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Official welcome for new EMBO Members in Heidelberg

 The 2017 EMBO members standing in a group


Heidelberg, 8 November 2017 – “As a student and postdoc, reading about scientists being elected as EMBO Members was something that felt miles away, something that would happen to excellent, ‘grown-up’ scientists,” says Renata Basto from the Institut Curie in Paris, France, about being elected to the EMBO Membership this year.


 “Being elected feels almost like passing the finish line – like an acknowledgement that I am not a junior scientist anymore,” she continues. “But it is not only about recognition by my peers. It is also about recognition of the originality of the work that we, as a lab, have been developing. And that is highly motivating.”


The EMBO Membership encompasses more than 1700 of the best life scientists in Europe and around the world. Members and associate members are elected on the basis of their outstanding achievements in the life sciences. “I was pleased to welcome an additional 65 great scientists to our organisation this year,” says EMBO Director Maria Leptin. “We received more nominations than ever before during this election cycle, which pays tribute to the strength and diversity of the European life sciences.”


Connecting with each other


In order to celebrate their election, each year EMBO invites all new members to a formal meeting in Heidelberg, which also offers an opportunity to find out more about the organization.


This year’s EMBO Members’ Meeting took place between 18 and 20 October 2017. 58 new members elected in the last few years were joined in Heidelberg by 19 of their nominators (namely, previously elected members) for three days of presentations and discussions. Each of the new members presented their research in a short talk. A welcome reception at the EMBO building offered members an opportunity to meet each other as well as EMBO employees in an informal setting.


Roberto Sitia from the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy, who was elected as an EMBO Member in 1992 and has attended several of these meetings, particularly values the opportunity to meet researchers from other disciplines. He explains: “the trend of modern science often forces people to follow their own discipline in depth, and sometimes one forgets to regard and enjoy the work of ‘research neighbours’.”


An integral part of EMBO


The participants at the Members’ Meeting also heard from Maria Leptin and EMBO Head of Scientific Publications Bernd Pulverer about the ongoing activities and some of the latest initiatives at EMBO and EMBO Press. Whether it is through formal roles on EMBO Council or an EMBO Committee, or more informally, through providing feedback or insight on topics relating to EMBO activities, EMBO Members are an integral part of the organization.


For Sitia, who served on the Courses and Science & Society Committees in the past, participation in EMBO activities has two main advantages. He explains: “You are part of an equilibrium: you give back some of what you are given in return. And you get to meet interesting people and receive different views.”


Newly elected EMBO Member Panayiota Poirazi from the IMBB-FORTH, Heraklion, Greece adds: “As an EMBO Young Investigator, I already benefited from many of the organization’s activities. Therefore, I sincerely appreciate the effort and commitment required by EMBO Members to maintain the organization’s very high standards and expand to new horizons. That’s why I’m eager to help towards this challenging goal.”


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Tilmann KießlingTilmann Kießling
Head, Communications
T. + 49 160 9019 3839