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Translation towards clinical applications

The two-day con­fer­ence “Translational Neu­rosci­ence Au­tumn School 2023” brought to­gether expe­rienced ex­perts and young re­searchers, in­clud­ing alum­ni of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Translational Neu­rosci­ence”, to pre­sent and dis­cuss their latest re­search re­sults. An open con­versa­tion with invit­ed guests about career op­por­tuni­ties in busi­ness gave the stu­dents in­sights into pro­fes­sional life out­side of the “clas­sic” career of aspir­ing sci-en­tists. Both be­hind the scenes as part of the organ­iza­tional team and among the partic­ipants, the im­pres­sions and expe­rienc­es of the Au­tumn School were en­thusi­as­tically re­ceived.

Behind the scenes

Our Au­tumn School is an annu­al scien­tific con­fer­ence orga­nized by the stu­dents of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Translational Neu­rosci­ence”. The big­gest moti­vation for stu­dents to organ­ize the sym­posi­um every year is pri­marily to pro­mote col­la­bora­tions and ex­change the latest re­search re­sults, ad­vanc­es and break­throughs in this field.

This year we tried to ad­dress the di­verse inter­ests and exper­tise of the partic­ipants with the topics “Epi­genet­ics in Psy­chia­try”, “Stress”, “Sleep” and “Alz­hei­mer's”. In addi­tion, as part of our sym­posi­um, we had two poster ses­sions that illus­trated many meth­ods and scien­tific results and ena­bled inter­ac­tions and dis­cussions that were both enter­taining and in­sight­ful.

As the organ­izing team of the Au­tumn School, we hope that we have pro­vided a plat­form and man­aged to bring the scien­tific com­muni­ty to­gether for knowledge ex­change and possi­ble future col­la­bora­tions.

Translational neuroscience in a nutshell

Being a stu­dent means not only learn­ing from text­books but also from new expe­rienc­es and shar­ing our knowledge and ideas with oth­ers. The Au­tumn School with inter­na­tional ex­perts al­lowed us to delve deep­er into dif­ferent re­search areas.

In par­ticu­lar, the guest speakers' presenta­tions clear­ly visu­alized exper­imental meth­ods and recon­structed the com­plex steps from the labor­atory to the pa­tient. In this re­spect, eve­ryone could take part in the scien­tific con­versa­tion, even if they were not an expert in every sub­ject.

We, the stu­dents of the new year, took part in this tradi­tional event in the Ru­dolf Vir­chow Cen­ter in Würzburg. We were able to ex­change ide­as with stu­dents from older years and from sever­al de­part­ments in Würzburg and around the world. In order to coun­teract the uncer­tainty about what to do after grad­uation, which many stu­dents suffer from, guests from indus­try and sci­ence shared their per­sonal expe­rienc­es and help­ful ad­vice with us.

The poster ses­sion was a great op­por­tunity for us as stu­dents of the Trans­la­tional Neu­rosci­ence course to pre­sent our own re­search pro­jects. Alt­hough it can be diffi­cult to be con­front­ed with ques­tions from all the bright minds, the active dis­cussion and fruit­ful criti­cism at the end helped to signif­icant­ly in­crease our indi­vidual learn­ing curve.

The Au­tumn School pro­vided an at­mosphere that al­lowed us to ask ques­tions with­out feel­ing stu­pid, it gave us space for dis­cussion and time to think. Final­ly, I am grate­ful for all the fasci­nating and crea­tive think­ers I had the op­por­tunity to meet and for eve­ry­one's open-minded­ness.

Text: Dr Manuel Nagel, Maria Georgalli, Lissy Liebeskind