The Junior Scientist Zoonoses Meeting (JSZM) is an annual event for young scientists organized by the National Research Platform for Zoonoses. In 2019, the meeting took place at the Robert Koch Institute from 20 - 22.06.2019 in Berlin. Forty-nine young scientists from different scientific fields of zoonoses research took part in the event.
The support of young scientists is an important goal of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses. For this reason, the office on the island of Riems, Greifswald, organizes the JSZM every year at different locations in Germany. This year the meeting was realized with the kind support of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) at one of its research sites in Berlin.
Group picture of the participants of the JSZM 2019 in Berlin (Photo: Andrea Schnartendorff)
Current research results against a historical backdrop
The meeting was attended by 49 young researchers who started the meeting on the first day with a guided tour through the historical part of the institute and the museum of the RKI. After a short excursion into the history of infection research in Germany and the beginnings of the "One Health" idea, the participants had the opportunity to present their own current research work in small moderated "Round Table Discussions". Even though the beverage supply on the first day could not quite keep up with the summer temperatures in Berlin, many lively scientific discussions took place. On the first day, the programme was supplemented by a presentation by Dr. Susanne Möhring (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH), who gave a brief overview of the federal funding opportunities.
Career insights and funding opportunities
The second and third day of the meeting were characterized by the presentations of various guest speakers who provided insights into their diverse personal career paths as well as current research work, passed on advice and pointed out funding opportunities/ career options.
Participants of the JSZM 2019 at the lecture by Dr. Sandra Junglen (Photo: Andrea Schnartendorff)
The diversity of the speakers reflected the interdisciplinarity of the participants of the meeting. While Dr. Annisa Chand (Nature Food) gave an insight into the publication possibilities at Nature and her work as an editor, Dr. Sandra Junglen (Charité Berlin) and Prof. Ilse Jacobsen (HKI/ FSU Jena) reported on their research work. Prof. Stefanie Becker (TiHo Hannover), Dr. Imke Steffen (TiHo Hannover), Dr. Anton Aebischer (RKI) and Dr. Victor Corman (Charité Berlin) provided personal insights into a scientific career, all of them offering a wealth of good tips for the participants. Especially since Dr. Aebischer made it clear that a decision which, in retrospect, may have been suboptimal from a career point of view, will not necessarily lead to dissatisfaction in private and professional life. The fact that the career of a managing director of a transnational research institution also once began as a doctoral student was a motivating insight in the lecture by Prof. Ullrich Kalinke (TWINCORE). Alternative career paths in science management and public health services were presented by Dr. Ulrike Gerischer (Max Planck Institute) and Dr. Brigitte Thoms (LAVES).
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all invited guest speakers for their inspiring presentations and their great commitment in the following discussions!
Participants of the JSZM 2019 during the poster sessions (Photo: Andrea Schnartendorff)
The contributions were supplemented by further poster sessions during the breaks and lively exchanges between the participants over a cup of coffee or at the evening events. On the second day of the JSZM, the election of the representative for young scientists in the Internal Advisory Board of the Zoonoses Platform took place. We congratulate Julia Assmann (RKI) on her election and look forward to future cooperation.
Many thanks to all participants* for their active participation in the meeting and the great atmosphere during the event. Special thanks also go to Julia Assmann and Dominik Harms, who were so dedicated in helping to plan the meeting. We would also like to thank the Robert Koch Institute for providing the premises.
The meeting was a further step towards interdisciplinary networking of scientists in zoonoses research. A step that can also lead us closer to the realization of the "One Health" idea.
The location for the JSZM 2020 will be announced soon.