Some 600 people participated at this year’s Semmelweis Symposium, which was organized as one of the main events of the university’s 250th anniversary program series, and where guests listened to around 40 internationally renowned scientists hold lectures in 10 sections. At the event’s closing ceremony, the best poster presentation winners were also announced.

This year’s Semmelweis Symposium was special, as it was one of the key events of the program series organized for the 250th anniversary of the university, said Dr. Péter Ferdinandy, Semmelweis University’s vice-rector for science and innovation, and one of the co-chairs of the conference, at the symposium’s closing ceremony. He briefly summarized the main events of the symposium, noting that all ten keynote addresses of the various sections were held by internationally renowned scientists, while around 600 people attended the lectures. He pointed out that the main focuses of the university’s activity are education, research, health care and innovation. With regard to the latter, Dr. Ferdinandy – who was named chairman of the newly established Innovation Committee of the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference at its inaugural meeting on October 31 – noted that the university has set the goal of boosting its innovation activity, and the planned Health Industry-Biotechnology Science Park will be the flagship of this development strategy.

Dr. Ferdinandy said plans are already being discussed about what the topic of next year’s Semmelweis Symposium should be, but they are also awaiting proposals in this respect. He also mentioned the next large-scale scientific conference that will be held also as part of the anniversary year series, which will be “Frontiers in CardioVascular Biomedicine,” a biennial event held by the European Society of Cardiology. The conference will be held in April 2020 at Semmelweis University’s Basic Medical Science Center (EOK), which was also the venue for this year’s Semmelweis Symposium.

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He recalled that Honorary Doctor titles to two renowned professors were awarded on the conference’s opening day, while the remaining honorary doctorates will be presented on November 8 at the university’s Doctor Honoris Causa and Dies Academicus ceremony. On the symposium’s final day, which coincided with the anniversary of the university’s foundation, university leaders celebrated together with the conference’s attendees with a birthday cake, while the Hungarian railways’ Semmelweis 250 locomotive was also unveiled.

As the closing event of the conference’s final day, the awards for Best Poster presentations were also handed out. The awards went to: Liliána Szabó, Christian Karime, Alex Ali Sayour, Péter Perge (all from the university’s Heart and Vascular Center), Szilvia László (Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy) Diana Kitka (MTA Research Center for Natural Sciences), Domonkos Pap, (1st Department of Pediatrics), Ágnes Molnár (MTA-SE „Lendület” Diabetes Research Group), Dalma Kellermayer (Heart and Vascular Center, Department of Biophysics and Radiation Biology) and Anita Orosz (Physiology Department). Special mention was also made for two posters: Tamás Visnovitz (Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology) and Zsófia Onódi (Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy).

Tamás Deme
Photo: Jennifer Varga