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Date: Aug 13, 2018

Guest scientists from India and Thailand visit ImmunoSensation

Young guest scientists from India and Thailand were invited by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) to visit the University of Bonn. The participants of the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting were on a Post-Lindau Tour to visit outstanding research institutions. In Bonn, they visited the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.

Each year in Lindau, Nobel Laureates meet with the next-generation of scientists, with the aim of fostering the exchange of knowledge between different generations and nationalities. The junior scientist comprise of undergraduates, postgraduates and postdocs. The annual meetings focus on three natural science disciplines, and alternatingly feature the field of physiology and medicine, physics or chemistry and once in five years a joint meeting of the disciplines. For many years now, the DFG has invited participants from China, Thailand and India to tour top research institutions in Germany on the so-called “Post-Lindau Tour”. This year’s meeting was dedicated to the field of physiology and medicine and thus on the list of top ranking research institutions in this field was the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bonn.

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Wernert, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann, Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, welcomed and introduced the young scientist to the University of Bonn and the research focus area Immunosciences and Infection at the Faculty of Medicine, in particular represented by ImmunoSensation. The second research focus area, Neurosciences, was introduced by Prof. Dr. Susanne Schoch-McGovern at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), but first the guests were given a tour of the facility by Prof. Dr. Donato Di Monte and Prof. Dr. Stefan Remy.

Professor Hartmann emphasizes the importance of working together and how pooling resources can be a key feature in attaining more research output as well as enabling scientists to access expensive and cutting-edge technology. At the Faculty of Medicine was achieved by establishing core facilities. They were started in 2012 with the aim of availing research technology at an affordable price to all ImmunoSensation scientists. The young researchers were given a tour of two of the 10 core facilities including a 15 min talk from the managers of each facility. Dr. Florian Schmidt, who is the youngest Cluster of Excellence core facility leader, introduced his recently established Alpaca Nanobody core facility. He discussed the importance and future implications of Nanobodies in infectious diseases such as HIV and Dengue among others. Schmidt cited the stability of Nanobodies in harsh conditions and their producibility at low costs, as a way to foster science outside industrialized countries.

The afternoon was concluded with a round table discussion with ImmunoSensation scientists from India, Japan and China, who shared their experiences in Germany and their future career plans. Dr. Surender Jayagopi, from India, who first came to Germany with a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdocs, advised the international guests on how to apply for grants, scholarships and fellowship. He also shared his career plan of returning to India to start his own research group. The junior scientist were also interested in the work-life balance, which is an area that ImmunoSensation takes serious. They were made aware of the Gender & Diversity program from ImmunoSensation that is coordinated by Ms. Nicole Dahms, and provides scientists with support on issues such as childcare. Cluster managing director Dr. Catherine Drescher found the tour and the round table discussion a success and hopes to see some of the participants apply as postdocs or doctoral candidates.
 

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