12. Retreat des PhD–Programms “Biology and Medicine of the Lung” (MBML)

Der prestigeträchtige Retreat des PhD-Programms „Biology and Medicine of the Lung“ (MBML) fand vom 4. – 6. August 2014 im historischen Schloss Rauischholzhausen in Hessen statt. Zwei Nobelpreisträger trugen beim diesjährigen Jahrestreffen vor: Professor Dr. Robert Huber vom Max Planck Institut für Biochemie in München sowie Professor Dr. Harald Zur Hausen vom Deutschen Krebsforschungsinstitut in Heidelberg.


By Chidiebere U. Awah

The prestigious meeting was held in the beautiful historic castle of Rauischholzhausen in Hessen, Germany, from August 4th-6th 2014. The conference featured two Nobel Prize Laureates: Prof. Dr. Robert Huber from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry Munich who gave a basic science Nobel Lecture on the ‘’Discovery of Proteases and their roles in Health & Diseases’’.  The clinical science Nobel Lecture was given by Nobel Laureate Prof. Dr. Harald Zur Hausen from the German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg on the role of ‘’Zoonotic Infections in Human Cancer and  Chronic Diseases ‘’. Also other prominent key note speakers from the United Kingdom, the United States and The Netherlands spoke during the conference.

In addition to the PhD students enrolled in the MBML program at Universities Giessen and Marburg (UGMLC), Member of the German Center for Lung Disease (DZL), six external students were invited to the meeting, four of them from the DZL Campuses across Germany: myself, Chidiebere U Awah (DZL-site BREATH, Hannover), Espen Groth (DZL-site ARCN, Campus Cluster North), Stephan Spahn (DZL-site TLRC,  Heidelberg), Petra Nathan (DZL-site CPC, Munich) and two visiting students, Andrew Ferretti (University of South Alabama, USA) and Daphne Mous (Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands). All these students had the opportunity to meet with the Nobel Laureates and key note speakers for questions, discussions and advices.

In total about 100 students participated in the meeting and gave exciting oral and poster presentation. Topics covered included lung regeneration, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, epigenetic regulation of lung development and diseases, alveolar proteinosis, asthma, lung cancer, developmental lung diseases and smoking related lung diseases and immune regulation of lung diseases. Scientific techniques used in the different research areas were covered as well, including genomics, proteomics/protein chemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, epigenetics, transcription factor binding assays, DNA–protein interaction assays, antibody development and flow cytometry, animal models and microRNA assays.

This happened to be the most exciting conference I have ever attended! I thank Prof. Werner Seeger and Prof. Rory Morty for organizing such an excellent scientific conference and for inviting me, as well as the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) for the opportunity to join this excellent meeting.

Sechs externe PhD Studierende, darunter vier der DZL-Standorte ARCN, BREATH, CPC und TLRC, nahmen als Gäste am MBML Retreat teil.

Professor Dr. Zur Hausen with C. Awah

Professor Dr. Huber with C. Awah