The GerBI year 2023 – in review

As 2023 draws to a close, we can look back on an eventful year full of exciting news, fascinating presentations and thrilling events with our community. Here we recap our activities in detail.

The year started with the encouraging news that the Network of European BioImage Analysts (NEUBIAS) received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The grant was secured for two years to ensure the sustainability of NEUBIAS, establish strong connections to similar initiatives, and share knowledge about state-of-the-art bioimage analysis tools and methods globally. We from GerBI are hosting this grant including the position of a Community Manager who will coordinate the network and support activities towards founding the Society of Bioimage Analysts (SoBIAS, by now GloBIAS). The new NEUBIAS Community Manager has also joined us this year.

>Initial news article<

On 1 March of this year, the NFDI4BIOIMAGE Consortium, for which GerBI is an official co-applicant institution and member of the funded consortium and has commenced its work within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). One of their aims is to standardise bioimaging data in accordance with the FAIR principles (i.e., be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-Usable).

From 20 to 24 March, we continued with one of our absolute highlights: the biennial Trends in Microscopy (TiM) 2023. This year was once again packed with hands-on workshops, exciting scientific lectures from various distinguished guests and a fluorescent social event. The I3D:bio team invited the contributors and participants to make their own experience with data management and upload the data generated during TiM into the TiM2023-OMERO database.

In 2025, we will continue with the next TiM. For impressions, check out our TiM site.

Throughout the year, the ‘Ask the experts talks’ in cooperation with the Max Planck BioImaging Core Unit Network, our ‘Cost Calculation Course’ from our GerBI community and the ‘GerBI chats’ organised for and by our community took place.

For all those interested in OMERO and those already working with it, there were two ‘Ask the experts talks’ from GerBI and MaxBI, the first on ‘The perks of OMERO’ and the second on ‘The technique of OMERO’. Once again, participants were able to submit their own questions in advance, which were then answered by the experts in the talks.
A lively exchange also took place in the ‘Cost Calculation Course’, which was organised by the GerBI team ‘Financial and legal framework of core facilities’. Furthermore, the community came together once again to discuss their own challenges in a GerBI talk on the ‘Importance of Room Conditions in Microscopy’. We hope that the GerBI community will have the same lively exchange next year.

As every year, the Core Facility Leadership and Management course with hfp consulting took place at Schloss Mickeln in Düsseldorf. For yet another year, we were happy to provide core facility leaders with the tools they need to be well equipped for the various tasks of a core facility leader.
If you would also like to be well prepared, check out our course here. To register for the 2024 course, you can click here.

In cooperation with fischertechnik, our GerBI-GMB members Christian Feldhaus, Nadine Utz, Sabine Reither and Ruth Hans have developed the STEM Optics Set and it was released on 19 September. The Set is suitable for rebuilding optical tracks and introducing children to microscopy. GerBI will create and provide Sets that are equipped with other parts so that they can also be used by students. For more information check out this poster or try them out at our Community Meeting in March 2024.

>Initial news article<

On 3 October, GerBI member Core Facilities: Core Facility Cellular Imaging Dresden, Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen and Center for Advanced Imaging of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf participated in the Türöffner-Tag of the ‘Sendung mit der Maus’.
During this day, the participating children could gain insights into research and microscopy. Together with the researchers, they imaged plant samples using light microscopy and learned about the blueprint of plant cells by extracting their DNA. GerBI members have been participating in the Türöffner-Tag since 2018, and we are proud to have been able to get children excited about research and share our passion with the very young through our members every year since.

For the third time, we were able to organise the Day of Intravital Microscopy this year, planned by members of our GerBI Intravital Microscopy team at the Leibniz Insitute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg. It had a lot to offer: talks from renowned scientists in the field of immunology, neuroscience, image analysis and bio-photonics, interactive round table discussions, an evening poster walk, an extensive industry exhibition and guided tours through the impressive local LIN Imaging facilites. With 71 participants, this was the largest Day of Intravital Microscopy and received a lot of positive feedback. The planning is already underway for another Day of Intravital Microscopy at the end of 2024. Impressions and a review of the last Day of Intravital Microscopy can be found here.

Another highlight of this year was the release of the OMERO training material by the Information Infrastructure for BioImage Data (I3D:bio). The project is supported by GerBI and arose from the exchange within GerBI-GMB’s working group Image Data Analysis and Management and meetings of the informal Research Data Management for Microscopy (RDM4mic) group. Since 16 November, multi-purpose slides have been available for user training, as open educational resource (OER) on Zenodo. For those starting with OMERO, short video tutorials have also been published on YouTube.

We ended the year with the Administrative Challenges in Core Facilities and Technology Platforms Workshop in Ulm. For the 5th time, participants from Core Facilities came together to discuss the life cycle of a Core Facility: creation – development – transformation of a Core Facility and discussed structure, finances, further development, data management and processing in a Core Facility.

And with this, an eventful 2023 came to an end. We would like to thank all our members for their commitment and look forward to 2024, so that the next one will be just as eventful.
With the Community Meeting from 4-6 March, our next event in 2024 has already been announced and we look forward to seeing you there next year. Have a look at it here!

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