Commentary: 1 year CAMBAM student chapter – past, present, future.

We CAMBAM students always were lucky: part of a network of renegade mathematicians, engineers, physicists etc., with a keen interest in thrilling BioMedical applications. Situated inside Montreal’s universities and institutes, headed by acclaimed head researchers, our aptitude meets the necessary environment. We are in the best company possible, backed up by some of the arguably most potent resources out there.

Could we be proud? Were we making the best of our resources, being the best researchers we could be, making CAMBAM the powerful biomathematical community it iss intended to be? My subconscious longing surfaced when Michael Mackey, then-CAMBAM-director, asked Tom Quail and myself to make the CAMBAM students talk. This crucial push got us to work: strategic planning, contact acquisition, challenge seminars, method sessions, workshops – with fostering interaction and networking as our guiding principle. How I feel about it? I am deeply moved by other human beings realizing their potential, their intelligence, years of specialized training – amongst their peers. We are creators, explorers, and social beings; judging by participants’ feedback, our sessions allowed people to be just that, and lead to a feeling of mutual appreciation.

Where are we, where are we going? One year, on average one event per month, participants from all levels of study, two absolutely fantastic new team members (Morgan Craig, Pharmacology, Université de Montréal; Fred Simard, Physiology, McGill University). Yes, we can be proud for successfully planting a seed. But, will we persist? Can our work routines integrate into grad students’ lifes? Will we include a greater part of CAMBAM than so far? Will we foster actual collaborations? Will we contribute to CAMBAM’s promise: on-the-ground contributions to policy-making, medical research, clinical practice, and biomedical industry? Lastly, can we continue making a difference in CAMBAM’s students’ lives, provide space for creativity and support community growth?

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