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RTG reloc Day

December 13th, 2022. On our RTG reloc day, we enjoyed listening to the research updates of our RTG reloc students. Within short talks of only 10 min, our students were challenged to introduced their research question, present important milestones of their PhD projects and highlight the importance of collaborative work within our RTG. Thank you for your exciting presentations, the lively discussions and joining our Christmas get-together.

Workshop: "Resilience and Well-Being in Academia"

October 6th, 2022. Today, our PhD students had the opportunity to take a break from the busy lab life to learn more about “Resilience and Well-Being in Academia”. They explored healthy approaches to cope with stress during their PhD and how to stay motivated and creative. Thank you very much to Desiree Dickerson for coming to Cologne and spending the day with our students.

"Women on the go - from academia to industry"

September 2nd, 2022. For this year's gender & diversity event, we invited two successful women who made their way to the industry sector. Dr. Nina Möker R&D Manager Allogeneic Cell Therapy (Miltenyi Biotec) and Vanessa Rühmann Exec. Director, Head of Quality, Efficiency & Innovation (Kienbaum) shared inspiring stories about their individual career paths, how they balance family and work life, and gave the audience inspiration for possible future career choices. Thank you very much to the speakers, Prof. Dr. Natalia Kononenko for hosting the event and our PhD students Sarah Gerlich and Bruna Martins Garcia for the organization.

Reloc Seminar - Prof. Michael Knop

On June 23rd 2022, the RTG reloc students welcomed Prof. Michael Knop from the ZMBH of the University of Heidelberg. We were introduced to the new methods and technologies developed in his lab to answer fundamental questions of cell biology. Prof. Knop illustrated how his group is contributing to study proteome dynamics and presented diverse applications of the experimental methodologies used in his lab. The seminar touched upon topics closely related to the focus of our studies, like the spatio-temporal organisation of the proteome, proteostasis and cellular protein quality control. The talk was extremely inspiring for our research. (Giada, Phillip, Skyler)

Katharina wins the Förderpreis of the Department of Chemistry

July 6th, 2022. Congratulations to our PhD student Katharina Stillger (Neundorf lab)! After winning the first prize at the Dies Biochemicus, where she presented the results of her Master Thesis “Using an S-palmitoylation motif to intracellularly modulate the activity of a cell penetrating peptide”, she represented the Biochemistry at the Dies Chemicus and won the Förderpreis of the Department of Chemistry. Well done, Katharina!

From June 8th -10th, 2022, we had our second scientific workshop “Dipping into the world of (bio)molecules: From design and synthesis to biological and clinical application” which was organized by the Neundorf lab. Our PhD students heard an exciting mix of talks about academic and industrial research, gained insights into clinical trials, visited core facilities and enjoyed the networking opportunities during our social get-togethers. Thank you to all the guest speakers for coming to Cologne and sharing their fascinating research with us!

Reloc Seminar - Prof. Sebastian Jessberger

April 8th, 2022. This year the RTG reloc Seminar Series will be organized by our PhD students themselves. This means that they will take turns inviting speakers based on their research interests, making for an academically diverse series of talks. First to be invited was Prof. Sebastian Jessberger from the Brain Research Institute based at the University of Zurich, where his research focusses on the mechanisms underlying adult neurogenesis. In his talk he presented novel tools to visualize neural stem cell dynamics via intravital imaging and offered us insight into how lipid metabolism can affect cellular polarity in the developing cortex. In the evening our students also had the opportunity to discuss more informally with our guest while having dinner together. We thank Prof. Jessberger for coming to Cologne, sharing his research with us, and spending the day with our students!

 

Despite having high potential to pursue academic careers, most graduates proceed with non-academic endeavors. To prepare our PhD students for this career path, we decided to collaborate with the Cologne Business School. The Bench-to-Business Course started in December 2021 and will consist of 5 modules that will introduce our students to business and management basics and give them an insight into potential career options.

Proteomics Workshop

From November 9th -11th, 2021, we had our first scientific workshop which was organized by the Krüger lab. Within these three days, our PhD students learnt about the basics of proteomics and tools for data analysis and visualization. On top of this, remarkable invited internal and external speakers gave us an insight into the wide range of applications: Tanja Bange (TU Munich; N-terminal acetylation), Sara Zanivan (University of Glasgow, UK; Cysteine oxidation), Charo Robles (LMU Munich; Circadian rhythm), Jörn Dengjel (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland; Phosphorylation in autophagy), Philipp Antczak (CMMC Cologne; Data integration), Hendrik Nolte (MPI Age Cologne; InstantClue visualization training), and Frederik Dethloff (MPI Age Cologne; Metabolomics).

First RTG reloc Retreat

October 2021. We were finally able to hold our first internal retreat including PhD students and PIs from the 13th to the 15th of October in Rösrath’s GENO Hotel.

The retreat was organized by our PhD students, with the first day dedicated to them exclusively. It featured a workshop in science communication held by Eva Mühle, discussion of the RTG’s plans for the coming year, and an evening campfire at an old mill in the area.

On the following two days the PIs were included and the PhD students gave presentations on specific methodologies used by their labs. In addition, they had the opportunity to discuss the current state of their individual research projects during poster sessions.

 After a stretch of no in-person events all of us were thrilled to be able to come together like this again. With a rekindled spirit of cooperation and enthusiasm the RTG is looking forward to 2022!

Workshop: Unconscious Bias in Science

February 24th, 2021. Dr. Lina Vollmer (Department for Gender and Diversity Management, University of Cologne) gave an introduction to discrimination and exclusion processes in science. She focused on the questions how unconscious bias has an influence on performance expectancies; function and dynamics of stereotypes within the natural sciences and ways to prevent and intervene.

Workshop: Supervision of Bachelor & Master Students

December 9th, 2020. PhD students often supervise Bachelor and Master students during their PhD without any prior experience in teaching. To fill this gap, we organized a workshop consisting of a lecture by Dr. Hendrik den Ouden (Center of Advanced Teaching and Learning of the University of Cologne) on „Good Practices in Supervision of a BA/MA Thesis“ followed by a discussion round comparing different views on good supervision being a PI (Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen); Postdoc: Filip Liebsch (Schwarz lab); PhD student: Vincent Anton (Escobar lab) and Master student: Lidwina Hasberg. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Katerina Vlantis. Thank you to all the participants!

First RTG reloc Science Slam

October 10th, 2020. To celebrate the inauguration of out new administrative team member (who does not have a background in science, no less), we held our very first Science Slam. The rules were simple: explain your project without assuming any expert knowledge at all, in three minutes only. Ebru, Santiago, Emanuel, Konstantin, Theresa, Hélène, and Nele took on the challenge.  Drawing not just on their expertise, but also on their creativity, they explained their research topics, ranging from neurodegeneration and neurogenesis to questions surrounding the role of mitochondria in aging processes, utilizing anything from Pac-Man and self-made comics to animal allegories.

            While being fun, however, the core idea of the Slam event was quite serious. The ability to communicate scientific knowledge outside of an academic setting is extremely important, but, at the same time, is also rarely part of any formal education. Explaining your PhD project to your grandparents can already be a big challenge in a lot of cases, but the stakes of communicating scientific insights and understandings to a broader public are much higher. It is great to see then that our PhDs are capable of managing that challenge so gracefully. We’re looking forward to a possible part two of the event, stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you!

July 17th, 2020. Today our students completed their Introductory Course. This is the view they shared for the last two weeks. Thank you all for participating! We hope that you enjoyed the course and took home some valuable ideas for your PhD projects.

Introductory Course

July 3rd, 2020. We are excited to start our endeavor with 22 highly motivated PhD students! Next to the scientific “sunrise lectures” presented by our RTG PIs, our students will spend the first week learning about the principles of good scientific conduct and project management.

RTG reloc Welcome Package

July 1st, 2020. We celebrate the official start of our RTG reloc and adapt to PhD life during Corona times with an unusual welcome gift!