International Neuroscience Alumni Meeting in Tübingen
From September 23rd to 25th 2018, the Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, the International Max Planck Research School, and the Tübingen Research Alumni Network TRACe held the first Neuroscience Alumni Meeting, initiated by Professor Horst Herbert.
Over a period of three days, current and erstwhile students and researchers met up to discuss current research questions as well as future collaborations. The meeting was supported by the DAAD in order to strengthen alumni relations at the University of Tübingen.
The aim of the alumni meeting was not simply to bring back former students to indulge in nostalgia, but to form links in shared research interests. As a result, 23 research alumni from across the globe were invited to present their ongoing research projects. Talk topics ranged from behavioral disorders to psychiatry, to sensory systems, neurology and neurodegeneration, to applied scientific research in industry. ‘It is great to be back!’, participants agreed, some of whom had not revisited the site of their earliest career steps in a decade or longer. Many of them, however, had been there during the founding years of the Graduate School, had studied here and in many cases obtained their doctorate. All told, around 80 locals from the Tübingen neuroscience community showed their interest in the topics presented and attended the alumni meeting. This scientific exchange was also complemented by glimpses into the research currently taking place in Tübingen: in two excursions, alumni were shown around the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Tours and presentations by local specialists emphasized the linkage between neuroscientific research and current ‘hot topics’ outside the immediate field, such as machine learning.
Besides this exchange on research topics, social activities offered an opportunity for networking between alumni, current and former teachers, and enrolled students of neuroscience. The official conference dinner in the University Museums ‘Knights’ Hall’ let the guests indulge in memories of their time in Tübingen in a festive atmosphere, and included a short led tour of some of the highlights of the University’s collections. A public talk on ‘Neuro-Marketing’ by Kai-Markus Müller opened the alumni meeting’s doors to the general public. All in all, the lively atmosphere and the diverse program led to a very stimulating and extremely pleasant reunion with our alumni from all over the world.
Christin Wannagat, Tübingen Research Alumni Network TRACe
Dr. Paul Töbelmann, Science Communication & Public Outreach, Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience
Prof. Dr. Horst Herbert, Dean of Studies, Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience