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RTG-PRO at the 7th Joint Microbiology & Infection Conference (DGHM & VAAM) 2024 in Würzburg

The 7th Joint Microbiology & Infection Conference organized by the DGHM and VAAM took place in Würzburg, Germany from 2nd to 5th June 2024. The conference gave a great overview of diverse microbiological and hygiene-related studies.

This event was a great opportunity to present some of the bacterial-associated projects of the RTG-PRO. The PhD researchers Supradipta De (A6), Larissa Busch (B1), Abhishek Singh (B2) and Hannes Wolfgramm (C1) as well as the MD researchers Ole Plöhn (B2) and Jöran Tebben (C1) showcased their project results through poster presentations and a talk.

The conference was a valuable networking chance with a lot of interesting interactions and exchanges of ideas with the German microbiology community.

 


RTG Pro Participates in Dr. Martina Michalikova's Two-Day Scientific Writing Workshop

RTG Pro had a blast at Dr. Martina Michalikova's Scientific Writing Workshop! Key learnings: daily writing, punchy titles, structured abstracts, clear results/discussions, one-idea paragraphs, and smart journal picks.

Key Takeaways

  • Commit to Daily Writing:
    • Transform daily lab notes into weekly reports and, eventually, into manuscripts or theses.
    • Build a routine by taking consistent small steps: turn your flow into a stock.
  • Paper Structuring Tips:
    • Title: Keep it concise and avoid unnecessary fluff.
    • Abstract: Use the "And-But-Therefore" structure.
    • Results: Start with a main point, then expand on it.
    • Discussion: Cover main results, contextualize them, refine implications, and provide an outlook and predictions.
    • Conclusion: Focus on the big picture.
  • Paragraph Structuring:
    • Idea: Stick to one idea per paragraph.
    • Context: Begin with a topic sentence.
    • Content: Provide supporting information or evidence.
    • Conclusion: End with a closing sentence or summary.
  • Sentence Structuring:
    • Begin with known information (topic) and end with new information (stress).
    • Publishing Tip
    • Choose the right journal for your work.
    • Effectively address reviewers' comments.

Martina’s website: https://writingscientist.com/about/


Science award for RTG-PRO Researcher

Ole Ploehn, a medical candidate affiliated with RTG-PRO, received an award for his poster presentation at the "Tag der Wissenschaft der Medizin Anmeldeportal." His presentation focused on the role of the E3 ligase LSRAM1 in mediating the recognition of intracellular Staphylococcus aureus. Congratulations to Ole and the Seifert Lab on this achievement!


FACS training course

The FACS (Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting) training course conducted by Saskia Scholz from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) provided comprehensive instruction on the principles and applications of flow cytometry. This course was designed for PhD researchers looking to deepen their understanding and enhance their skills in using BD flow cytometry systems. It comprised a preliminary online theoretical course followed by an onsite practical training.

Participants learnt about instrument setup, data acquisition, compensation, analysis techniques, and troubleshooting. The hands-on training includes practical exercises with live samples, enabling attendees to gain practical experience in cell sorting and fluorescence detection. By the end of the course, participants gained inputs in operating BD FACS instruments, interpreting complex data sets, and applying flow cytometry techniques to their specific research needs.


Networking for Researchers

Hosted by Katja Wolter, Networking for Researchers delves into the essential components for acquiring or refining proficient networking abilities tailored to scientific researchers. Throughout this course, our PhD researchers explored the advantages of establishing a professional network for their research and career progression. Additionally, Katja introduced us to essential components and skills required to initiate and sustain networking connections across various platforms, encompassing physical and virtual environments.

A few highlights of the course were:

  • Understanding the theoretical framework and significance of networking and utilizing research and career objectives as guiding principles in identifying suitable networking prospects.
  • Boost your visibility through networking.
  • Techniques for nurturing networking relationships and capitalizing on them to propel research and career objectives forward.

The third annual RTG-Pro retreat

PhD researchers and the principal investigators convened from March 11th to 14th for an enriching blend of academic discourse on the Island of Vilm on the southern coast of Rügen in the Greifswalder Bodden. Home to the International Nature Conservation Academy Insel Vilm (INA) and a core zone of the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve, Vilm was a unique blend of natural serenity and tranquillity.

Throughout the retreat, the doctoral researchers updated on the latest developments in their research projects, sharing their findings and insights. Additionally, captivating keynote lectures were delivered by Prof. Uwe Bornscheuer and our Mercator fellows, Prof. Alexander Bartelt and Prof. Dorte Frees.

But it's not all work and no play on the Island of Vilm; we embarked on a guided walking tour to explore the island: secluded beaches and the dense forests, which have been untouched for a long time.

The most memorable aspect of the retreat was the opportunity to network. Whether over shared meals or impromptu conversations, attendees forged meaningful connections that extended beyond the confines of the retreat, laying the groundwork for future collaborations and camaraderie.


Behind the Science with RTG-PRO



Exploring Frontiers in Science: Highlights from the Academic Career Day at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald

Attendees:
Recently, Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald and University Graduate Academy played host to an engaging Academic Career Day that saw enthusiastic participation from RTG Pro members Sophie, Larissa, Jessica, and Dr. Maja Richert.

Workshops on Open Science and Career Paths in Natural and Life Sciences:
The program featured workshops focused on Open Science practices in research. Discussions centered on career trajectories within natural and life sciences, providing valuable insights for aspiring researchers.

Starting Up with Science:
Entrepreneurship in science was explored, highlighting the challenges and rewards of initiating impactful research ventures.

Jessica's Poster Presentation
Jessica presented a poster on behalf of the RTG-PRO research consortium. Her presentation emphasized the consortium's research focus on precision proteolysis, showcasing its significance in maintaining the delicate balance between pathogen and host homeostasis.

The Academic Career Day at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald proved to be a concise yet insightful platform, fostering knowledge exchange and collaborative exploration in the scientific community.


Young scientists for junior scientists

Between September 25th and September 29th, the German national finals of the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) took place in Hanover. The IJSO is an international science competition designed for students up to 15 years old, aimed to kindle enthusiasm and curiosity in the natural sciences. The German qualification competition is organized by the IPN - Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In Hanover, the German national team for this year's 20th IJSO in Thailand was determined.

Hannes Wolfgramm, one of our dedicated RTG-PRO PhD students (C1), is providing support for the competition as a part of the team of professional supervisors. Hannes expressed, "In addition to the technical supervision of the exams, establishing contact with the young participants is of great importance to me. I'm always thrilled when I see that I can share my enthusiasm for science and motivate the participants to pursue scientific paths after school." Leading up to the finals in December, alongside his responsibilities at RTG-PRO, Hannes is also coordinating the training of the IJSO National Team in Biology, collaborating with colleagues from all over Germany.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure, young scientists!

(https://www.scienceolympiaden.de/media/2868/download/Pressemitteilung-IJSO%20Bundesfinale%202023.pdf?v=1)


RTG-PRO at the 5th German Pneumococcal and Streptococcal Symposium in Hannover

The 5th German Pneumococcal and Streptococcal Symposium, which took place in Hannover, Germany, from September 25th to 27th, 2023, was co-hosted by the Foundation Veterinary University Hannover, the Institute for Microbiology, and the German Veterinary Medical Society.

During this event, Supradipta De (A6), one of our PhD students, showcased her research on Pneumococcal serine proteases through a poster presentation. The symposium primarily delved into critical research about infections and immune responses caused by pathogens such as S. pneumoniae, S. pyogenes, S.suis, and S.canis.

Supradipta shared her perspective on the event, emphasizing its high level of organization and the opportunities for valuable interactions. The symposium featured engaging talks and informative poster presentations that significantly contributed to our understanding of these pathogens.


RTG-PRO at the VAAM in Göttingen

This year the annual conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) took place at the University of Göttingen from 10th to 13th of September. Larissa Busch (B1) had the chance to present current results on construction a tool box of S. aureus strains to investigate the function of ClpX in S. aureus pathophysiology. The presented poster also included results from two RTG-PRO associated Bachelor projects of Meike Kröber and Emilia Schmidt. It was a great pleasure to meet many microbiologist and to discuss about microbial physiology, molecular methods and computational analysis strategies.


RTG-PRO at the GBM in Frankfurt

Autumn is conference season. Many of our PhD researchers are already able to present the results of their diligent and hard work at conferences of professional societies. The German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) convened its fall conference on September 5th and 6th, 2023, at the University Hospital, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. This year, the central theme of the GBM conference was "Proteomics," and among the distinguished participants was our Pro Hannes Wolfgramm (C1).

Reflecting on the event, Hannes shared, "It was a privilege to present and discuss my N-terminomics approach for identifying substrates of the Jep protease at the GBM Compact. The conference facilitated valuable insights into proteomics and fostered a welcoming environment for fruitful discussions."


RTG-PRO at the DGHM in Lübeck

The 75th annual meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) took place in Lübeck, the historic "Queen of the Hanseatic League," from September 18-20, 2023. Notably, three of our PhD researchers, Abhishek (B2), Supradipta (A6), and Shruthi (A5), participated in the congress, with the latter two presenting the results of their diligent work on posters. And the hard work was rewarded! Shruthi won the prize for the best poster. Well done Shruthi and congratulations!!!

Among the distinguished attendees were some of our PIs, including Prof. Dr. Sven Hammerschmidt, Prof. Dr. Anca Dorhoi, Dr. Ulrike Seifert, and Dr. Clemens Cammann. They graced the congress with their presence and delivered insightful talks.

This year's conference delved into compelling themes such as host-pathogen metabolism, colonization resistance, microbial networks, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) evolution, and innovative antimicrobial strategies. The plenary lectures were delivered by esteemed scientists from the international research community.

A highlight of the event was the presence of Steffanie A. Strathdee, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Distinguished Professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics. She was honoured with the prestigious „Lecturer of the Year Award“ and captivated the audience with her remarkable presentation on pioneering phage therapy as a potent weapon against superbugs.


Young reserchers retreat "Pro meets HH" in Hamburg 24 – 27 August 2023

The young investigators convened for their second scientific retreat in Hamburg, embarking on a captivating journey. The Pros visited the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine. On a guided tour, Sara & Saleh from the Helminth immunology group led by Prof. Minka Breloer gave insights into their PhD projects.

Also on their list was the prestigious Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) campus, where the PhDs got an excellent opportunity to explore the cutting-edge research facilities of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) and the Hamburg Advanced Research Centre for Bioorganic Chemistry. They were introduced to structural biology techniques from cryoEM, light microscopy, x-ray crystallography and much more! After their scientific pursuits, the Pros explored the Hafen City.


A moment of glory!

We are glad to announce one of our RTG-PRO fellows, Ole Schmöker (B3), was awarded the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biologie e.V. (GMB_eV) prize for his Master thesis entitled, "Biochemical investigations of structure and function of bacterial CE clan-related pathogenicity factors with potential acetyltransferase and deubiquitinase activity."

On behalf of the RTG-PRO family, we congratulate Ole for his achievement and wish him the best and more success!


Gender Equality Workshop Self Marketing and Strengthening Self-Awarness

The female PhD-researchers of RTG-PRO attended Dr. Christine Kohistanis's workshop on self-marketing and strengthening self-awareness. We learned strategies to expand our networks, foster connections and amplify our influence as female scientists. Reflection on skills and crafting our scientific brand were just a few game-changing insights gained! We thank Dr. Kohistani for granting us tools to navigate the academic landscape with confidence and purpose.


Podcast Akademie der Wissenschaften - Prof. Barbara Bröker

Prof. Barbara Bröker, our spokeswoman of RTG-PRO was invited by the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg for a podcast to talk about novel and innovative strategies to fight emerging pathogens and the AMR crisis.

Check out this episode of the "Wissenschaft als Kompass" podcast  [link]


42. Jahrestagung des deutschen Pankreasclubs

The German pancreas club (DPC) hosts an annual scientific meeting every year with interesting talks, poster sessions, and workshops bringing together basic scientists as well as clinicians. This year, the 42th meeting of the DPC took place in Munich. Three of our PhD students, Saeedeh, Hala and Christina, participated in this symposium and presented a poster with their latest research data. Hala even won one of the poster awards. Congratulation!

The symposium was hosted by Prof. Dr. med. Jan D´Haese and PD Dr. med. Georg Beyer. In addition, Prof. Dr. med. Markus M. Lerch, the CEO of LMU University Hospital in Munich, gave a fascinating introduction talk. Among others, we were accompanied by one of our PIs, Matthias Sendler. Besides the honor to chair a scientific tool box session, he also gave an incredible talk about “The Pancreas and the Microbiome, novel approaches from bench and bedside”. 

All in all, this was a very successful and well-organized symposium! We thank all organizers that made this symposium possible and are looking forward to the next DPC in 2024!


Basics in statistics for scientists

The course for our PhD students will take place 13-17 February 2023 in the PC room of the Institute for Bioinformatics


Symposium “Anti-infective Strategies of the Future - Prevention, Diagnostics, Therapy” 9 - 11 Feb 2023

Together with the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg (www.awhamburg.de, @awhamburg on Twitter) and the Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald (www.wiko-greifswald.de, @wiko_greifswald on Twitter), we had the great opportunity to organize the symposium titled “Anti-infective Strategies of the Future”. Under the three big pillars of Prevention, Diagnostics and Therapy the interdisciplinary symposium took place from 09 - 11 Feb 2023 at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg in Greifswald with interesting talks by renowned scientists from academia and the industry. 

Besides great talks with lively discussions during the day, two plenary lectures were given in the evening which were open to the public. On Thursday the president of the Robert-Koch-Institute Prof. Lothar Wieler spoke about the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis and its challenges. On Friday, the CSO of the Dutch-based diagnostics company BaseClear Prof. Alex van Belkum gave his lecture on the future of diagnostics. Since he already joined our ceremonial Opening Retreat in May last year as a member of RTG PRO`s Scientific Advisory Board, we were very happy to have him in Greifswald again for this event!

Both plenary lectures by Prof. Lothar Wieler and Prof. Alex van Belkum were live-recorded and are freely available to watch on the website of the Krupp Kolleg:

Prof. Lothar Wieler - “Future Challenges of AMR - the ongoing pandemic”
https://www.wiko-greifswald.de/mediathek/beitrag/n/future-challenges-of-amr-the-ongoing-pandemic/

Prof. Alex van Belkum - “Future diagnostics today!”
https://www.wiko-greifswald.de/mediathek/beitrag/n/future-diagnostics-today-151739/

A big thank you goes out to all organizers in front and behind the scenes who made this fantastic symposium possible!
We as RTG-PRO are humbled to have contributed to this exciting and succesful event.

Copyright Disclaimer: All rights for photographic material are owned by Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald.


RTG goes on twitter

Thanks to the hard work of Ole and Shruthi, we are now online to interact with the scientific community on twitter.

You can find us at @RTG2719_PRO.

Don't miss the chance to follow us for updates!


Trip to the „Cosun Beet“ sugar beet refinery 22th Oct in Anklam

On October 22, some of our PhD students used this Saturday to head to Anklam by train where they visited the „Cosun Beet“ sugar beet refinery, the last existing refinery of this kind in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. This trip was initiated by Jessica, since she is originally from Anklam and her father is working at the refinery for over 30 years. In a guided tour given by Torsten Tzschoppe (Head of Production) the group had the opportunity to get a detailed insight into the process of sugar refinement, all the way from the arrival of the beets to the crystalline white sugar as the final product. Besides conventional white sugar, the product portfolio of Cosun Beet also includes organic sugar, as well as non-sugar products such as bioethanol and biogas with the plan to broaden this portfolio and to enhance their storage capacities in the future.  After the guided tour, the group walked to the inner city, where Jessica showed them some of the nice spots that Anklam has to offer, such as the Nikolai church, the market square and the Otto-Lilienthal monument. The trip was concluded having lunch in a nice Italian restaurant, before the group catched the train back to Greifswald.

Thank you Jessica for organizing this beautiful and informative field trip!


Workshop „Intercultural Communication and Conflicts“ 17th October 2022

On October 17, our PhD students participated in a workshop on „Intercultural Communication and Conflicts“ organized by Katharina Teiser from InterCultur (www.intercultur.de). During the first half of this course, the young researchers engaged in interactive games to answer the question „What is culture?“ and discovered how we can use the Culture Triangle (person - situation - culture) to dissect complex situations and add new perspectives in order to create a holistic view which allows to be more empathetic and to not reproduce stereotypes. After a lunch break, the focus was laid on intercultural communication, where the young researchers discussed different ways and preferences of communication and how this can differ between cultures. Furthermore they were introduced to the concept of intersectionality and the intercultural conflict style model that connects aspects of language and emotions.

This workshop helps our young researchers to be aware of possible differences when it comes to intercultural exchange and will also contribute to guarantee a supportive and inclusive space within RTG-PRO!


Young Researchers Retreat “PRO meets DD“ in Dresden 01 – 03 October 2022

After months of intensively working on their projects and participating in first conferences and workshops, our PhD students decided to use the prolonged weekend from 1 - 3 Oktober for a small retreat in Dresden. This trip was an excellent opportunity to combine their interest in science with plenty of group activities to strengthen their bond as a team of young researchers.

On Saturday, they visited the Institute of Immunology at the University Medicine Dresden, where they had a guided tour by Luise Rupp who is a PhD student in the Schmitz group. Luise gave a brief insight into her project by explaining her experimental approach and how she uses various techniques from cell biology and microscopy to explore and display interactions of cellular components with tumour cells to develop targeting strategies to enable a more efficient treatment of malignant diseases. Followed by a short touristic excourse in the beautiful old town of Dresden, the day was concluded with a visit to the infamous Semperoper, enjoying „Madama Butterfly“. 
The next day started with a train ride to Stadt Wehlen, where the group started their hiking trip to the Bastei, one of the most famous lookout points in Saxony Switzerland. Although it started raining shortly after the group had arrived at the lookout point, this did not affect the mood overall! After enjoying the beautiful scenery with a breathtaking view of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, it was time to head back to Dresden on an old historic steamboat. The evening was spent in a nice restaurant with discussions about their recent progress in each project and what obstacles they faced. 
On their last day, our PhD students decided to visit the German Hygiene Museum as the last stop of this retreat. In the exhibition „Human Adventure“, they spent their time looking at the different aspects of the human body and educating themselves on health in its sociocultural context. Fascinating impressions with a mixture between the past and the present and an excellent way to end this adventurous weekend before it was time to catch the train back to Greifswald.

After arriving in Greifswald, the group agreed that this retreat was a lot of fun, and they all expressed the wish to repeat this kind of retreat next year, hopefully then in a larger group!
A huge thank you goes out to Hannes for organizing this exciting and productive trip from front to back and for giving our young researchers such a beautiful insight into his hometown! 


2nd Summer School „Infection Biology“ in Greifswald 26 - 28 Sept 2022

After being put on hold because of the COVID19 pandemic, the 2nd Summer School on „Infection Biology“ took place from 26 - 28 September 2022 in Greifswald as a follow-up to the successful first event back in 2016. Initiated as a joint effort of the University Greifswald, the University Medicine, the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI) Federal Research Institute for Animal Health and the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, this interdisciplinary symposium combines aspects of microbiology, virology, as well as pathophysiology and more.
Under the title „Infection Biology“ these three days were used for an intensive exchange between established scientists and young researchers on the state-of-the-art research on bacterial and viral interactions with the human host, as well as recent advances in the understanding of (co-)infection mechanisms and pathophysiology. A big part of this event also focussed on the concept of One Health and how it can be implemented in the scientific work as a collaborative approach to guarantee a healthy living for us as a society. 
Our PhD students participated in this interesting event to represent RTG-PRO and broaden their knowledge on these important and exciting topics, actively contributing to a successful symposium with poster presentations and lots of fruitful discussions. Larissa (project B1) and Supradipta (project A6) also took home a prize for their posters, congratulations you two! After this stimulating conference everyone grasped new ideas that are ready to be implemented in their own research.

Many thanks to the organizers Prof. Dr. Sven Hammerschmidt, Prof. Dr. Thomas Mettenleiter, Prof. Dr. Barbara Bröker, Dr. Ulla Bonas, Dr. Christian Suhm and of course all the important people behind the scenes, especially Dr. Bianca Bußmann, Dr. Maja Richert and Dr. Susann Räth, for taking care and putting together this interesting and stimulating event. 
We are looking forward to the next meeting of this Summer School in a few years!


3rd International Symposium „Protease World in Health & Disease“ in Kiel 11 – 14 September 2022

After hearing a fantastic talk by Stefan Rose-John, founder and spokesperson of the CRC877 „Proteolysis as a Regulatory Event in Pathophysiology“, at the PRO Opening Retreat in May this year, we were cordially invited to attend the 3rd International Symposium „Protease World in Health & Disease“ in Kiel, which focusses on protein cleavage for regulation and how these regulatory principles can be exploited.
Accompanied by our spokesperson Prof. Dr. Barbara Bröker and PI Dr. Silva Holtfreter, nine of our PhD students took this great opportunity to hear more about the world of proteases, with six of them also presenting a poster with their latest research data. Besides interesting talks and discussions given by internationally renowned speakers, our young researchers enjoyed the free time having lively discussions with foods and drinks in the evening. After concluding the symposium with a wonderful dinner directly at the Baltic Sea, we are looking forward to upcoming collaborations with established protease researchers from all over the world and also within RTG-PRO.

We thank Stefan Rose-John and all the other people involved in the organization of this great symposium for three beautiful days in Kiel and also for the opportunity to share our interest in the fascinating world of proteases!


Workshop “Project Management for Scientists“ 20th June 2022

Without any hesitation, after the ceremonial Opening Retreat of RTG-PRO in May our PhD researchers took part in a workshop dedicated to strengthen their skills in Ressource and Time Management. Organized by Katja Wolter from the Steinbeis-InRE (www.steinbeis-inre.de), they spent the day to learn different project management techniques and how to develop a strategic view on their doctoral research. By combining the visual presentation of basic project management theory with interactive group activities, all participants were able to get insight into the communication with stakeholders, as well as knowing about risks that can occur during their PhD project.
After hearing all these interesting aspects of project management, everyone now has the knowledge to organize, prioritize and analyze their work and is eager to apply it to their individual doctoral project!


Ceremonial opening of the RTG-PRO

After a long wait, due to the pandemic protective measures, the time had finally come. From May 18 to 20, the official opening symposium of the Research Training Group 2719 RTG-PRO could take place. In the festive setting of the main building of our university, namely the historical assembly hall and the conference room, our young scientists and their projects took centre stage for 3 days. In short presentations, each presented his or her project and first results and had the opportunity to discuss them with the principal investigators and the invited guests. Keynote speakers Stefan Rose-John and Birte Höcker, our Mercator fellows Dorte Frees and Alexander Bartelt, and Alex van Belkum from our Scientific Advisory Board were available to our PhD students with their expertise for in-depth discussions. In the afternoon, there was the opportunity for the first meetings of the Thesis Advisory Committees, which was also used extensively. Then, at the conference dinner at the Vorpommersches Landesmuseum, everyone was able to take a deeper look at RTG-PRO thanks to a questionnaire from our PhD researchers and a very entertaining talk that presented some fun statistics about the members. After dinner, we could admire the cultural treasures of our city and the university during a private tour. All in all, it was 3 busy days full of science, and this successful kick-off left us wanting more!

Download: Program flyer


PhD researchers of our RTG-PRO participated in the design of the information material and designed two great posters for the international day of immunology. Every year, the German Society for Immunology (DGFI) uses the International Day of Immunology on 29 April to draw attention to our amazing immune system. This day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the importance of immunology and immunological research in the fight against infections, autoimmunity and cancer. This year, the topic was "Vaccines". Vaccinations are one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine. They save lives and prevent millions of deaths every year as a result of dangerous diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus or measles. All posters are available free of charge at https://das-immunsystem.de/tag-der-immunologie/.


Symposium “Understanding Ubiquitiylation” Würzburg 9th - 11th May 2022

Two of our PhD researchers, Sophie (project B4) and Ole (project B3), attended the Symposium „Understanding Ubiquitylation: From Molecular Mechanisms to Disease“ in Würzburg organized by the RTG2243 (twitter: @grk2243). From the 9th to 11th of May both used these 3 days to get in contact with other PhD students and leading researchers from the field of ubiquitination and present their research projects in form of a poster. Prof. Elke Krüger who is principal investigator of both projects B3 (together with Prof. Michael Lammers) and B4 was invited to give a talk where she spoke about rare proteasomopathies and the role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in innate immune signaling.

Since projects from RTG-PRO Research Field B are also investigating proteases in context with ubiquitination, this conference was a good opportunity for our PhD researchers to deepen and broaden their understanding of this important cellular process of ubiquitination. RTG-PRO supports this on-going scientific exchange and we are happy to implement the newly gained knowledge in our own studies.


At the 3rd Young Investigators Seminar on February 14, the spokesperson of the Research Training Group Barbara Bröker took the opportunity to present the extensive and versatile qualification program of the Research Training Group to the PhD researchers. In addition to the work in the laboratory, there are many opportunities for further training in workshops, visiting other working groups, listening to lectures of guest scientists and finally presenting one's own work at international conferences. The qualification program starts on April 11 with a workshop on good scientific practice. Following this presentation, again two doctoral students had the opportunity to present their projects and a paper was discussed.


The scientific exchange is on! The second "young investigators seminar" took place at the beginning of January. From now on, every month two doctoral students will report on the status of their project and a third will present a current paper for discussion. Besides the science, there is of course also time to talk about organizational matters. The next meeting will be held on February 14, 2022. Due to the pandemic situation, all meetings will take place online only until further notice.


The Research Training Group 2719 RTG-PRO started its work as planned on October 01, 2021. At the first get-together in November, the project leaders and the PhD researchers introduced their projects and the first collaborations were initiated. However, due to the pandemic, unfortunately not all PhD researchers could be with us in Greifswald at that time. During the meeting, further events of the RTG-PRO were planned. For example, the „young researchers seminar“ was launched. In the future, the PhD researchers will meet every 2nd Monday of the month to report on their projects and discuss the current literature. The kick-off seminar on December 13 was held online. Thanks to the new technical possibilities, most of the PhD researchers, even if they are not yet in Greifswald, were able to participate. There was a lively exchange about the projects and papers presented. The next meeting will be held on January 10, 2022.

For now, we send season's greetings and wish all members of the Research Training Group happy and relaxing holidays and all the best for the new year!


QUALIFICATION PROGRAM

The PhD qualification program of the research training group RTG-PRO aims to help excellent doctoral researchers develop into outstanding scientists who can fill leadership positions in academia, clinics, or industry. Scientific independence, self-confidence, and the readiness for interdisciplinary and intercultural cooperation should characterize the researchers in RTG-PRO.

The doctoral candidates are supervised by a thesis advisory committee (TAC), whereby the first PI of their project is the main supervisor. Transparency of mutual expectations and obligations is achieved through a written supervision agreement. In personal interviews with the TAC, each doctoral student presents the progress of his or her project and doctorate, adjusts priorities, and receives support in the event of problems. His or her career plans are also a central subject of consultation.

Central to the qualification program are yearly retreats with all RTG members. The doctoral and postdoctoral researchers will present and discuss their projects with internal and external experts.

A monthly young investigators’ jour fixe will be conducted by the early career researchers themselves.

spring school is scheduled for the 2nd year to provide an overview of the central topics of RTG-PRO. The doctoral and post-doctoral researchers will thus be able to complement the knowledge gained by working on their projects.

As a special highlight, RTG-PRO will organize an international conference in the third doctoral year, and doctoral candidates will be encouraged to present their findings, chair sessions, and engage in discussion with the international scientists.

On a day-to-day basis, a visiting scientist program will provide insights, updates, and networking opportunities. Weekly laboratory rounds are in place at all participating institutions. In their projects, the graduates will use a digital laboratory documentation system.  

A course program will provide training in numerous scientific methods and transferable skills. Emphasis will be placed on good scientific practice; computer-assisted analysis, modelling, and bioinformatics; scientific writing as well as science communication.

Core activities of RTG-PRO

Event Target group Timing
Introductory retreat All RTG members year 1
Retreat All RTG members annually
Young investigators’ jour fixe (Post)doctoral researchers monthly
RTG-PRO’s spring school (Post)doctoral researchers year 2
International symposium All RTG members year 3
Visiting scientist program All RTG members monthly
Good scientific practice Doctoral researchers year 1
Project management Doctoral researchers year 1
Data management, electronic laboratory documentation (Post)doctoral researchers year 1, update year 2