4th Annual Retreat of the Erlangen School of Molecular Communication


July 25/26, 2012, Kloster Banz

The 4th annual retreat of the Erlangen School of Molecular Communication was held again in Kloster Banz situated high over the Main-valley on the Banz Hill. This year quite a number of students are well on the way to finish their PhD and again some new PhD students joined the Graduate School. The first time four students from the newly established "fast track program" of the Graduate School took part. The retreat gave them a compact overview of the scientific fields of the SFB 796 and even more important the opportunity to meet the fellows and the PIs in order to decide which topic may be of interest in future. This time the "regular" 30 graduates were divided in two groups to present their ongoing work either as an oral presentation or on a poster. This division has increased the enthusiasm among students for interaction and discussion with each other.
The interdisciplinary character of the SFB 796 -trying to identify common strategies of humans and plants to respond to pathogen attacks- was reflected in the topics of five sessions (viruses, informatics, structural analysis, plant pathogens and human pathogens). Each session started with a keynote lecture from the invited speakers who are experts in the fields mentioned above. The guests Benedikt B. Kaufer (Freie Universität Berlin), Tim Nattkemper (CeBiTec, Universität Bielefeld), Ulrich Baumann (Biochemie, Universität Köln), Thomas Ott (LMU München) and Albert Haas (Universität Bonn) not only showed the new ideas and advancement in their field of expertise but also discussed lively and gave a lot of new inputs throughout the conference.
Our retreat was a wonderful opportunity for students as well as for the scientists to get mutual benefits and exchange the ideas from each other. So we made it even more pleasant by having one very informal session where everyone could discuss in a relaxed atmosphere with wine and beer. In order to make this retreat more interactive and to strengthen our self-reliance this year the award for best poster and best talk were given on the basis of voting made by Graduate students ourselves.
In the end this two days retreat was successful and a great learning experience for each and every member of SFB796.