The Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen

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Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Auf dem ‚fast track‘ zur
Promotion
International MSc/PhD Programs
Neurosciences and
Molecular Biology in Göttingen
Michael Hörner
www.uni-goettingen.dex
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Facts and Figures
The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Key Data
ƒ founded in 1737
ƒ 13 faculties, 180 institutes
ƒ 25,000 students (compared to
130,000 citizens of Göttingen)
ƒ 12 % students from abroad (37 % in
the natural sciences at graduate level)
ƒ 1,300 research cooperations in 80
countries
ƒ one of 9 German universities awarded
by the Excellence Competition
Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen
The Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen
Max Planck Institute for
Biophysical Chemistry
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics
and Self-Organization
Max Planck Institute for the Study
of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Max Planck Institute for
Experimental Medicine
Max Planck Institute for Solar
Systems Research (near Göttingen)
Source: J. Winkler
The Göttingen Natural
Sciences
Research Community
The
North Campus
University and Max Planck Institutes Collaboration in Research and Training in the Natural Sciences
The Göttingen Natural Sciences Research Community
Neuroscience Program IMPRS:
Molecular Biology IMPRS
6
Participating Institutions
7
2
5
1
9
8
4
3
1. Uni-Bio (Biology: Institute of Microbiology
and Genetics)
6. MPI-bpc (Max Planck Institute for
Biophysical Chemistry
2. Uni-Med (Medicine: University Hospital)
7. MPI-ds (Max Planck Institute for Dynamics
and Self-Organization
3. Uni-Phy (Physics: New Physics Building)
4. Uni-Che (Chemistry: Organic, Inorganic
and Physical Chemistry)
5. European Neuroscience Institute (ENI-G)
8. MPI-em (Max Planck Institute for
Experimental Medicine)
9. DPZ (Leibniz Institute: German Primate
Center)
The Göttingen Natural Sciences Research Community
in
5m
10
mi
n
The Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and
Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)
Concept of GGNB
GGNB forms a common roof for thematically focused doctoral programs in
the molecular life sciences and the neurosciences regarding ...
ƒ Training
ƒ Measures for quality assurance
ƒ International recruitment
ƒ Examinations and degrees
ƒ Service and organization
The Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and
Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)
Key Features
ƒ MSc degree as entry level
ƒ interview-based student selection
ƒ 3 (+ 1) year PhD projects
ƒ thesis committees
ƒ methods courses
ƒ professional skills & language courses
ƒ industry excursions
ƒ student-organized conferences
ƒ gender equality measures
ƒ cultural events
GGNB doctoral programs as the
student‘s “home base“
individually tailored curriculum in
English
The Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and
Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)
The Doctoral Programs of GGNB
ƒ Molecular Biology (MSc/PhD)
ƒ Neurosciences (MSc/PhD/MD-PhD)
ƒ Biomolecules: Structure – Function – Dynamics
ƒ Biology of Microbial, Animal and Plant Cells
ƒ Molecular Biology of Development and Interaction between Organisms
ƒ Physics and Advanced Microscopy of Biological Systems
ƒ Molecular Physiology of the Brain
ƒ Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience
ƒ Sensory and Motor Neuroscience
ƒ Systems Neuroscience
currently 141 faculty members - up to 400 PhD students
The International MSc/PhD Programs
in Molecular Biology & Neurosciences
ƒ created in 2000
ƒ integrated MSc/PhD programs
- BSc degree as entry level
- one year of MSc-level courses
- performance-based, direct transfer
to PhD project
The International MSc/PhD Programs
in Molecular Biology & Neurosciences
A success story!
ƒ heavily oversubscribed
10-20 applicants / place
ƒ concepts adopted by many
programs in Germany
DAAD & Stifterverband Award 2006
... and the students ...
The International MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program
Max Planck Research School Neurosciences IMPRS
Key Features
• All courses newly established
• Four year program from the BS to the PhD
¾ lectures (open to all university students)
• International
¾ 60-70% students from abroad
¾ tutorials (groups of 10 students)
¾ from admission to graduation in English
¾ methods courses (groups of 5 students)
¾ lab rotations (3 individual projects)
• 20 students per year, individually selected by
a three-step evaluation procedure
¾ seminars (2 presentations per student)
• Intensive course program (1st year)
• Research-oriented training
¾ no semester structure
• Direct admission to PhD program after 1 year
(without MSc thesis = ‚fast track‘)
¾ 90 credits
Entry
(BSc)
Examinations
(written/oral)
Doctoral Thesis
Thesis Defense
PhD/MD-PhD/
Dr. rer. nat.
Doctoral Program (30 Credits)
First segment
(90 Credits)
0
MSc
Thesis
1
MSc degree
2
Year
3
4
The International MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program
Max Planck Research School Neurosciences IMPRS
Applications:
83
159
172
(2000)
(2001)
(2002)
164
227
213
253
150
176
(2003)
(2004)
(2005)
(2006)
(2007)
(2008)
Selection / Admission
• STEP1: written application documents
• STEP2: written subject test
• STEP3: personal interviews
(in Göttingen or by video conference)
The International MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program
Max Planck Research School Neurosciences IMPRS
Ranking of Application Documents
• First screening (esp. India and China)
• Circulation of selected applications (among 6 faculty members)
• Shortlist for written subject test (approx. 50% of all applications)
Written Subject Test
• 2,5h multiple choice test
• 3 sections (biology, chemistry, physics)
• offered in home countries / towns
¾ DAAD offices
¾ Goethe Institutes
¾ German embassies
¾ scientific contacts
• 108 participants at 54 locations in 31 countries (2008)
(since 2000: 1597 applicants, > 750 participants > 120 locations in > 50 countries)
The International MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program
Max Planck Research School Neurosciences IMPRS
Doctoral Program: Overview
• Emphasis on doctoral research project
• Supervision by doctoral advisory
committee (Thesis Committee)
• Curricular Requirements (credits)
• Scientific colloquia and seminars
• International research conferences
• Serving as teaching assistants / tutors
• Special courses
• Electives
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Advanced Methods Courses
Typically 2-4 days, small groups of students
34 courses offered in 2006 – 52 courses offered in 2007 continuously enlarged and improved
•
Working with protein structures – computer-based data analysis
•
Analysis of gene expression (whole mount in situ hybridization, RT-PCR)
•
Methods for stuyding secretion: Patch clamp, amperometry, TIRFM
•
Introduction to animal experiments
•
Microbial imaging – Confocal laserscan microscopy and other techniques
•
Analysis of gene function (mRNA injection, animal cap assay)
•
Biochemical analysis of SNARE-mediated membrane fusion
•
Cell migration and development of zebrafish
•
Application of FRET microscopy techniques to measure protein interactions and activity
•
Molecular Biology of yeast: Applications of the „Tandem Affinity Purification“ tag in yeast with wild type and mutant
background
•
Generation of transgenic embryos
•
Parental RNAi in Tribolium
•
Sequence analysis of proteins and their post-translational modifications by MALDI-TOoF and electrospray ionization
(ESI) mass sprectrometry
•
Introduction to micorarray analysis (1 week, full day, lecture and exercises)
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Professional Skills Courses 2007/2008
Course on Scientific Communication
Dr. Heather Sylin Roberts (New Zealand) - 3-4 day block seminar (article, poster, oral presentations), offered
annually since 2001
Course on Science and Medical Writing for the Public
Dr. Janet Yagoda Shagham (USA) – 5-6 day seminar workshop, offered since 2005
Seminar on Bioethics and Research Ethics
Dr. Roberto Andorno (Argentina) - Weekend seminar, offered annually since 2001
Intercultural Communication Workshop
A. & S. Petersen (Aachen) - Weekend workshop / retreat in collaboration with PhD programs in Ulm & Hannover,
offered annually since 2004
Schering AG Berlin: The Drug Discovery Process
Dr. B. Seilheimer (Berlin) - Kickoff meeting & 2-day workshop in GÖ & Berlin excursion, offered annually since 2004
Industry Excursions
1-2 day excursion, first excursion: Solvay Pharma, Sartorius AG, Qiagen, BASF (twice per year)
Career Seminar (organized by doctoral students (MPI-bpc + MPI-em + GZMB)
1-h Wednesday talks by invited speakers 6-8 times per year
The International MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program
Max Planck Research School Neurosciences IMPRS
Neurizons symposium
organized by the
Neuroscience students
held as a regular bi-annual meeting
organized by PhD students
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Extracurricular Activities
• Culture Nights (7-8 per year)
• Poetry Nights
• Chinese New Year
• Indian Nights
• Balkan-Anatolian Night
• Carnival
• Latin-American Night
• Christmas Parties
• Irish Night
• Movie Nights
• Drama Group
• German-Swiss Night
• Culture Quiz Night
• Casino Night …
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
New Industry Co-operation
since 2006:
Sartorius stedim AG Göttingen
Industry LabRotations
co-operation since 2006
Sartorius Biotechnicum Labs
Projects for LR2 + LR3 2007/08
The International MSc/PhD Programs
in Molecular Biology & Neurosciences
66 students have graduated so far ...
Average duration of PhD thesis
3.3 years
Average age at PhD graduation
27.4 years
Dropout rate (early termination of PhD project)
3 percent
Average number of published articles derived from PhD thesis
2.9
Average Science Citation Index of published articles
8.2*
Number of published articles in 2004 – 2007 (June)
170**
PhD graduates currently on postdoc positions
87 percent
*42 articles with SCI > 10
** 101 arcticles (59 %) as 1st author
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION !
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Extracurricular Activities
• Industry Excursions (1-2 per year)
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research Schools Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Extracurricular Activities
• Cultural Excursions (1-2 per year)
• Goslar / Rammelsberg
• Harz Mountains / Brocken Summit
• Grenzlandmuseum Teistungen
• Weimar / Buchenwald (07/2006)
The International MSc/PhD Programs
Max Planck Research School Neuro/MolBio IMPRS
Quality Control - Program
• Internal Evaluations
¾ mid-term meetings
¾ curricular planning meetings
¾ online evaluations of courses
• External Evaluations
¾ DAAD: evaluations 2001, 2003, 2005
¾ ZEvA Hannover: accreditation 12/03
¾ MWK: evaluation 2004
¾ MPG (IMPRS): evaluation 2005
¾ DAAD/Stifterverb.: TOP 10 2006
¾ Excellence Award 2007
GGNB doctoral programs: Physics & Advanced Microscopy
Major Research Topics
ƒ biomolecular dynamics
ƒ supramolecular machineries
ƒ membrane fusion
ƒ cell dynamics and biochemical
networks
ƒ nonlinear dynamics, soft matter,
complex fluids
ƒ sub-wavelength light microscopy
ƒ X-ray microscopy
ƒ ultrafast laser spectroscopy
ƒ AFM, single molecules
GGNB doctoral programs: Physics & Advanced Microscopy
Methods and Training
Highres. Xray lenses
Liquid jets
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
nanoscale optics and imaging
single molecules, AFM, EM
optical trapping
X-ray imaging
Xray, NMR, ssNMR, high field EPR
ultrafast spectroscopy
theoretical biophysics & atomistic
simulations
ƒ Linux course & computational physics
ƒ (non-equilibrium) statistical mechanics
Major facilities
3200 processor cores
Sub-wavelength
light microscopy
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
sub-wavelength light microscopy
X-ray / cryo EM
supercomputer-cluster
nano- / microfabrication
The Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and
Molecular Biosciences (GGNB)
The Doctoral Programs of GGNB
ƒ Molecular Biology (MSc/PhD)
ƒ Neurosciences (MSc/PhD)
ƒ Biomolecules: Structure – Function – Dynamics
ƒ Biology of Microbial, Animal and Plant Cells
ƒ Molecular Biology of Development and Interaction between Organisms
ƒ Physics and Advanced Microscopy of Biological Systems
ƒ Molecular Physiology of the Brain
ƒ Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience
ƒ Sensory and Motor Neuroscience
ƒ Systems Neuroscience
GGNB doctoral programs: Molecular Physiology of the Brain
Major Research Topics
ƒ neurogenesis
ƒ synaptogenesis
ƒ molecular biology of the
presynapse
ƒ Neuronal network
ƒ neurodevelopmental disorders
ƒ neurological and psychiatric
diseases:
- Parkinson’s disease
- other aggregopathies
- schizophrenia
- autism
GGNB doctoral programs: Molecular Physiology of the Brain
Methods and Training
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
electrophysiology
protein expression and purification
neuron cell culture
immunocytochemistry & immuno EM
live cell imaging
mouse embryonic stem cell
manipulations and transgenesis
ƒ genetic manipulations (Drosophila,
C. elegans)
Major facilities
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
proteomics
electron microscopy
confocal imaging
STED microscopy
mouse/rat behavioral unit
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