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Aktuelles aus den Doktorandenkollegs

Summer School am "Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle"

This year’s Summer School of the International Doctoral Programme Receptor Dynamics: Emerging Paradigms for Novel Drugs of the Elite Network of Bavaria was hosted at the “Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle” (IGF) in Montpellier, France.

Our 20 doctoral students had the unique opportunity to get in contact with other researchers studying the dynamics of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and having an insight into one of France’s most modern and technologically excellently equipped research facilities.

Montpellier is one of the biggest cities in France with currently about 80,000 registered students. Of note, Montpellier has always been a centre for teaching medicine and natural sciences. The city can look back on almost 1,000 years of history which is present almost everywhere, e.g. within the old city centre or through the facades of plenty of historical buildings. Nowadays Montpellier is one of the largest cities at the south coast of France, next to the Mediterranean Sea.

Having a considerable number of scientists allowed for composing diversified sessions on both days in which speakers from both France and Germany were given the opportunity to present the status of their current work. In each session presentations from group leaders as well as from doctoral students were mixed. In total, we had 16 speakers and more than 20 posters.

The symposium was opened on Thursday, March 23rd by Professor Peter Gmeiner from University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and his talk about “Bifunctional Ligands Probing GPCR Structure and Function”. The four sessions on this day focused on the investigation of receptor topologies and the design and characterisation of selective ligands for various GPCRs; during two poster sessions the doctoral students presented their current work to all participating researchers.

In the evening the conference dinner was held at the restaurant “Les Bains de Montpellier”, an ancient thermal bath facility directly located in the historic centre of the city. New connections and collaborations were established and old ones renewed.

After receiving a guided tour through the IGF laboratories and a demonstration of its facilities, the topics of the second day mainly focused on receptor visualization and tracing methods, e.g. by FRET microscopy or TIRF-Microscopy for membrane imaging. The conference was closed by a remarkable talk of Professor Martin Lohse (one of the programme’s speakers) presenting spatio-temporal patterns of GPCR signalling. A vivid discussion of the participants resuming the topics and raising new questions constituted the end of two days filled with interdisciplinary exchange, insights into new exciting results, and last but not least, pleasant days at a picturesque French city.

We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the organizing team at IGF, particularly Remy Sounier and Muriel Asari.

Text: IDK Receptor Dynamics
Pictures: Kerstin Seier, Ludwig Hoellem

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