Joint German-Israeli International Summer School „Neuronal Control of Behavior“ in Eilat, Israel
From September 3rd-10th the students from the Elite Master Program “Biomedical Neuro-science” (BmN) visited the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences at the Red Sea – to attend the first joint summer school of Hebrew University’s Safra Center and the BmN.
After traveling across the Negev desert, the Munich program’s students spent an intense week of hands-on work and lectures on behavioural neuroscience in health and disease together with ten students from neuroscience programs in Israel. The lab work was flanked by lectures by twelve renowned scientists from Germany and Israel ranging in topic from recent achievements in neuroscience technology, neurological disease research and studying animal behavior. The Israeli speakers came from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. From Germany, speakers from the Technical University of Munich, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology presented their scientific work. The course was designed to foster intensive scientific exchange between students to discuss scientific questions and science careers; moreover, the on-site presence of faculty ensured networking and mentoring opportunities. After morning lectures, the students trained in groups during afternoon lab sessions to perform different behavioral tasks for rodents and to use optical tools to study and manipulate the neuronal activity underlying behavior. Experiments were followed by software-based data evaluation of the experiments under supervision of experts in this field from Israel and Germany followed by a daily wrap evening-up session. For the last three days the students developed their own short scientific projects, which they conducted using newly acquired experimental and analysis skills. The students presented their results in a last-day mini symposium. Beside this intense scientific program, numerous social events - including guided snorkeling in the Red Sea, a kibbutz dinner and a hike through the desert - facilitated the interactions between Israeli and German students. Overall, this first Eilat summer school successfully kicked-off the close collaboration between the Master program “Biomedical Neuroscience” and its Israeli partner programs.