The 8th Horizons in Molecular Biology Symposium

Organizers and participants of Horizons in Molecular Biology 2011
Organizers and participants of Horizons in Molecular Biology 2011

The 8th “Horizons in Molecular Biology” International PhD student symposium, that took place on 14-17th September 2011, was truly a highly communicative meeting that broke down barriers and opened up new horizons for the nearly 200 participants, as well as for the 20 speakers that presented their cutting-edge science.

For the fi fth time, a career fair preceded the meeting and offered the possibility for intensive one-on-one contact between participants and companies such as “Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical“ or “McKinsey&Company“. Fascinating insights into alternative career paths were given for example by a forensic scientist, a science photographer and an EMBO reports editor. A panel discussion on “How to start your own research group“ set a successful end to a stimulating career fair.

The senior scientists who followed the invitation to Göttingen covered a broad range of research areas, as has become customary for Horizons. For instance Ben Hankamer presented his latest work on high-effi ciency biofuel systems, Jonathan Weissman shared the extensive opportunities offered by the technique called ribosome profi - ling and Mikhail Lebedev reported the construction of brain-machine interfaces.

As the idea of Horizons is to promote communication between PhD students and senior scientists, a new speed dating session called “Connectomics“ was integrated into the meeting. During this session participants had the chance to talk to their favorite speakers in small groups and exchange ideas in a very relaxed atmosphere. Textbook author Harvey Lodish was engaging in even deeper discussions with PhD students during separate lunch meetings with small groups of participants.

Besides science, “Horizons in Molecular Biology“ is also about networking. Therefore many enjoyable social events provide an informal setting for discussions. As this year’s pub-crawl coincided with the birthday of the speaker Scott Blanchard, everyone joined in singing “Happy Birthday”.

Particularly the “Wine & Cheese” poster session turned into an unforgettable event when the American immunologist Jonathan Yewdell unpacked his saxophone and together with students started a jamming session. The dinner in the auditorium of “Junges Theater“and the subsequent conference party in “JT Keller“ completed a row of fantastic social events that made “Horizons“ 2011 special.

The upcoming 9th “Horizons in Molecular Biology” symposium will take place 8-11th October 2012 and we, the organizers, are looking forward to welcoming you for this meeting in Göttingen. 

Tino Pleiner

from Molecular Biology Newsletter, Issue 3 (Jan 2012)


Speakers 2011

Molecular level

Scott Blanchard, Matthias Rief, Carol Robinson, Sriram Subramaniam

Cellular level

Jan Ellenberg, Achilleas Frangakis, Jan-Michael Peters, Petra Schwille, Maria Vartiainen, Yosef Yarden

Organismal level

Ana P. Costa-Pereira, Alexander Gottschalk, Mikhail Lebedev, Harvey Lodish, Jon Yewdell

Systems level

Andrew Berry, Ben Hankamer, Bernhard Küster, Kristala Prather, Jonathan Weissman