Retreats

2017

KoRS-CB Retreat, 23 - 25 August in Bad Herrenalb

The 9th annual retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB) took place in the picturesque area of Bad Herrenalb, organised by our student representatives Eva Höllmüller and Christoph Matti kindly supported by Susanne Ermert, Alexander Finke, Lars Henschke, Simon Geigges, Britta Kerndl, Maike Lehner, Joachim Lutz, Fabian Offensperger and Carolin Sailer.

This year, about 80 doctoral researchers participated in the event. We were glad to welcome doctoral students from our partner institutions: Harvard Medical School/USA (Zebulon Levine and Javier Pineda), the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur/India (Ilesha Avasthi and Parvaiz Shiekh) and, Nanyang Technological University/Singapore (Areetha D’Souza and Tofayel Ahmed).  

Very interesting keynote talks covered different areas of chemical biology and were presented by Prof. Dr. Zoya Ignatova (University of Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Tom N. Grossmann (VU Amsterdam), Dr. Stephanie Kath-Schorr (University of Bonn), Prof. Dr. Helena Danielson (Uppsala Universitet) and Dr. David Mann (Imperial College London). The student talks complemented the scientific part, together with two inspiring poster sessions. In addition, the participants got a moment to relax and to get-together during the social activities and the traditional BBQ.

We are very grateful to our sponsors, which enabled us to plan and execute this year’s retreat: Promega, McKinsey&Company, Shimadzu, Janssen, GATC, Trenzyme, Zymo Research, myPOLS, Hettich, ThermoFisher Scientific and Carl Roth. In addition, we received support from Biozyme, MCAT, NewEngland BioLabs and Qiagen. Thanks to Trenzyme and Shimadzu, we were able to award the two best posters, which were from Katrin Stuber and Christian Scheibe, and the best scientific talks from Franziska Doll and Zebulon Levine. We thank all our partners for generous support!

Overall, we had an interactive and stimulating retreat with many fruitful discussions and gained valuable new inputs.

Impressions:


2016

8th Annual KoRS-CB Retreat, 3 - 5 August in Rastatt

This year, 84 doctoral researchers of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB) as well as from our partner institutions met at the Bildungshaus St. Bernhard in Rastatt for three days of scientific exchange and fruitful discussions. Doctoral students from Harvard University/USA (Alix Chan, Liv Johannessen, Leigh Matano, Angela She), Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur/India (Hilal Ahmed Pal, Kamal Saravanan) and Nanyang Technological University/Singapore (Devendra Shivhare, Anna Traczyk) followed our invitation and together, we developed fresh ideas which broadened our scientific point of views.

Our invited keynote speakers Dr. Christian Behrends (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main), Prof. Dr. Rolf Breinbauer (Graz University of Technology), Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchner (Technical University Munich) and Dr. Simon Elsässer (Karolinska Institutet Stockholm) did not only share insights into their research, but also gave helpful career advises. Beside our traditional agenda highlighted with numerous scientific talks and breathtaking poster sessions, the 1st KoRS-CB Science Slam took place with insights into exceptional human biology facts (Angela She) and a tribute to ants (Ralf Schlesiger). On the second day, a guided tour of the city and the residential palace of Rastatt as well as the traditional BBQ in the evening promoted the social get-together between the participants of the retreat.

With the help of our sponsor Shimadzu, we were able to award Sabrina Weikert and Christian Schmidt for the best scientific talks. Poster prizes were granted to Lena Wurmthaler, Franziska Teusel (both for scientific impact) and Sandra Lange (poster design). We congratulate the awarded doctoral researchers for their outstanding work and thank our members and guests for their contribution!

We would also like to thank our PhD spokesperson Simon Geigges and Alexandra Julier for overall organization and moderation of this event. They were supported by Oliver Baudendistel, Susanne Ermert, Lars Henschke, Joachim Lutz, Marcia Maier, Martin Mex, Fabian Offensperger, Ralf Schlesiger and our administration office. We gratefully acknowledge our main sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Evonik Industries AG, Tides Service Technology and all other industrial and academic partners for financial support and non-monetary donations.

Impressions:


2015

KoRS-CB Retreat, 31 August - 2 September in Gültstein

The 7th annual retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB) took place from August 31st to September 2nd, 2015 at the KVJS Tagungszentrum Gültstein near Stuttgart. The organization of the retreat was managed by our PhD spokespersons Ralf Schlesiger and Sina Zboron, with generous support from Meng Zheng, Sandra Hess, Sarah Wallrodt, Xiaohui Zhao and our administration office.

We were glad to see that a great number of doctoral researchers from Konstanz as well as from the KoRS-CB partner institutions followed our invitation. Doctoral students from Harvard Medical School/USA (Yuan Qiao, Marina Santiago, Alex George and Ken Skinner), Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur/India (Prathiba, Ashta Gupta), and Nanyang Technological University/Singapore (Dhirendra Singh, Ishani Dasgupta) joined us for three days of scientific talks and lively discussions.

On the second day we enjoyed a guided tour in the historic city of Tübingen, with focus on its scientific development. We had a great time despite the rainy weather. Furthermore, we were excited about the energetic participation and contribution of ideas of our keynote speakers Dr. Francesco Vinale (University of Naples), Dr. Robin Teufel (Universität Freiburg), Dr. Katrin Messerschmidt (Universität Potsdam), Prof. Dr. Harald Groß (Universität Tübingen), and Prof. Dr. Nathan W. Luedtke (University of Zurich).

We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous financial and material support. Our special thanks goes to SHIMADZU for awarding prizes to Annette Buntz for the best scientific talk, Sarah Wallrodt for the most innovative poster, and Alexander Finke for the best poster design. We congratulate the awarded doctoral researchers for their outstanding work and thank our members and guests for their contribution!

Impressions:


2014

KoRS-CB Retreat, 3 - 15 August in Bad Herrenalb

This year’s 6th annual retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology took place in Bad Herrenalb. The organisation was fully managed by a group of doctoral researchers.

Even if the weather was unusual for August, not only the better part of the doctoral students of Konstanz took part in this year’s retreat, but also a great number of students from our partner programmes of Harvard Medical School/USA, IIT Kanpur/India, NTU Singapore, University of Nankai/China and Zurich PhD Programme in Molecular Life Sciences/Switzerland. The scientific discussions and enthusiasm of the doctoral researchers were also cordially recognized by the keynote speakers Anne Bertolotti (Cambridge), Lothar Elling (Aachen), Matthias Mayer (Heidelberg), and Heinz Neumann (Göttingen). The poster session was enhanced by Klaus Roth (Berlin).

Funds were raised from Hettich, BASF, Promega, Biozym, BD, MCAT, New England Biolabs, and Qiagen. We would like to thank again our sponsors for their generous financial and material support! Thanks to them we were able to organise leisure activities like a barbecue and a tour on the spring adventure path. Here we would like to thank again Matthias Mayer for his outstanding performance in translating for our non-German speaking doctoral researchers. It was highly appreciated by everyone! With the raised funds, we were also able to award a poster prize to Ralf Schlesiger (KoRS-CB), and two speaker prizes: Martin Möckel (KoRS-CB) and Harshyaa Makhija (Singapore). Congratulations, too! We would like to thank everyone for the support in all areas related to organizing the Retreat!

Impressions:


2013

5th Annual KoRS-CB Retreat, 14 - 16 August in Gültstein

Traditionally in August, the doctoral researchers from KoRS-CB met for their 5th annual retreat. For the second year in a row the organising committee of doctoral researchers chose Herrenberg near Stuttgart and stayed at the Tagungszentrum Gültstein as hospitable environment for exchanging ideas and discussions. Together with fellows from the KoRS-CB partner institutions in Freiburg/Germany, Harvard/USA, Kanpur/India, Singapore and Zurich/Switzerland the doctoral researchers completed a packed programme. Invited speakers, Wolfgang Maison (Hamburg), Ivan Berg (Freiburg), Günter Mayer (Bonn) and Ralf Seidel (Münster) provided insights in their research.

The overall organisation was managed by a committee of doctoral researchers from KoRS-CB, who also raised funds from BASF, BD Biosciences, biomers.net, Grace, New England Biolabs, MCAT and Zeiss. As a result not only social events were financed but the group also awarded Benjamin Scheinhardt (KoRS-CB) and Linda Bengtsson (ETH Zurich) with the speaker resp. poster prize.

We thank all partners for their support!

Impressions:


2012

4th Annual Retreat in Herrenberg

In 2012, the annual retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology took place from 8 to 10 August in Herrenberg near Stuttgart. Within three days, doctoral researchers from Konstanz as well as from the KoRS-CB partner institutions in Harvard/USA, Kanpur/India, Nankai, Turku/Finland and Singapore got the chance to exchange ideas and to talk about research and other important affairs.

As in the years before, the overall organisation was completely managed by a committee of doctoral researchers. They invited renowned scientists like Prof. Harald Schwalbe (Universität Frankfurt), Prof. Rolf Knippers (University of Konstanz), and Prof. Helle Ulrich (Clare Hall Laboratories of the London Research Institute) as keynote speakers. Dr. Ralph Mazitschek from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, accompagnied PhD students from our partner programme and gave interesting insights by a talk.

The organising committee was successful, too, in raising funds for social events from BASF, Bruker, MCAT, Novartis and Zeiss. This enabled the group to award prizes for the best poster presentations and to organise common get togethers like a trip to Tübingen. Thus, we thank our partners for their support! 


"Scientifically inspiring - and great to explore culture and landscape": XXXIV Finnish NMR Symposium 13 -15 June 2012

15.06.2012, report by Zarko Kulic and Torben Seitz

“In Harjattula Manor, a resort on an island of the Turku archipelago in Finland, about 100 scientists gathered together at beautiful Finnish summer weather to discuss their latest results in NMR spectroscopy. The participants came from various universities and companies from Finland, Denmark, England, France, Italy, Sweden, and Germany. As participants from the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB), we were hosted by the National Graduate School of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the University of Turku as an academic partner of KoRS-CB. The talks of the conference were given by four keynote speakers and completed by 11 other talks of professors, junior group leaders, postdocs, and doctoral researchers. A poster session gave further opportunity to discuss scientific results. The main topics of the symposium covered NMR methods and the analysis of mixtures and natural compounds, but there were also talks about application of NMR in the biochemistry of polysaccharides and proteins. The social programme included a get-together evening with sauna, an original Finnish event, and an open air barbecue dinner. The next evening, the participants were transferred by boat to a small island called Pikku-Pukki where the conference dinner took place. In conclusion, the conference was a great event for two reasons: First of all, it was scientifically inspiring and secondly, it was great to explore the Finnish culture and landscape. Many thanks to our and the Finnish graduate school who gave us this opportunity!”

"Look behind the scenes of a huge university": Harvard retreat 2012

22.02.2012, report by Maike Voges and Michael Weiß

“From 8-20 January 2012 we participated in the Chemical Biology Boot Camp of Harvard University. It was the third time that doctoral researchers from our graduate school had the chance to attend this intensive course. An aim of this event was getting to know different basic methods or rather getting deeper insights into techniques which are important for students working at the cutting edge of biology and chemistry. The syllabus had a focus on modern high throughput screening methods and their broad potential of application, e.g. in drug development research or research of other pharmaceutical, medical, or cellular interest. The content of the course included data processing, metabolomics, proteomics, NMR, X-ray crystallography, small molecule microarrays and microscopical methods. In this context, the course was well structured, usually lectures in the morning were followed by lab training in the afternoons, so that enough time was spent on getting familiar with data handling and the usage of software, like GraphPad Prism, Cell Profiler, WinCoot, CCP4-Molecular Graphics and GenePattern. The course sessions took place either at the Harvard Campus, at the Harvard Medical School or at the Broad Institute. So, besides its content, it was very interesting to look behind the scenes of such a huge university with its affiliations, well equipped facilities and impressive laboratories. Despite the University's popularity, all the people were very nice and helpful, so meeting Pis or PhD students of different labs was very pleasant. Thanks to some friendly and open-minded lab members, Boston's and Cambridge's nightlife will also be left in good memory. The city of Boston is well honoured like its university. Founded in the early 17th century, a lot of important historical events took place in Boston leading to independence and the "first democracy". These historical places are still present and nowadays located in between office buildings and skyscrapers resulting in an interesting architectural contrast. Boston and Cambridge are only divided by the Charles River and both cities are easily explorable by foot. Cultural things like museums and live music in the bars make this metropolis of New England to a very likeable place. In total, we spent a great time in Boston thanks to all the people who made our stay so unforgettable.”

2011

Vihula Manor Summer School, Estonia

29.05.2011, participants: Joachim Braun, Tobias Strittmatter, Elisabeth Stürner, Maike Voges

“In the middle of the wonderful Estonian Lahemaa National Park, PhD students from the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology and from the Biology Department of the University of Konstanz came together with PhD students from the University of Tartu and supervisors from Stockholm, Cambridge, Konstanz, and Tartu to talk about scientific topics and to get to know each other.

During the day, very interesting student and keynote talks related to the topic "Protein Modification in Health and Disease" were given, followed by lively discussions about the presented results. In the evenings, different activities took place like guided tours through the oldest forest in Estonia, an excursion on the Baltic Sea and an evening with sauna and BBQ. Taken together, the retreat in Estonia was a successful event with exciting scientific parts and pleasant get togethers. We got insights into the respective research of the University of Tartu, the Karolinska Institute and Cambridge University. Furthermore, we could learn a little about Estonian culture and food, and we got the chance to meet international colleagues. Thus, many thanks to the organisers of this joint scientific event!”


3rd Annual Retreat in Blaubeuren: Contribution to a real doctoral culture

With 90 participants the third annual retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology was a student event that contributes to a doctoral culture in our graduate school. This year, the retreat took place from 6 - 8 April in Blaubeuren which is well known for the "Blautopf", the second largest spring in Germany that created a huge system of caves as well as numerous legends and folk tales.

Within three days, PhD students from Konstanz as well as from the KoRS-CB partner institutions in Harvard/USA, Kanpur/India, Turku/Finland, and Singapore got the chance to get to know each other, to exchange ideas, and to talk about research and other important affairs. The overall organisation was made by a PhD students committee. It is the merit of these PhD students to have attracted renowned scientists like Norbert Polacek (University of Innsbruck), Oliver Seitz (Humboldt University Berlin), Gottfried Schatz (University of Basel), and Kürsad Turgay (FU Berlin) as keynote speakers. Furthermore, Peter Dröge from our partner programme at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, gave insights into the scientific aims and education at the School of Biological Sciences.

The organizing committee was successful, too, in raising funds for the social events. We are proud that our distinguished industrial partners BASF, Bruker, Nycomed, and MCAT supported the programme by financing coffee breaks, speaker & poster awards, and social events. Thus, we express our thanks for the generous support!

Impressions:


Chemical Biology J-Term Boot Camp in Harvard January, 2011

14.02.2011, report by Camelia Vlad and Matthias Drum

“Hello and welcome to Harvard! For the second year in row, two students of the Graduate School Chemical Biology were invited to attend the "Boot Camp Course Chemical Biology", a series of lectures given by professors at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and MIT, including practical courses. We were the lucky ones and had a great experience. After going through numerous and meticulous inspections, a hallmark of the trips to the USA, and a quite long flight, we arrived in Boston, at six hours shift from the German time. Although Boston is known to be the most "european" city in USA, we were stroked by all the surrounding differences: the architecture (a unique combination of different styles), the cars (much bigger) and the people (very communicative ). The lectures were very interesting and dense. Professors from Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and MIT held interactive presentations on different areas like proteomics, mass spectrometry, NMR, light microscopy, statistics, high content Imaging, crystallography, organic synthesis, GenePattern, metabolomics and MatLab. The lectures were almost always combined with practical in the lab or exercises on the PC, giving us the opportunity to immediately apply some of the gained knowledge. But the most important benefit of the trip was the possibility to interact with the students and the professors. Especially as the Harvard programme is really small (only five students in a year) and quite international (one real American, two Canadians, one Singaporean and one Egyptian). So not only the lectures were really interactive but the lunch breaks as well. So all together plenty of time for scientific and nonscientific conversations. The established contacts will help us, and maybe some of our colleagues, on the following career steps. The free time activities were also a part of our visit and partly organized by students of the Harvard Chemical Biology programme. Boston is a nice city, filled with historical landmarks related to the declaration of independence of the United Stated. It has many interesting museums, like the Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Art and the MIT Museum, an impressing Public Library and several skyscrapers. And of cause some nice bars and pups as well (but the beer is quite bad and homebred by far the best). Only the weather was less friendly and because of a snow storm one lecture day had to be shifted. We thank the Graduate School for the extraordinary opportunity they offered us and we will try to share our experience with our colleagues by spreading as much information as possible about our trip and the people we met.”

2010

Scientific Trip to the Alps: Ph.D. retreat of Uni/ETH Zürich 2010

02.09.2010, report by Dana Pagliarini and Zarko Kulic

“The 7th “Molecular Life Science” retreat of the Zürich Ph.D. students took place from 2nd to the 4th of September 2010 in Chandolin, a small village in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Located at 1936 m above sea level in the Val d'Annivers, Chandolin offered an exceptional view of the Valais Alps. The Grand Hotel Chandolin was exclusively booked for the retreat to ensure a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for inspiring talks and discussions. At the same time, it was an excellent location for the organized leisure activities like hiking tours and barbecue evenings. During the three days, two poster sessions and eight student talks were complemented by keynote lectures given by four internationally renowned scientists: Prof. Jonathon Howard (Max-Planck-Institute, Dresden), Prof. Wolfgang Knoll (Austrian institute of Technology, Vienna), Prof. Ivo Sbalzarini (ETH Zürich) and Dr. Bojan Zagrovic (Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Vienna). While the poster sessions took place in the ground floor of the hotel itself, the talks were held in a seminar room in the town hall of Chandolin, which could be reached by a five minute walk. In conclusion, we really enjoyed the participation at a rather medically focused Ph.D. programme and hope that we will continue the exchange with the Zürich Ph.D. students.”

Impressions:


Great commitment - generous support! 2nd annual retreat of the KoRS-CB students

The second retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB) from 28 to 30 July 2010 attracted more than 70 participants. As in the year before, the retreat took place at Hornberg Castle which is nicely located in the Black Forest. For three days, PhD students from KoRS-CB and from the academic partners in Harvard, Turku, and Zurich got the chance to get to know each other and to exchange ideas.

The programme included three keynote talks of invited speakers from academia and industry, nine students talks, and poster sessions. Several events like a hiking tour and a social evening completed the beautiful stay. "We are proud that our PhD students have taken full responsibility for organising the programme" said the coordinator of KoRS-CB, Prof. Dr. Andreas Marx. "It is also their merit to have attracted renowned scientists as keynote speakers and to have created a professional booklet. We thank the whole team for their efforts and commitment!"

Several academic and industrial partners generously supported the retreat programme: BASF funded a social evening, CAAT-EU donated a prize for the best poster, Fisher Scientific and Invitrogen financed the coffee breaks, MCATendowed a speaker prize, and Qiagen supported the poster sessions.

Impressions:


"An amazing opportunity!" Erica Cirri and Timo Immel joined Harvard retreat in 2010

19.03.2010, report by Erica Cirri and Timo Immel

“Day one: after several security checks we were finally on the plane to Boston. And we were exited! We were going to visit Harvard University, the university with perhaps the best reputation in the world! As members of the Konstanz Graduate School Chemical Biology we were invited to attend the "Boot Camp Course Chemical Biology", a series of lectures given by professors at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and MIT, including practical courses. First of all, it was a really great time! Although not all of the course topics (MS, NMR, X-Ray Crystallography, Light Microscopy and others) were new for us, all the lectures were presented in a very interactive and stimulating way. We could visit the Harvard Medical School Campus (and part of MIT) and its facilities, as well as get in touch with many professors from different scientific fields. This gave us the chance to create important new contacts for the future, for collaborations or for PostDoc positions. The practical courses were really interesting and a good opportunity to come in closer contact with the Harvard students. Thanks to the hospitality of the Harvard students, who also housed us, we had the possibility to experience the student life in Boston, including city tours, parties and shopping on the weekends: a bit of holiday to relax from the Boot Camp course! As we made new friends and had a really good time, we were sad to leave after two weeks, but tried to save a little bit of the "Harvard spirit" for the work on our PhD theses. We really thank the Graduate School for giving us this amazing opportunity.”

2009

1st KoRS-CB Retreat 2009

The first retreat of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology took place from 27 till 29 May  2009 in the beautiful Black Forest region. The meeting combined an inspiring scientific programme with social events.

In poster presentations and talks, the doctoral students not only from Konstanz but also from the KoRS-CB partners in Harvard, Zurich, and Turku had the opportunity to present and discuss their research with other fellows and senior scientists, allowing them to gain new insights and to broaden their scientific network. Prof. Ulrike Eggert (Harvard Medical School) and Prof. Eric Meggers (University of Marburg) as keynote speakers present their contributions to the field of chemical biology.

In addition to the scientific part, the location Hornberg castle provided the ideal setting for social activities. Well-fitting with the historic background of the place, the students had the opportunity to participate in an archery competition and to enjoy a medieval knight's dinner. Especially the international students gained insight into the medieval history of a foreign country.