We were delighted to welcome IMPRS-LS students on our annual IMPRS-LS retreat, which this year took place on 25th – 27th September in beautiful Allgäu, in Haus Zauberberg. Deciding to take advantage of the fantastic weather on our arrival, we enjoyed a short hike (with only a small accidental detour) to the nearby ruins of the castles Hohenfreyberg and Eisenberg. On our return, we were greeted with a delicious and traditional Bavarian dinner. Following dinner, students were able to relax and enjoy the facilities Haus Zauberberg had to offer.
Our retreat this year was centered on the theme of “Methods and Cutting Edge Technologies”. On Monday, we were very happy to be able to welcome various speakers from the institute and from the LMU who spoke in detail about their area of expertise with a small group of students. Former IMPRS-LS student Arunas Damijonaitis and current IMPRS-LS student Hakan Kucukdereli discussed “Optogenetics and Photopharmacology” in their session. Sebastian Bultmann and Christopher Mulholland from the LMU explored the topic of “CRISPR/Cas”. IMPRS-LS faculty member Franz Herzog and his student Victor Solis discussed “Chemical Crosslinking and Mass Spectrometry in Structural Biology”. Alex Ghanem from the LMU covered the topic of “Viral Tracing”. IMPRS-LS faculty member Jürgen Cox discussed “Computational proteomics” and last but not least, Julia Mahamid and Antje Aufderheide from the MPIB presented their topic on “Cellular Cryo-Electron Tomography and Single-Particle Cryo-EM”. We are very grateful to the speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their insights into their particular topics.
After an intense day of discussion about diverse scientific topics, we were pleased to be able to relax and socialize together on Monday evening. Students happily organized various activities, including board games, card games and even an impromptu “night hike”! It was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other a lot better, especially for the IMPRS students who have only recently joined the program.
On Tuesday we enjoyed a trip to “Schloss Neuschwanstein”, the beautiful castle built by the eccentric King Ludwig II in the latter half of the 19th century. After taking in the stunning views from the nearby “Marienbrücke”, our retreat concluded with a tour through the castle. We arrived back at the institute late on Tuesday afternoon, everyone much more familiar with their colleagues than they were when we left on Sunday.