Jupiter, Fla. March 15, 2012
The Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI) and the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) recently hosted a two-day scientific symposium, “Neural Circuits: From Molecules to Behavior” on March 6-7 at the Lifelong Learning Complex on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (FAU). More than 200 faculty, postdocs and students from MPFI, FAU, Scripps Florida and other South Florida universities attended the event, which was designed to promote collaboration among neuroscientists in Florida, Germany and Latin America. It also served as the inauguration of a MPFI-IBRO postdoctoral training program called the Latin American Fellows Program for Neural Circuit Research to be administered by MPFI in Jupiter.
The symposium featured presentations by scientists from around the world, including Dr. Tobias Bonhoeffer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, Martinsreid Germany; Dr. Ramon Latorre, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, University of Valparaiso, Chile; Dr. Nils Brose, Director, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Gottingen, Germany; Dr. Ranulfo Romo, National Autonomous University of Mexico; Dr. Eduardo Arzt, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Dr. Rommy von Bernhardi, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, President of the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Neuroscience Associations (FALAN). Also highlighted at the symposium were presentations by three new additions to the faculty of the MPFI: Dr. Ryohei Yasuda, Duke University; Dr. Hiroki Taniguchi, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Dr. Hyungbae Kwon, Harvard University. Dr. David Fitzpatrick, scientific director and CEO of MPFI and Dr. Carlos Belmonte, president of IBRO provided the opening remarks.
“This symposium was an excellent first step in building collaborations among neuroscientists from across the globe, and strengthening neuroscience research and training in Latin America,” said Dr. Belmonte.
In addition to the two-day symposium, there was also a poster session and reception on March 6 to highlight the research of local neuroscientists.
“We were delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the progress that MPFI has made in building a worldclass neuroscience research facility,” said Dr. Fitzpatrick. “We look forward to future collaborations and training opportunities with our colleagues in south Florida and in the global neuroscience community.”
For more information, please visit www.maxplanckflorida.org.
About the Max Planck Society:
Germany’s Max Planck Society has led the world in advancing the frontiers of scientific research for more than 60 years. The independent, nonprofit organization, has an international staff of around 20,400, including research fellows and visiting scientists. Named for the 1918 Nobel Prize-winning physicist and founder of the quantum theory, Max Planck, the scientific institution maintains 80 institutes and research facilities located in Germany, but also in Italy, The Netherlands, and now in the United States. All are focused on exceptional, results-oriented basic research in the life sciences, social sciences and the humanities.
About the Max Planck Florida Institute
The first institute established by Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Society outside of Europe, the Max Planck Florida Institute is also the first research institute of its kind in North America. MPFI seeks to provide new insight into the functional organization of the nervous system, its capacity to produce perception, thought, language, memory, emotion, and action. Neural circuits, the complex synaptic networks of the brain, hold the key to understanding who we are, why we behave the way we do, and how the debilitating effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders can be ameliorated. MPFI meets this challenge by forging links between different levels of analysis—genetic, molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral—and developing new technologies that make cutting edge scientific discoveries possible.