Category Archives: Uncategorized

Online Course: Scientific illustrations

Do you want to use illustration as an effective communication tool? Learn the essentials of graphic design and visual communication theory, drawing by hand and drawing digitally during this one week course from March 8-13 2021.

This course will introduce the theory and method of how to visually represent your scientific research. Being able to translate complex research into information that can be understood by a wide range of audiences is an important skill that will help you throughout your career.

Communicating your work using different methods helps you to think about your work from different perspectives. Not only will this help you understand your own research better, but it will also give you the tools to be able to explain your work to others.

The skills you will learn in this course are highly transferable to any design project you may do in the future.

Read more about the course on our courses and events page.

Course facilitator: Pina Kingman

The course is open to IBA members free of charge (PhD students are prioritized).

Deadline: February 15th.

Bioinformatics Level 1

In collaboration with Turning the Tide of Antimicrobial Resistance  (TTA), IBA ​invites IBA PhD student members to the TTA Bioinformatics course Level 1.

Wednesday, January 20th 2021 – Oslo, UiO, Domus Medica, L-257

This course will give you basic knowledge on whole genome assembly, including quality assessment of raw data (FastQC), adapter / quality trimming and contig assembly. You will also learn about the differences between De novo assembly and mapping to an annotated reference genome.

Image: Colourbox

Course schedule

13:00 – 13:30 Part I: Introduction to Whole Genome Sequencing

Theoretical introduction and applications in microbial whole genome sequence analysis:

    – Basic whole genome sequence assembly and bioinformatics

    – NGS read-to-reference alignment (contig assembly)

Analysis techniques covered will employ raw data from Illumina platforms (HiSeq/MiSeq).

13:30 – 13:45 Coffee break

13:45 – 15:30 Part II: Hands-on exercises

    – Quick explanation of associated file types

    – Performing quality checks with FastQC (before and after trimming)

    – Adapter and quality trimming

    – Contig assembly and mapping to reference genome

Course facilitator: Timo Lutter

Christmas letter from IBA

Dear IBA members, 

2020 has been a special, strange and challenging year! We would like to first thank all the participants of our courses and events (creating scientific illustrations, Covid-19 online seminar series, annual meeting, mindfulness and stress management and Nature Masterclass on scientific writing to name a few). Like so many other research schools, IBA had to postpone several courses and events in 2020. The upside is that we gained experience in hosting online events and webinars which will benefit all of us in the future!

In 2020, many research schools (including IBA) were mid-term evaluated by the Research Council. We are happy to announce that IBA was approved for three more years, and that in the process, we have received valuable feedback and guidance. The fruits of this process are an updated course portfolio that will be more thoroughly introduced later. We would briefly note that IBA will hold a core summer course in early June where will offer a thorough introduction to the Principles of Infection Biology. We are also planning courses on zoonotic infectious diseases, host-pathogen interactions, vaccines, microbial symbiosis/host microbiota and antimicrobial resistance (all in summer/autumn 2021). In addition, we will continue to offer workshops and courses on transferable skills (Scientific Illustrations (early March and autumn), Scientific Writing, Career opportunities after completing your PhD ++).

Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce the three new regional directors of studies! Welcome to Özgün Candan Onarman Umu, Kurt Hanevik and Synnøve Brandt Ræder who will be in charge of organising IBA courses and events at NMBU, UiB and NTNU, respectively. They will also serve as the local IBA contact people. Johanna Ericson Sollid and Mike Koomey will continue to fill these roles at UiT and UiO.

With that, we wish you a peaceful Christmas and a safe new year! 

A big thanks to Catarina Moura for allowing us to share her Christmas stem cell tree with all of you! Read more about the making of it here

IBA congratulates the 2020 best poster and oral presentation award winners

More than 25 IBA members presented their research via poster and/or oral presentation on this year´s annual meeting.

Of these, Ragnhild Sætra and Joel Heim took home the prize for best poster and oral presentation, respectively.


Poster Award Winner: Mechanisms in human macrophages infected with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis” presented by Ragnhild Sætra from NTNU

Oral Presentation Award Winner: “Bacterial survival in highly acidic environments – study of structure-function relationship of urea channels” presented by Joel Heim from UiO.

Ragnhild Sætra won the prize for the best poster on the IBA annual meeting 2020. Title: Mechanisms in human macrophages infected with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

Joel Heim won the prize for the best presentation on the IBA annual meeting 2020. Title: Bacterial survival in highly acidic environments – study of structure-function relationship of urea channels.

The annual meeting goes digital!

This year´s Annual IBA meeting on the 26-27th October goes virtual and all members are welcome!

We can´t meet in person this year, but we will be meeting for local get-together dinners in Oslo, Trondheim, Tromsø and Bergen.

Illustrasjonsfoto: The Trondheim committee has planned an exciting online program.

The committee in Trondheim has come up with an exciting program of plenary speakers.

Marc Dionne, Imperial College London. He has extensive experience in the use of the fruit-fly Drosophila melanogasteras a model organism studying how host genotype affects the biology of bacterial infection. In this session we will also have presentations on other animal models, including Zebrafish and mouse, and a panel discussion about animal models.

Dr Fatima AlZaharaa Alatraktchi. She was awarded the PhD thesis of the year award at Denmark Technical University in 2018 for her thesis ‘Micro- and nano-sensors for early diagnosis of bacterial infections’. Forbes business magazine has listed her as one of the 30 most influential people under 30 in Europe within science and health 2019.

Mona Johannessen is professor at Department of medical biology at the UIT Arctic University of Norway. Her research interests are on the interaction between host and microbe, and how microorganisms manage to escape human immune defenses. She has also an interest in extracellular vesicles. She will give a talk on host-pathogen interactions.

IBA PhD students, postdocs and research medical students will also be presenting their research.


The yearly social summer meet up in Oslo was this year held in the Botanical Gardens at the 3rd of July.

Prof. Hugo De Boer started the event with an inspiring seminar on the Impostor Syndrome, and we followed up by pizza and drinks.

Hugo de Boer on the imposter syndrome

Although the cold weather sadly sent us indoors, we had fun getting to know each other through great discussion and conversations!

Summer seminar – Trondheim

17th of June 2020 the local IBA committee in Trondheim arranged a meeting informing about the IBA National Graduate School and its upcoming activities, and held a session on how to turn PhD degrees into meaningful careers. For the latter, Dr. Christopher Cornthwaite gave an inspiring online talk on the importance of owning your own career path and how to get the most out of your degree.

Photo: Christopher Cornthwaite.

Chris is a PhD in religious studies and founder of the career-building Roostervane community for advanced-degree holders. 

20 people participated and pizza was served!

Information from IBA

Upcoming courses and events for IBA members

IBA annual meeting – October 26-27 – Trondheim. Open to all members. Read more and register here.

Nature Masterclass – Scientific Writing course. November 5-6th – Oslo. This course is organised in collaboration with the journal Nature! Learn how to get the most out of the writing process and how to get published in top-ranked journals. Read more here.

IBA course – Mol8009 – Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation – NTNU – November 9-13.  The course will give an overview of mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in inflammatory processes related to infections, but also sterile inflammation. Read more here.

Effective Collaboration in Research – Nature Masterclass. The course is online and you can start at any time you´d like. More information.

Grant applications

Start planning your application for travel grants for research stays in Norway and abroad. This is an offer for PhD-student members (and medical research students). You can apply from September 15th. Find out what you need for your application here.

Application for financial support for external courses will be reopened October 15th. Read more and find courses here.

Future activities under development

Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance Course 2021.  The course was planned for autumn 2020, but is now being postponed until spring/early summer 2021. The coursed was offered in 2018. Take a look at the program here.

Not an IBA member? Apply for membership here.