After the success of the 1st ESRS Sleep Science School “Neural Networks in Sleep” organized in October 2017, the ESRS board decided to continue supporting the organization of thematic schools aimed at gathering early career sleep scientists around fundamental and translational topics. The second edition of the ESRS Sleep Science School “Sleep and Aging” has been held again at Villa Clythia in the city of Fréjus on the border of the Mediterranean Sea (South France). One great asset of the Villa Clythia site owned by the French scientific agency (CNRS) is that it is both a warm and welcoming place, and at the same time it is isolated from the city, meaning that participants and faculty inevitably spend the whole week in close contact both during and outside of organized activities. Such environment strongly promotes the aims of this school, i.e., dissemination of knowledge, experience sharing with peers and senior researchers, and developing opportunities for novel networks of excellence.
Thirty-five early career scientists from all over Europe as well as from Israel, the USA and Australia participated in this 2nd edition of the ESRS sleep science school. This resulted in an exceptional scientific team in which domains of expertise and experiences were both varied and complementary, from basic research to applied clinical domains. The faculty included international sleep experts Julie Carrier (CA), Debra Skene (UK), Tarja Stenberg (FI), Silke Ryan (IR), Lino Nobili (IT), Tom de Boer (NL), Pierre-Hervé Luppi (FR) and Philippe Peigneux (BE). Most of them were present the entire week and available to provide feedback and support to the participants.
Outdoor activity: how to spell ESRS!
The best oral presentation!
Besides lectures of faculty experts aimed at presenting the state of the art, opportunities and limitations in specific domains, we designed a proactive scientific program aimed at maximal involvement. It included oral presentations and discussion of participants’ own work, and a workshop in which small groups developed and presented a multidisciplinary grant proposal with the support of faculty members.
The winners of the best grant proposal award Laetitia Gaspar, Ayse Deniz Elmali, Cassania Da Silva, Garik Yeganingan, Ooumaïma Benkirane and Barbara Santos !
As per tradition even if only the second time, the week ended up with a dance party after the attribution of the best talks and the best grant proposal awards!
Proclamation of awards and careers debate!
Faculty and winners of the best oral presentation!
As organizers and faculty, we have been truly impressed by the level of scientific excellence and enthusiasm of the participants, whose combined level of expertise already made this week worth organizing and source of inspiration. Most importantly, networks have been created, that we hope will continue developing all over the years like it has been the case with the 1st Sleep Science School. We are looking forward for gatherings of Fréjus alumni at the forthcoming Sevilla ESRS meeting! `
Given the very positive outcomes and feedbacks, the ESRS board already indicated its willingness to renew the experience in the fall of 2021. The topic and faculty will be discussed and presented at the ESRS Sevilla meeting!
On behalf of the organizers of the 2nd ESRS Sleep Science School
Philippe Peigneux, Pierre-Hervé Luppi, Tom de Boer and Lino Nobili