a challenge to introduce, and develop efficiently all that is necessary to achieve QC&M, and scale such policy implementation into effective and sustainable good practice. Even more difficult is to align such QC&M aspiration while maintaining a nurturing and dynamic scientific environment. Our assembled panel comprising experienced top professionals, expert in QC&M will discuss the challenges, offering examples of solutions on how to scale QC&M policy initiatives from a single core facility right up to an entire organization. Inviting you to join us with questions, queries and examples of your own we guarantee an engaging session. Further, with panel guests including speakers from the Quality Management parallel session following on day 2 this promises to be an exciting insight on what makes for successful Quality Management in Core Facilities.

Expected outcomes:

Interactive Panel discussion with Q&A

Can Core Facilities promote best practices?

Isabelle Kos – Heidelberg University, Germany
Wednesday, September 15th – 16h00 CEST


Core facilities have a central position in life science research as they develop and provide access to cutting edge technologies and convey their expertise to a large number of scientists. As such, they can play an important role in promoting best practices by educating their users, who will apply this knowledge to their experiments and might even educate other colleagues on this topic.

There are different possibilities how core facilities could pass on good research practice to their users, for example just by effective communication or by teaching them both theory and hands-on, or even by getting involved in their projects, for example by supervising and checking the experimental procedure, ideally from the design to the publication. Of course, this heavily depends on the specialisation of the core Facility.

This session shall discuss how core facilities can carry out this important task effectively. Are newly developed resources such as the interactive Q-CoFa wiki website ( or the newly established EQIPD quality system (Bespalov et al. 2021, eLife) able to support core facilities in improving research quality together with their users?

Expected outcomes

- Discuss how core facilities can promote research quality to their users.

- Discuss the importance of communication, responsibilities and management.

- Discuss the usefulness of the website and the EQIPD quality system as tools to widely ensure good quality of research

Clinical Proteomics: Current status, Challenges, and Future perspectives

Medini Steger – Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany
Wednesday, September 15th – 16h00 CEST


Clinical Proteomics, an approach to analyze proteins in any biological system, carries many benefits over probing genes or mRNA. Proteins are the functional units of the cell and hence contain more accurate information about the current biological (or pathological) state. With the advent of robust and high-throughput mass spectrometry-based proteomics techniques and bioinformatic tools to analyze large data sets, basic research as well as translational, from bench-to-bedside, research has been booming. In fact, Forbes has called proteomics “one of the most exciting hypergrowth industries in the world today” (1); and with more than 95% of FDA-approved drugs currently targeting proteins (2), and the majority of diagnostic tests being protein-based, it is easy to understand why. Introducing proteomics into the clinic to guide patient stratification and treatment is already undergoing, but comes with a very special set of challenges.

In the “Clinical Proteomics: Current status, Challenges, and Future perspectives”-discussion room, we will focus on the challenges that arise when establishing proteomics in the clinic, and what we have achieved so far. There will be an update from associate professor Nicolai Wewer Albrechtsen from the University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, where his team operates a mass spectrometer to analyze the proteome from patient materials. We will also discuss the ethical implications of acquiring proteomics data from patients, with “accidental findings” and the possibility to re-identify anonymized patient samples. Dr. Sebastian Porsdam Mann, and Peter Treit have published on the subject of ethics in proteomics (3) and will each present on the topic. Furthermore, we will jointly discuss the sustainable operation and funding of European research infrastructures in general and the proteomics research infrastructures in particular; a discussion where we will explore funding models which can serve as a concrete means of support for clinical proteomics.

The session will be moderated by Professor Matthias Mann, director of the proteomics program at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen, director of the department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction at Max Planck Institute in Munich, and a leading expert in mass spectrometry-based proteomics. This discussion room is organized by the European Proteomics Infrastructure Consortium - Providing Access (EPIC-XS;

1 -Stephen McBride, “Proteomics: The Next Truly Massive Investing Opportunity.” Forbes, June 2021

2- Santos, Rita et al. “A comprehensive map of molecular drug targets.” Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 16(1): 19-34, 2017

3- Sebastian Porsdam Mann, Peter V Treit et al., “Ethical Principles, Constraints and Opportunities in Clinical Proteomics.” Mol Cell Proteomics, 2021 Jan 14;20:100046. doi: 10.1016/j.mcpro.2021.100046

Expected outcomes

We will openly discuss the role and implementation of proteomics in the clinic to highlight its current status, related challenges, and address future efforts required to make translational proteomics a more mainstream technology in a clinical environment.

Microfluidics Meets Life Sciences

Jorge Carvalho – Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
Wednesday, September 15th – 16h00 CEST


“Microfluidics” became one of the most popular keywords being considered a disruptive toolbox to develop innovative products for a diversity of applications in biotech, medical diagnostics or pharmaceutical industry. Microfluidics consists in the manipulation of small volumes (from microliters down to attoliters) using channels with dimensions of hundreds of nanometers to micrometers. Microfluidic technologies started emerging in the 1980s with the development of specific fabrication methods and device-oriented research, but more recently moved towards integrated technological platforms bringing new perspectives to both the academic and industrial sectors. This progress required the synergistic convergence of technologies and principles from chemistry, physics, biology, material science, fluid dynamics, and microelectronics. Integrated systems can be built based on validated elements without the requirement to start always from scratch for nearly every new application, as it is still often the case today. Therefore, the existence of microfluidic platforms will allow entering into the next challenge: the flexible and cost-efficient development of hundreds of different applications by following a system-oriented approach. This revolution is happening and changing the way we do Science, breaking several limitations of conventional methods. Learn how these technologies are already being used and get inspired to use them on your projects.

Expected outcomes

The main goal of this Discussion Room is to introduce how Microfluidics technologies can be applied to answer different biological questions, from cutting edge single molecule detection to cellular or "organ-on-chip" studies. In the discussion room, we will brainstorm about the current solutions, challenges, trends and future perspectives of microfluidics applied to life sciences