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Citizen Science Zurich

Project "Microbiome" - Kanti Wattwil goes Uni Zürich!

On 7 December, 2023, the kick-off of the Seed Grant project "The oral microbiome" took place at the University of Zurich. In a partnership between the Kantonsschule Wattwil and the University of Zurich, this project enables young people to explore the oral microbiome across different generations and to gain valuable experience. Two students report on the day and their impressions at the University of Zurich.

On Thursday, 7 December, 2023, around 60 students from three classes of the Kantonsschule Wattwil (2020N, 2022N and 2022NP) were welcomed to the large lecture hall by Prof. Dr. Adrian Egli, Head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology (IMM) at the University of Zurich. The aim was to get to know each other, but also to have an initial exchange in individual working groups in order to initiate further work steps to advance the Citizen Science project.

After a lecture on the microbiome by Dr. Meola, who is co-supervising the project as a bioinformatician, the students were introduced to the Citizen Science project "The oral microbiome - a multi-generational study" by Prof. Egli. In this project, we want to jointly collect a first solid data set on the oral microbiome in Switzerland.

Subsequently, the students worked in smaller working groups that focused on different topics of the study. Five project teams discussed the priority questions for the progress of the project and planned the next steps. This included collecting ideas, compiling possible problems and looking for solutions.

  • The students listened intently to the presentations.

  • In five working groups the students discussed priority issues for the progress of the project.

  • The results of the group work was then presented in the plenary.

  • The results of the group work was then presented in the plenary.

The results of the group work were then briefly presented in the plenary session:

  • The group "Knowledge generation" noted that they first need to familiarize themselves with the topic from a technical perspective, as their tasks also include conducting a representative survey of the population.
  • The group "Study Planning" came to the conclusion that they would have to exchange information with various other project groups and work very closely together, as they would have to provide information for them.
  • The group "Regulatory Affairs" has to deal with the HRA in order to find out whether an ethics application must first be submitted for the study. If this is the case, it will be their task to draw this up. To ensure that everything runs as smoothly and quickly as possible, she will soon start writing the application so that she has it ready if necessary.
  • The group "Communication" thought about the best media to draw attention to the topic. It will now start creating a website and various social media accounts. In addition, close cooperation with all other groups is a prerequisite for the documentation of the entire project.
  • The group "Recruitment" had to deal with very specific problems. It is responsible for the search for test subjects, logistics and the smooth running of sampling and testing.

The kick-off between students from the Kantonsschule Wattwil and the project team of the IMM at the University of Zurich was rounded off with a guided tour in small groups through the Institute's research and contract laboratories, which provided an insight into the various tasks and research areas of the institute. This gave the young people a first-hand look at various laboratories and state-of-the-art technical equipment that will be used to process the samples for the project.

Corsin Bühler (2022NP) and Nora Fornaro (2022N) - Project team "Communications"

Weiterführende Informationen

More about the project: The oral microbiome - a multigenerational study

More about More about the project: The oral microbiome - a multigenerational study

The project, funded by one of our Seed Grants, is based on a partnership between the Kantonsschule Wattwil and the University of Zurich and enables young people to explore the oral microbiome across different generations and to gain valuable experience. The scientific results are shared via modern media and the communication of complex content is practiced.