A Big End Event to Close our Final Chapter

On the 25th of August 2022, members of the OrganoVIR consortium gathered at the Volkshotel in Amsterdam for the OrganoVIR Big End Event. On that day, partners, beneficiaries, and Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) joined together to witness the progress made throughout their years in OrganoVIR.


ESR Presentations

The morning of the 25th of August began with warm and sunny weather in Amsterdam. At the Truus & Fraansje room at the Volkshotel, the ESRs of OrganoVIR showcased all of the progress they have made in their project during their time in OrganoVIR and shared their plans for the future when their project ends. During this session, the PIs and other ESRs were welcomed to ask questions to the presenters about their research project and to exchange ideas on techniques that could be used in the lab.

Laurensius Kevin Lie, OrganoVIR’s ESR presenting during the Big End Event

Big End Ceremony

After all of the ESR presentations, coordinators of the OrganoVIR consortium, Dasja Pajkrt and Katja Wolthers asked all of OrganoVIR’s PIs (Principal Investigators) and partners to say a few words about the OrganoVIR consortium. Ludovico Buti, Research Leader at Charles River Laboratories in Leiden, began by sharing how the multidisciplinary approach of OrganoVIR has helped him gain an understanding of other expertise within the field of organoids. “Aside from the scientific experience, the international and multicultural aspect of OrganoVIR truly broadened my perspective in regards to thinking and working in a team, and I really enjoyed this experience,” said Krzysztof Pyrc, professor at the Malopolska Center for Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

OrganoVIR’s PIs at the Big End Event

To close the ceremony, Dasja Pajkrt and Katja Wolthers invited Ingrid Valks (Personal Development Coach of OrganoVIR) and Vanessa Rijkeboer (Pre-MBA coordinator of OrganoVIR) to hand over certificates to the ESRs. These certificates marks the ESR’s completion of OrganoVIR’s three training programmes; the scientific training, the personal development programme, and the Pre-MBA programme.

Fatma Masmoudi, OrganoVIR ESR accepting her certificates 

To the ESRs surprise, Dasja Pajkrt and Katja Wolthers had actually prepared a speech for each of the ESRs (which contains several amusing anecdotes that we won’t be sharing because, what was said at the Big End Ceremony stays at the Big End Ceremony)! Seeing all of the ESR’s happy faces during their speeches was incredibly elating.


Dinner at the Rooftop and Nice Compliments

We ended the busy, but productive day with a wonderful dinner at the rooftop of the Volkshotel. Whilst enjoying our delicious dinner and the soft breeze of the late-summer wind in Amsterdam, we saw two ladies in red dresses adorned by a giant bow on their waistline. These ladies would be Frouke and Revka from the ComplimentenMesijes.

Frouke and Revka from the ComplimentenMeisjes

The ComplimentenMeisjes, Compliments Ladies in English, was created by Gwen van Zaane and Bibi Smink. While members of the OrganoVIR consortium enjoyed their dinner, Frouke and Revka would approach each of the guests, ask for their names, and if they would like to receive compliments. After receiving consent, Frouke and Revka would observe the individual from a distance and write a card filled with compliments for the individual. Words such as “gutsy and gorgeous” “dazzling” and “kind eyes” filled the cards that were given to the blushing and beaming members of the OrganoVIR consortium.

Emilia Barreto Duran, OrganoVIR ESR reading her compliment card

The first day of the Big End Event ended with a party accompanied by drinks, live music performed by the talented Alexandra Alden, and of course, dancing. Seeing the PIs, partners, and ESRs in a happy mood was definitely the perfect way to close OrganoVIR’s final chapter.