The Leiden International (Bio-)Medical Student Conference (LIMSC) is considered one of the biggest events of its kind, and thus, attending it is an exceptional chance for researchers from all over the world to present their work to their peers. Of course, this high-profile event would not have been complete without the presence of the LVSO – the members of our organisation had the privilege of participating in it, and not just passively.

            This biennial congress is organised by the association of medical students from the University of Leiden/Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), called MFLS (Medische Faculteit der Leidse Studenten). Thanks to it, students of medicine (and related areas) from various countries can come together to participate in a variety of workshops organised by the LUMC staff, attend lectures by local and international guest speakers, expand their professional network, and – perhaps most importantly – to demonstrate their own research, either in a poster session or in the form of an oral presentation. The member of the board, Jef Van den Eynde was the only active participant from our group. He presented two of his research projects and one of them, titled “Development of a new rat model of arteriovenous fistulae in chronic kidney disease” was deemed one of the best of the “Cell, Tissue and Organ (Transplantation)” thematic block, which consisted of various advanced scientific topics.

            Most members of the LVSO also attended a set of seminars from the field of neurosciences, where various approaches to this discipline – from in vitro electrophysiology to animal models – were presented by the researchers. In this session, a scientist from the Charles University in Prague, Barbora Bircak Kuchtova, was selected as the best speaker. In her work titled “Tractography of the basal ganglia in patients with Alzheimer’s disease” she showed that, in AD patients one can actually observe an increase of number of basal ganglia tracts in certain regions of the brain, bringing a brand new insight into this disease on the table. You can find a short glimpse of her presentation on our Facebook page.

            Many opportunities for networking were open to us during social events, such as the Black Tie Dinner. Most of the participants were present that evening to take advantage of the chance to casually talk to their peers in a relaxed atmosphere (all while looking sharp in their tuxedos or evening gowns).

            Furthermore, during our stay in Leiden we managed to get in touch with the board members of the MFLS. One of the aims of the LVSO is to help strengthening the academic cooperation between KU Leuven and Leiden University; thus, as one of the steps to achieve it, we are planning to establish an exchange agreement, which would allow the students from our faculty to participate in student research in Leiden, and vice versa. This idea has been initially approved by the vice dean of our Faculty of Medicine and it was also welcomed by the members of the MFLS. Consequently, the LVSO will be working hard together with our colleagues from the Netherlands in order to unlock this opportunity for our students as soon as possible.