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INTERVENE Analyst workshop, Berlin 

A lot of work and some play makes INTERVENE a tight group

After nearly two years of COVID-imposed remote work, INTERVENE analysts finally got together for a face-to-face meeting from 13-14 April 2022 in Berlin, Germany!

A group of international analysts and representatives from organisations in the project attended the two-day workshop. The INTERVENE coordinators, Samuli Ripatti and Andrea Ganna from the University of Helsinki were present to lead the workshop and guide the participants through an intense two-day programme.  Additionally, the workshop was attended by Principal Investigators, Christoph Lippert and Reedik Mägi from the Hasso Plattner Institute and the University of Tartu as well as participants from the University of Helsinki, University of Tartu, University of Turin, Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Tuebingen University of Siena, Aalto University, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Cancer Patient Coalition and ttopstart.

The main goals of the meeting were to communicate and coordinate ongoing work across the consortium and set strategies and tactics for continued work, including the preparation of manuscripts. The meeting also aimed to create a plan for the next set of projects to come out of INTERVENE and to foster collaboration among the different organisations that attended.

The workshop began with status updates from across the project where participants presented their work, challenges encountered and any topics they wanted to discuss during the rest of the meeting. The presentations were highly interactive and generated lively discussions on the best ways to proceed in the project. Participants also brainstormed together about further aspects to be integrated in their studies.

After a working lunch, the group was divided into parallel sessions and participants started preparing their manuscripts in smaller groups. The groups focused on the following four topics: the INTERVENE Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) pipeline, absolute risk estimation, progression and synthetic data. During these sessions the four principal investigators present rotated between the groups to provide additional input and to further guide the discussions.

At the end of the day, all participants met at the Michelberger Hotel where discussions continued at a working dinner. Everyone enjoyed the great food and ambiance and with the absence of face-to-face meetings over the past few years, this provided an excellent opportunity to engage with each other as well as to connect on a personal level.

On the second day of the workshop, the four groups presented their plan forward for the manuscript. This demonstrated to be a great opportunity to receive input from the other researchers and to exchange ideas. The workshop ended with a brainstorming session about setting priorities so that outcomes are more concrete in INTERVENE.

The workshop was enjoyed by all participants and proved to be a successful example of effective scientific collaboration across Europe. Overall, it enhanced the progress in the project and increased engagement between organisations. We look forward to the future of the INTERVENE project.

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