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News from the Elite Graduate Programs

German-Israeli summer school in Eilat

From September 3rd to 10th nine students of the TUM Elite Graduate Program “Biomedical Neuroscience” visited the Inter-University Institute for Marine Sciences at the Red Sea in Eilat, Israel, to attend the joint German-Israeli International Summer School “Neuronal Control of Behavior”.

Präsentation der Gruppenarbeiten im Plenum

Experimente unter Anleitung in Gruppenarbeit

Sonnenuntergang am Roten Meer

The joint German-Israeli Summer School represents the international part of the Elite Graduate Program Biomedical Neuroscience at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and is organized in cooperation with the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The main goal of this intercultural Summer School is to foster an intensive scientific exchange between German and Israeli students.

Broad mixture of lectures and experimental work

This year's focus of the nine-day Summer School was on "Neuronal Control of Behavior" with hands-on workshops and lectures on behavioral neuroscience in health and disease. Nine German and ten Israeli students, each from neuroscience programs, spent an intense week consisting of lab work and lectures conducted by twelve renowned scientists from Germany and Israel. The lectures' topics ranged from recent achievements in neuroscience technology and neurological disease research to studying animal behavior.

The Israeli speakers came from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. From Germany, speakers from the Technical University of Munich, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology presented their scientific work.

The course was designed to discuss scientific questions and science careers; moreover, the on-site presence of faculty ensured networking and mentoring opportunities. After their morning lectures, the students trained in groups during afternoon lab sessions to perform different behavioral tasks for rodents and to use optical tools to study and manipulate the neuronal activity underlying behavior. Experiments were followed by software-based data evaluation of the experiments under supervision of experts in this field from Israel and Germany followed by a daily wrap evening-up session.

During the last three days the students developed their own short scientific projects, which they conducted using newly acquired experimental and analysis skills. The students presented their results in a last-day mini symposium.

The science part was enriched by social activities

A range of social events - including guided snorkeling tour in the Red Sea, a kibbutz dinner and a hike through the desert - facilitated the intercultural exchange between Israeli and German students. Overall, this Eilat summer school has been a successful kick-off for a close and intense collaboration between the TUM Elite Graduate Program "Biomedical Neuroscience" and its Israeli partner programs.

Text: Prof. Dr. Helmuth Adelsberger
Pictures: Marinus Kloos, TUM Institute of Neuroscience

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