On Monday the 3rd of June, the Pre-course of ISCOMS 2024 will take place. The Pre-course aims at improving your research skills. To master your research skills, several masterclasses are organised. In addition to that, a lecture about “Your Future at the UMCG”, two speed keynote lectures, a Science Elective and to finish the day a social programme activity will take place at the 3rd of June. Furthermore, there will be six ISCOMS Medical Talks held by UMCG professors.

Below you can find the preliminary programme for the Pre-course of ISCOMS 2024.


08:15 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:30
Day opening
09:30 - 11:10
Course I
11:10 - 11:50
11:50 - 13:20
Science Elective
13:20 - 14:20
14:20 - 15:35
ISCOMS Medical Talks
15:45 - 16:45
Speed keynote lectures
16:45 - 17:15
Your Future at the UMCG
17:15 - 17:30
Day closing
19:00 - 23:00
Social programme
ISCOMS Medical Talks
Speed Keynotes


Prof. Harm Kampinga, PhD 

The abstract of a scientific paper or grant is the gateway to being noted and read. If you do not roll out the red carpet, people will pass by! A good abstract should not only present the essential and sound features of your research and radiate its high quality, but also should advertise why your findings are relevant and how they are relevant. 

In this Masterclass, we had an interactive discussion about the DOs and DONTs in writing a convincing scientific abstract. 



Prof. Jocelien Olivier PhD

This masterclass provided strategies for preparing interesting and engaging presentations. The essence of an effective presentation was engaging the audience, capturing their interest by posing an intriguing question, spelling out a methodology for addressing that question, and then answering it. A successful presentation provided the audience with cues and information in an orderly structure, allowing them to form expectations on what they would hear and when they would hear it. Tips for doing so, along with tips on what not to do, were supplied. The presenter engaged participants in a highly interactive format by crafting storylines and structures from the material that they provided. The focus of this masterclass was on oral presentations, but at the end, some dos and don’ts on poster presentations were also given.


Salome Scholtens PhD

You are all biomedical students with an affinity for research, but have you considered doing a PhD? This may be a tough decision. Maybe you already made up your mind and you are aiming for a PhD, but it could very well be that you struggle to decide because other career choices are luring as well. Perhaps you are hesitant, because of the many stories you heard about how stressful it is to be a PhD student. Or you simply don’t know what a PhD trajectory really entails and therefore you find it difficult to decide on whether to go for it or not. During this masterclass, students will take time to think about a possible future as a PhD student and how to cooperate with stressful situations. We will guide them through some exercises to help you in finding out whether a PhD is something for you. 



Prof. Ton Lisman PhD (Professor of Experimental Surgery, UMCG)
Sjoukje van der Werf (Medical information specialist, Central Medical Library, UMCG)

The introduction is an essential part of your research article. It is the first thing that readers will see, and it needs to be engaging, informative, solid and well-written. In this workshop, we will discuss key elements of an effective introduction, share tips & tricks and address questions and challenges including:

  • When do you start writing the introduction?
  • How do you start?
  • How to summarize the literature (and make sure you do not miss anything)?
  • How do you motivate the relevance of your specific research question in the introduction?
  • Academic writing: structure and storytelling

Prof. Janette Burgess PhD

You have completed your experimental protocols, analysed the data and interpreted the results and written them down.  Now you need to describe your findings in the context of the literature – how hard can that be? Well actually writing the discussion is often the hardest component of the manuscript to craft. What should you include and what not?  How do you deal with conflicting data? How much can you speculate about the implications of your findings.

This interactive workshop aims to give you tools to help with crafting a compelling discussion that frames your new knowledge in the context of the state of the art in your field. 


Mostafa El Moumni MD PhD 

In 90 minutes, an overview of statistical techniques will be given. Together with the participants several questions will be answered including: 

  • What is the link between probability theory and statistics? 
  • Why is it important to use descriptive statistics? 
  • What is a statistical test? Why should we abandon null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST)? 
  • How to interpret effect sizes, confidence intervals and meta-analytic thinking? 

The emphasis will not be on formulas and mathematics, but on understanding the logic behind the statistical tools to avoid biased conclusions. Prior to this masterclass participants will be asked to do a small homework assignment, so they are prepared for the masterclass. 


Your Future At the UMCG

If you want to know more about PhD positions and research at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), come to Your Future at the UMCG! Prof. Han Moshage, PhD & Maria Camila Almanza from the faculty of Medical Sciences will give a detailed presentation about the possibilities of doing research and the opportunities to gain a PhD position at the UMCG. The session will be concluded with a personal story from a PhD graduate.

Science Elective

Chair Els Maeckelberghe PhD, Associate Professor Ethics, UMCG

Imagine 2030: what types of medical professionals do we have? Has Artificial Intelligence (AI) taken over diagnosis and decision-making? Or has AI proven to increase health disparities, and therefore been consigned to the wastepaper basket long since? 

Currently, the idea is that AI can profoundly disrupt human life and society. How can we effectively navigate and mitigate the disruptive impacts of AI in practical terms? How can we ensure AI is developed to serve humanity, promoting the common good, and enhancing human welfare, freedom, and particularly health? Healthcare institutions worldwide are increasingly using AI technologies to improve disease diagnosis, develop personalized treatments, and assist clinical decision-making. The inclusion of AI in the healthcare context is often motivated by the promise of efficiency gains, improved accuracy, mitigation of high costs and time in assessing healthcare data, as well as tackling the problem of personnel shortages and burdens faced by healthcare professionals. As such, rapid developments and implementation in AI offer an opportunity to transform healthcare by boosting its potential for providing patient care. The responsible development and implementation of AI thus raise a host of ethical, legal, and societal questions. 

In this debate, we will try to tease out how AI is used in healthcare right now and how this can be done responsibly and trustworthily. Experts from the UMCG will share their experiences, knowledge, and insights, going into examples of how AI is used in neonatology (diagnostics and decision aid) and in genetics (accelerating genetic screening results). 


Kevin Damman, MD, PhD 

Heart failure is a disease characterized by severe symptoms of congestion, fatigue, limited exercise tolerance and impaired survival. When heart failure is severe, often medical therapy fails, and advanced therapies are necessary such as heart transplantation. Unfortunately, there is still a large shortage of donor hearts, and the time on the waiting list is long. Some patients are also not transplantable for other reasons.  

For some of these patients, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a treatment option that improves quality of life and survival. This therapy is essentially a pump that decreases intracardiac filling pressures and improve cardiac output. As a result, organ perfusion is restored and patients can mobilize, work, exercise and have a reduction of signs and symptoms. Unfortunately, this therapy also has its disadvantages, which are mostly related to the inherent risk of implanting a device that needs power into the bloodstream in a human body.  

In this patient lecture we will meet a patient in whom an LVAD was implanted and discuss pro’s and con’s of this advanced heart failure therapy from a patient and medical perspective.  


Ellen Weelink MD, anaesthesiologist and HEMS physician

The Dutch prehospital care consists of highly skilled ambulance teams (nurse and driver). In severe cases where there is an immediate medical threat to a person, the ambulance team is joined by a physician staffed HEMS team.

In this science elective you will get an insight in the Dutch physician staffed HEMS (p-HEMS). By means of taking a regular HEMS shift to get you acquainted with the HEMS work. What is the role of the p-HEMS in the Dutch prehospital medical care system? What is a HEMS physician and what work do they do? You will learn about the technical and non-technical skills needed, the flight operations, medical decision making and of course what to do in between calls.

Learn all about the helicopter view of the acute prehospital patient care.