Vienna BioCenter hosts the first EMBO Fellow Mini-Symposium

On June 4th and 5th, EMBO fellows got together at IMP and IMBA.

Since the 1960s, EMBO Fellowships have benefited thousands of early career scientists in Europe. On the one hand, EMBO provides long-term Fellowships for postdoctoral research that aim to fund and support internationally mobile careers for aspiring researchers. Hundreds of scientists also benefit each year from EMBO Short-Term Fellowships, which allow them to return to their home laboratories with new skills as well as contacts for future collaborations. The annually organized meetings allow regular exchange with the fellowship holders - an ideal opportunity to mingle, exchange, and start collaborations. 

At the last meeting in Heidelberg in June 2018, a new idea emerged: In order to facilitate international mobility and increase visibility of different research sites, a new format could prove beneficial: Mini-Symposia, organized at the home institution of different EMBO fellows.

Pai Tsung-Pin, current EMBO fellow and Postdoc in the Penninger lab at IMBA, initiated all these efforts and proposed IMBA and the Vienna BioCenter as a potential first host institution - the idea received immediate support.

“It seems that the EMBO fellows were really excited to discover the Vienna BioCenter, that they have heard much about, and get to spend some days in the beautiful city of Vienna. I was very happy that David del Alamo Rodrigues, Head of the EMBO Fellowship Programme, was fully supportive of the idea.” said Pai, who is the organizer of the first EMBO fellow Mini-Symposium. 

The two-day event offered a range of exciting talks, from neuroscience, organoid research, immunology, disease mechanism to microbiome research.

Beyond science, David del Alamo Rodrigues also presented new insights about the EMBO fellowship evaluation process. Thus, many potential future EMBO fellowship holders could get a grip on what to emphasize on in their application. In contrast to other fellowships, EMBO really focuses on the individual career development needs for young scholars. “Beyond scientific output, international mobility is a very crucial factor when it comes to shaping one´s career, that is why networking opportunities at this career stage are absolutely key. I am honored that IMBA and the Vienna BioCenter were selected to host this first Mini-Symposium, it was a fantastic kick-off for this new series of scientific events for EMBO fellows!”

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