ECN Regensburg


Neurizons Conference, Göttingen

By Isabell Gehring

In the end of May ECN students had the opportunity to attend the Neurizons Conference in Göttingen. The meeting was organized by graduate students of the International Max Planck Research School for Neuroscience. As most of us visited the Ninth Goettingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society in March, only a small group participated in the Neurizons Conference.

The biennial meeting with the title "Neurizons 2011: From Molecules to Mind - Making Sense of the Brain" took place at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. As most of the participants were as we, master or graduate students, a platform for scientific exchange between internationally acclaimed senior scientists and young researchers working in different areas of neuroscience was provided.

The meeting, which lasted for four days was a great experience: Not only the highclass lectures, but also the contacts to scientists and to other students, as well as the diverse evening program were really great fun.
It was divided into different sessions, reaching from behavior and cognition over synaptic physiology, circuits& computation, neuronal dysfunction, development and plasticity to emerging techniques.

After the official welcoming the first day started with the topic behavior and cognition, where Jan Born spoke about memory consolidation during sleep. Later we got to know amazing facts about the neuronal basis of learning and memory in honeybees by Randolf Menzel, furthermore we were informed about the neurology of creativity by Rex Jung. In the evening you could attend a sightseeing tour through the university town Goettingen. We admired the great hall and the Karzer, where in mischievous students were jailed during the 19th century.

The next day the synaptic physiology session look place. There especially the lecture of Tobias Bonhoeffer, who showed how experience changes the circuit of the brain, must be mentioned. In the afternoon the keynote lecture was given by Rodolfo Llinás, who is expert in various fields of neuroscience, like electrophysiology, magnetoencephalography and synaptic transmission. His presentation was one of the highlights of the conference just as the following poster session with cheese and wine.

During the third day, sessions in the field of neural dysfunction and development and plasticity were held. In the morning Pico Caroni spoke about ALS, Robert Franklin about CNS remyelination and Christian Haass about the cellbiology of Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia and ALS. After Lunch Magdalena Götz gave an very interesting lecture about neurogenesis, and epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation were addressed by David Sweatt. After having beer and sausages during the poster presentation, the Conference Party took place. This was a great opportunity to socialize with students and senior scientists from all over the world.

The last day of the conference was under the sign of emerging techniques. Xiaowei Zhuang focused on nanoscopic imaging with stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) and Karl Deisseroth lectured the development and application of Optogenetics.

Finally I would like to mention that Neurizons was not only a great chance to get in close contact to a various field of research but motivated me for performing research. Therefore I want to thank the ECN Programm for giving us the chance for visiting this exciting meeting.

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