Young talents for future respiratory research: The Munich International Autumn School for Respiratory Medicine 2018

Pictures by Jan Roeder, 2018.

With increasing and alarming numbers of patients suffering from lung diseases worldwide, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Respiratory research is therefore indispensable and must be modern and translational.

From all over the world, about 15 young and motivated participants from the scientific and medical field had been selected to join the 6th Munich International Autumn School (MIAS) for Respiratory Medicine in November 2018. The event is organized by the Research School of the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) at Helmholtz Zentrum München. Financial support has been granted by the Stiftung AtemWeg and Boehringer Ingelheim.

The conceptual idea of MIAS is to provide a platform for scientific exchange with renowned scientists in the field, hands-on practical training modules both in laboratory and clinical setting, and networking to foster international collaborations and translational research ideas. 

The one-week program was kicked off by a productive poster session, where participants demonstrated their research interests and current findings to allow for mingling and first contact between themselves and with researchers at the CPC. The following days, participants were assigned to various experimental training modules with special focus on standard and novel technologies for modern respiratory research, including (primary) cell culture and animal models, flow cytometry, biotechnological and imaging applications, and single cell RNA sequencing. The participants gained detailed insights into the importance of translating scientific findings into clinical practice when they visited different hospitals in Munich (University Hospital system at Ludwig Maximilians University and the Asklepios Lung Specialist Hospital in Gauting).

The MIAS curriculum included various lectures that were held by renowned scientists reporting on novel findings and technologies to motivate the early career scientists and clinicians for their own research interests and to think outside the box. Interactive lunch sessions and regular coffee breaks were used to interact with the speakers and to get specific questions answered.

The MIAS program ended with the traditional MIAS Dinner at the Caribbean Casino in Munich – a unique opportunity to once again discuss and interact freely and informally with both the international guest speakers and the scientists and clinicians from CPC and the Munich Hospitals. There was room for more questions and interaction but also for fun times, especially on the dancefloor.

I have been invited to contribute to this year’s MIAS event by sharing my expertise and knowledge with all those excellent people. It was a pleasure to meet all participants, to network with all experts and lecturers, especially those from abroad. It was a great opportunity for us as well!
We want to thank everyone for attending this event and making it again another highlight of the year. A special thanks to Dr. Doreen Franke for the great organization and coordination of the event. Thanks to our sponsors for all the support we got and last, but not least, thanks to everyone here at the CPC, the Helmholtz Zentrum München, and all clinicians that took some of their valuable time to contribute to our event.

Maximilian Strunz
PhD student and student representative