On 22 June 2022, the scientists of the Biozentrum left their labs and seminar rooms for a three-day retreat on the Sursee campus. Around 300 researchers from a wide variety of disciplines took the time to get to know each other and make new connections, to discuss scientific issues and broaden their knowledge. In addition to the scientific exchange, social activities were not neglected.
Prof. Alex Schier, Director of the Biozentrum, kicked off the event with a short, motivating welcome speech. He then handed over to Anissa Kempf, who was recently appointed to assistant professor at the Biozentrum and awarded an ERC Starting Grant. She gave a talk about her work in the field of sleep research, in particular on the link between cellular metabolism and the need for sleep. In addition to brief insights into the work of the 32 Research Groups and all Core Facilities, about 240 young researchers presented their latest research findings for discussion at three poster sessions. In his introductory talk, Prof. Benjamin Engel, another Biozentrum newcomer and ERC Consolidator Grantee, covered the spectrum from the molecular architecture of chloroplasts to photosynthesis and climate change.
The highlights of the retreat included the plenary lecture presented by Prof. Jay Shendure from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California San Diego, on the systematic reconstruction of mammalian development, and the discussion round with Martine Clozel – researcher, entrepreneur and co-founder of the biotech companies Actelion and Idorsia. The participants also had the opportunity to talk about various current topics during the breakout sessions and the panel discussion. The Director Prof. Alex Schier concluded the intensive three-day Biozentrum Retreat with an inspiring and visionary "State-of-the-Union" speech.