Hungarian RNA Salons

Hungarian RNA Salons – from 2016 on…

The RNA Society ‘RNA Salon’ initiative turned out to be a lucky and successful coincidence with our previous ambition to establish a strong local RNA community in Hungary, formed from scattered laboratories focusing on various RNA research directions, located in different cities. The initiative ignited the previous plan to create a common platform for these laboratories, in form of local conferences, meetings, and other university based events. The successful application to start the ‘Hungarian RNA Salons’ united several laboratories and many scientists from 3 cities, organizing local activities hosted in rotation in the Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (ABI) in Gödöllő, in the Research Centre for Natural Sciences (RCNS) and the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, as well as in the Biological Research Centre (BRC) in Szeged. We organized several seminars about ongoing researches on small RNAs by senior scientists, also inviting an internationally recognized RNA biologist György Hutvágner (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia), who started his scientific career in Hungary. We were glad to see many young PhD students attending these seminars and we believe that these lectures were especially inspiring and motivating for the young researchers.

In addition to these regular scientific seminars, we organized a one‐week‐long university lecture series and practical on small RNAs, focusing on the detection of plant miRNAs. Several students participated in this event which also gave credits for Master and PhD programs in several universities. With these activities, we try to integrate some RNA related courses into the RNA Salons, hoping to present RNA based researches as potential scientific carrier choices for young scientists. Nevertheless, the biggest achievement organized under the supervision of the RNA Salons was a one‐day‐long minisymposium on RNA research, named as the “Forum of Young RNA Scientists”. For this event, we invited the application of PhD students and postdocs to present their ongoing RNA research. We had one ‘human/animal RNA’ and two ‘plant RNA’ sessions, with altogether 18 speakers; they were all evaluated by a committee of senior scientist to select the two best lecturers who received prizes as recognitions of their excellence. The minisymposium was a completely new event, entirely inspired by the RNA Salon activities with the aim of supporting “the young RNA generation” to stay in this scientific discipline. We believe that the most important incentive for young researchers is the recognition of their excellent presentation, so we decided to allocate most of the financial support to cover the prizes for outstanding presentations.

As the main organizer of the Hungarian RNA Salons, I feel that this is a very fruitful initiative of the RNA Society: under the ‘Hungarian RNA Salons’, altogether approximately 80 scientists were involved in the various activities, many of them being young dedicated students for whom these events were truly inspiring. The currently participating laboratories mainly focus on small RNA research areas, but our further goal is to widen the repertoire of our RNA Salon and involve scientists from additional Hungarian institutions, working on different topics such as long noncoding RNAs or RNA splicing. I believe that we managed to establish a strong local RNA community (as shown by the accompanying picture) which has the potential to be successfully maintained in the future, supporting “the next RNA generation”.

On behalf of the other co‐organizers:
Tamás Orbán,
Institute of Enzymology, RCNS, Budapest


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