In 2010 venue of <interact> was again the main building of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. More than 350 PhD-students met in March to present their scientific work and discuss it with their fellow students. In addition to seven presentations of students of different life science fields about eighty accounted for posters. The lectures of the keynote speakers counted as highlights once again. This year the organizers could enlist Professor Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge and Professor Paolo Sassone-Corsi of University of California. Professor Lindquist talked about how protein folding drives evolution, while Professor Sassone-Corsi gave an update on his research on epigenetics and metabolisms connection to the circadian clock. After the keynote lectures as well as after the student talks there was time for motivated discussion joined by the keynote speakers. Just as much exchange occurred during the poster sessions. Here company representatives had the opportunity to join the PhD-students for discussion and presentation of their companies. After the new success of <interact> organizers and the graduate students of Munich’s life science both look forward to next year’s <interact>
Susan Lindquist studied microbiology at the University of Illinois as an undergraduate and received her PhD in biology from Harvard in 1976. In 1988 she became a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and was the Albert D. Lasker Professor of Medical Sciences in the at the University of Chicago from 1999-2001. She now is a Member and former Director (2001-2004) of Whitehead Institute, a Professor of Biology at MIT, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Susan Linquist was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996, the National Academy of Sciences in 1997 and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2006. Amongst her many academic distinctions are the Dickson Prize in Medicine (2002), the Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Academic Achievement (2006) the Harvard Centennial Medal (2008), the Otto Warburg Prize (2008) and the FASEB Excellence in Science Award (2009). Susan Lindquist's pioneering work in protein folding has demonstrated that alternative protein conformations have profound and unexpected effects in fields as wide ranging as human disease, evolution, and biomaterials. Her work on yeast prions has provided evidence for a mechanism of protein-only inheritance and contributed to a structural understanding of amyloid fiber formation. She has shown that molecular chaperones can influence the expression and evolution of new traits by chaperoning the folding of key players in signal transduction pathways. Her group has also developed yeast models to study protein-folding transitions in neurodegenerative diseases and to test therapeutic strategies.
Paolo Sassone-Corsi studied biology and received his PhD in genetics from the University of Naples in 1979. He pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Strasbourg until 1983. He remained there, first as an assistant research fellow and later as an associate reasearch fellow until 1985. After four years at the Salk Institute, he returned to the CNRS in Strasbourg in 1990 as director of research. Since 2006 he is a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the department of Pharmacology at the University of California. Paolo Sassone-Corsi's was elected to the American Society for Photobiology, the Endocrine Society (USA), the European Cellular Biology Organization and the European Molecular Biology Organization in 1990. Amongst his many academic distinctions are the EMBO Gold Medal (1994), the Rosen Prize (Fondation de la Recherche Médicale, France, 1996), the Grand Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour la Recherche (France, 1997), the Grand Prix Charles-Léopold Mayer de l'Académie des Sciences (France 2003) and the CNRS Silver Medal (2004). Paolo Sassone-Corsi's major interest is concentrated on the mechanisms of signal transduction that are able to modulate nuclear functions and, in particular gene expression, chromatin remodeling and epigenetic control. These events have important consequences for the understanding of cellular proliferation, oncogenesis and differentiation. The stimulation of intracellular pathways and the activation of specific protein kinases lead to transcriptional regulation by changes in the phosphorylation state of nuclear factors. These act as final targets of different pathways and modulate expression from specific regulatory sites. The strength of these studies is particularly evident within physiological settings which have been investigated by his lab, the molecular control of circadian rhythms and the differentiation of male germ cells.
We congratulate the winners of the speakers and Poster prizes of the 2010 Munich <interact> PhD symposium.
Michael Stiess "Axon Extension Occurs Independently of Centrosomal Microtubule Nucleation"
Amazon voucher and dictionary
In the meantime Michael published his research presented at the symposium in Science (2010) 327(5966):704-7: "Axon Extension Occurs Independently of Centrosomal Microtubule Nucleation".
Anselm Geiger & Thomas Thestrup
"Protein engineering and biophysical characterization of genetically encoded calcium indicators"
Tress&Tress workshop and Amazon voucher
"Parkin and Cellular Quality Control - The Role of Selective Autophagy"
"Mechanistic dissection of kon-tiki mediated myotube targeting"