The opening of CeMiSt on 27th February 2018, was attended by the DNRF Chairman, Professor Liselotte Højgaard, DTU’s President, Professor Anders Bjarklev and Head of Department Bjarke Bak Christensen. An introductory video about CeMiSt was created for the opening and is available in the official website.
The center invited a Scientific Advisory Board of three world recognized scientists: Chief scientist Janet K. Jansson, Pacific National Northwest Laboratory, US, Professor Marcel Jaspars, University of Aberdeen and Professor Claudio Scazzochio, visiting professor at Imperial College London. The SAB visited in March 2018 and gave a very successful and well-attended scientific symposium. An afternoon was spent with the CeMiSt members discussing the planned research of the Center. Excellent input was received and the board provided a short, written assessment and recommendations.
CeMiSt organized a session and contributed to several at the High Tech Summit held at DTU in October 2018. The HTS was attended by >4,000 people with national and international companies, universities and hospitals. The session organized by CeMiSt addressed the challenges of the large amounts of unstructured data generated in microbiome studies. It was a very successful event with a high turnout.
The first center retreat for all participants was held November 2018. This two-day retreat combined presentations, group-work and interactions focused on planning future research. A dinner cooking school was very successful both from a gastronomic and social point of view .
The three assistant professors of CeMiSt organized a 3-day workshop on data analyses and bioinformatics approaches in microbiome research introducing also non-bioinformaticians to the perspectives of sequence-based analyses.
By late November, the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine went through an international research evaluation in which also CeMiSt was presented. The ideas, vision and perspectives of the Center were highly praised by the panel (Professors Ian Hendersson, Gilles van Wezel, Russel Cox, Stefan Rose-John and Anne Imberty).
Also in November, The Danish Independent Research Foundation, announced the 34 recipients of the Sapere Aude 2 grants. Assistant professor Mikkel Bentzon-Tilia from CeMiSt received 5.9 mio DKK to lead a 4-year project on mining “microbial dark matter” for novel secondary metabolites.
Several scientific articles with contributions from CeMiSt were published, including a Nature Genetics article led by Professor Mikael Rørdam Andersen and a Current Biology article led by Professor Ákos T. Kovács.