NEWS FROM ThE EMBO cOMMUNITY New fellowship opportunities EMBO and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), offer joint fellowships for clinicians. Financial resources for young clinicians who want to try their hands at basic research have been drastically reduced over the last few years, mainly due to the economic crisis that also affect- ed the national health systems. “The number of European physicians spending time at the bench has continually decreased,” says Robert Bals, research director of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the leading European society of nearly 10 000 physicians and clinical scientists working in the field of respiratory diseases. To tackle this problem, the ERS approached EMBO last year with the idea of establishing joint fellow- ships that would be financed and managed by both organizations. “EMBO is a natural partner for us as it offers a highly differentiated fellow- ship programme for basic researchers,” says Bals. As a result, EMBO and ERS launched a joint fellowship programme designed for clinicians who work in the field of respiratory medicine last December. The goal of this initiative is to encour- age collaboration and to bring more clinicians into basic science – at least for a few months. “It is in the interest of EMBO to attract clinicians to basic research,” says Andrea Hutterer, fellow- ships manager at EMBO. “Partnership with a large medical society like the ERS will not only enhance exchange between clinicians and researchers, but also raise our visibility within the clinical community.” Two long-term fellowships for up to one year and four short-term fellowships for one to three months will be offered each year. Programme details can be found at: ers-embo-fellowships.html INFO BOx | A CAREER AS CLINICAL SCIENTIST With translational research gaining momentum, the need for clini- cal scientists who are trained in basic research and medicine is increasing. “Physicians and basic researchers who often work side by side in translational research centers do not necessarily speak the same language,” says Dominik Hartl, professor and head of a research group at the University of Tübingen. After obtaining a degree in medicine, Hartl received a fellowship from the German Research Foundation and spent two years at Yale University in the United States, where he gained experience in state-of-the-art techniques in pulmonology and immunology. Back in Germany, he started his own research group and was appointed research professor at the University of Tübingen. The 35-year-old says that the time he spent at Yale reinforced his desire to be an independent researcher. Nowadays, however, the extra time required for well-designed research projects that encompass clinical education is often a matter of tedi- ous negotiations and requires a lot of motivation. “Yet this is the way to go,” he is convinced. “Physician scientists are indispensable for translational research projects.” Dominik Hartl Cancer focus group EMBO YOUNG INVESTIGATORS met recently for a sectoral meeting in Heidelberg. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss some of the latest developments in cancer research. areas. They also unite scientists who work on different model systems and employ a wide range of techniques. The latest meeting was held in November 2012 and organized by Eric So, professor and chair of Leukaemia Biology at King’s College in London. Thirteen group leaders from all over Europe came to Heidelberg to present their latest results in areas such as new therapeutics to target leukae- mias, signalling aspects in cancer development and global approaches to examine the inflam- masome in the control of cellular senescence. The EMBO Journal editors Bernd Pulverer and Thomas Schwarz-Romond, who also attended the meeting, answered questions about general edito- rial policies and the possibility to submit papers or specific reviews. “The meeting benefited from the useful input of The EMBO Journal editors and has triggered many fruitful collaborations among the partici- pants,” commented Eric So. The results present- ed by François Fuks from the Free University of Brussels were subsequently published in The EMBO Journal at the end of January. (doi: 10.1038/emboj.2012.357) Evening dinner after cancer sectoral meeting The EMBO Young Investigator Programme funds a number of specialized meetings every year. Members of the network form focus groups and get together to discuss their ongoing research in systems biology, genomic instability, cancer and other topics. The informal sectoral meetings bring together scientists who work in the same fields but who are investigating different research 8 EMBOencounters | Winter 2012|2013 | ©2013 EMBO © Private © University of Tübingen