ULLA Summer School 22 a successful chapter in a 30-year tradition

13 September 2022

ULLA-delegation from KU Leuven on site in Uppsala

ULLA-delegation from KU Leuven on site in Uppsala

After last year's online event, the Faculty of Pharmacy was finally able to welcome a new generation of pharmaceutical experts to ULLA Summer School 2022, and the experience received high marks from its international guests.

In July, the Faculty of Pharmacy welcomed 200 PhD students and 70 researchers from all over Europe to Uppsala and the ULLA Summer School 2022. The consortium, gathering the future leaders in international pharmacy, is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, and at the well-attended opening ceremony in the university hall, several of the ULLA network's founders mingled with significantly younger colleagues.

“It is quite impressive that a network of this format not only remains active, but also continues to expand after all these years. As an organizer, seeing initiator Lennart Paalzow talk to visiting PhD students, while we are introducing the University of Geneva to their first ULLA Summer School certainly gives a special feeling,” states Ulf Göransson, Professor of Pharmacognosy.

With theme Challenges and Opportunities in Drug Development, this year’s summer school provided a mix of scientific courses, poster sessions and social activities. For many foreign guests, the visit to Stockholm and the opportunity to experience Uppsala's student life were indeed appreciated, but above all the arrangements at the Biomedical Center and the ample space to make new contacts received high marks.

Quentin Laborde, Dep. of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Quentin Laborde, Dep. of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

“After two years of pandemic and restrictions, there is a pent-up need for interaction both within and between universities. Organizing a platform where so many pharmacists get to meet and discuss their research has been both a rewarding and educational experience where I have had several opportunities to exit my comfort zone and broaden my perspectives,” says Quentin Laborde, PhD student at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.

The preparations for this year's meeting place began already during the winter and have aroused great commitment within both the Faculty of Pharmacy and the entire ULLA consortium, a dedication that contributed to the arrangement running more or less friction-free from start to finish.

Matthew Rosenberg, Dep. of Medicinal Chemistry
Matthew Rosenberg, Dep. of Medicinal Chemistry

“The most valuable insight that I take with me from working with the summer school is that everything is possible as long as you communicate clearly and have people around you with the right skills to step in where needed, something that can be applied to just about every area of professional life,” notes Matthew Rosenberg, PhD student at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

A well-executed summer school traditionally provides valuable goodwill to the host institution, and with this year's successful meeting in retrospective, Ulf Göransson is convinced that the Faculty of Pharmacy has strengthened its international recruitment base, just as the faculty’s PhD students has laid the foundation for a possible future career outside Sweden's borders.

“The staff on campus claimed that they had never before experienced a similar atmosphere during a summer week at BMC, and that our international guests return home a positive image of their stay in Sweden is of course important for both the university and Uppsala. For our own junior researchers, the summer school has provided a European platform and a clearer view of which universities are leaders in the various disciplines of pharmacy. In short, this is an arena where our field both adds to an important tradition and sets the direction for a common future.”

Facts

  • ULLA Summer School 2022 will be held July 2-9 and is arranged by the Faculty of Pharmacy at Uppsala University.
  • The ULLA consortium was formed in 1992 by the universities of Uppsala, Amsterdam, Leiden and London. Today, another six leading pharmaceutical research institutes have joined the network.
  • The primary aim of the ULLA network is to enhance collaboration within education and research in pharmaceutical sciences between the member universities.
  • To give improved access to the combined resources of the institutions involved, ULLA provides grants for the exchange of MSc students, PhD students, postdocs and staff.

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