A PhD project would be perfect if you do it with other collaborators with different points of view.
I am going to explain why I see my project in this way. CLARIFY project is state of the art in my eyes. CLARIFY project aims to provide pathologists with a digital platform to aid their daily work. Nine scientific and industrial centers with different expertise are developing this platform. The whole work has been divided into twelve smaller projects, of which one PhD candidate works in each of these twelve parts. Obviously, the projects of these twelve PhD candidates are related together, and we are keeping in touch in every step of our work. When you are doing a PhD project, it is needed to go in-depth in one field while keeping an eye on other fields that are minor parts of your project. My major focus is on improving the diagnosis and prognosis of patients who have high-risk non muscle-invasive bladder cancer, and I have to see this work from different points of view like clinical implications of bladder cancer, deep learning, pathology, and preprocessing of our whole slide images. For example, we (Saul and I) are detecting some cellular features in the whole slide images that are correlated with recurrence or progression of the tumors in patients with HR-NMIBC. Other PhD candidates in the CLARIFY project have the same major or minor field of focus as well as me. Whenever I have had a question to comprehend a concept or find a solution, I discussed it with Saul, Neel, Andres, Na, Arne, Zahra, and Umay. It was of assistance to me seeing their point of view on the whole project. For example, when I asked Saul, “how are we going to extract some cellular features that are correlated to clinical outcomes,” he explained to me the principles that I need to know at this step in two friendly sessions. Sometimes these kinds of discussions would be more informal and more frequent (Figure 1). All of us are almost on the same page. We are learning many things. I think this is the main reason that I would love to do my project with our collaborators.
Figure 1: A screenshot of a friendly discussion among Saul and I.
We have some restrictions because of COVID, but we have kept friendly chemistry among us. Sometimes we hold some friendly virtual meetings (Figure 2) and we talk about general topics like our situation, our favorites, etc. I hope in the near future we can meet each other in person.
Figure 2: A screenshot of our friendly meeting
Farbod Khoraminia – ESR10