￼US Fellows’ Meeting at Rockefeller University
120 past and present EMBO FELLOWS came to the three-day meeting held in New York in November 2012. This biennial US meeting brings together fellows in a friendly atmosphere to share experiences and establish new collaborations and contacts.
Europe. Flames Bonilla from the Institute of Biomedicine in Valencia, Spain, gave a talk on Conserved regulatory logic of dopaminergic differentiation and also told the story about her move from New York City to Valencia.
Former EMBO Fellow Thomas Schwarz- Romond from The EMBO Journal gave a glimpse behind the rationale of scientific publishing from the perspective of a not-for-profit science- funding organization. His talk focused on the editorial processes developed at EMBO publica- tions, recent innovations such as the Transparent Editorial Process and EMBO efforts to improve the reliability and availability of original source- data. He also contrasted the business model of highly selective titles with recent trends towards mass publication or fully subsidized publications. During a lively discussion Thomas answered questions regarding editorial policies, author/ referee confidentiality and the general impact of Open Access.
“The quality of scientific talks and posters was excellent and we received extremely posi- tive feedback from the participants,” concluded Andrea Hutterer, fellowship programme manager and meeting organizer. “This forum is impor- tant as it enables current and previous EMBO fellows to network and keep ties with European research,” she added.
Around one third of the approximately 250 EMBO Long-Term Fellowships given every year are awarded to European post-doctor-
al researchers going to a non-EMBC member state. The majority of those go to North America. The high numbers show that the United States and Canada are still popular destinations for young, aspiring life scientists. To make them aware of the job opportunities back in Europe and to set up a platform for communication and exchange, the EMBO Fellowship programme organized a meet- ing at the Rockefeller University in November 2012 – the fifth US Fellows’ meeting. 120 past and present fellows came to the event and enjoyed two full days of excellent presentations and social events.
Scientific presentations by EMBO Fellows on their ongoing research filled the major part of the meeting. Neurosciences, epigenetics, RNA biol- ogy molecular medicine, plant biology, stem cell biology, computational biology – the wide range of topics showed that the fellowship programme supports well-established but also emerging fields. The fifteen-minute presentations were
complemented by talks on scientific publications, science policy and career opportunities. Donald Dingwell, Secretary General of the European Research Council (ERC) spoke about the funding opportunities at the ERC. The ERC starting grants aim to attract and retain the next generation of independent research leaders.
Former fellows who returned to Europe after pursuing a career in the US spoke about how they benefitted from swapping continents. “It was good to hear the individual stories of young group leaders and how they decided on their personal priorities when coming back to Europe,” said Sebastian Pechmann from Stanford University.
“I particularly liked Nuria Flames Bonilla’s and Harald Janovjak’s talks,” commented Mehmet Somel, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California in Berkeley. “Both speakers empha- sized how important it is to create a prosocial lab environment and to be most careful when choosing initial team members.” Janovjak from the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria spoke about his transition from a postdoctoral researcher in the US to assistant professor in
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