Successful young talents for future respiratory research at the 7th Munich International Autumn School (MIAS) for Respiratory Medicine 2019

Pictures by Doris Hammerschmidt, 2019.

MIAS 2019; Source: ILBD/CPC, Helmholtz Zentrum München

An exciting week of experimental-clinical training combined with outstanding lectures given by speakers of our faculty as well as international experts had just come to an end at the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) in Munich. Twelve young and highly motivated participants from the scientific and medical field had been selected to join the 7th Munich International Autumn School (MIAS) for Respiratory Medicine that brings together international young researchers with a biomedical and clinical background. The MIAS is organized by the CPC Research School with financial support from the Lung Disease Research Foundation AtemWeg, Boehringer Ingelheim and Vitrocell Systems.

The conceptual idea of MIAS is to provide early career scientists in respiratory medicine a platform for scientific exchange with renowned scientists in the field, by offering hands-on practical training modules both in laboratory and clinical settings and by providing networking opportunities to foster international collaborations and translational research ideas.

The one-week program has been kicked off by an interactive poster session, followed by extensive experimental training modules with special focus on state-of-the art and innovative technologies for modern respiratory research. To learn about the bench-to-bedside approach at the CPC and the clinics in Munich, the participants also visited the Ludwig Maximilians University Hospital Munich in Großhadern and the Asklepios Hospital in Munich-Gauting, which is the fifth-largest specialist clinic for pulmonary disease in Germany and the biggest one in the federal state of Bavaria.

The MIAS curriculum was completed by specific lectures with lively discussions given by scientific experts from our faculty as well as from international experts reporting on novel findings and methods to stimulate interactive exchange on hot topics within the field of respiratory medicine.

In this context the invited speaker Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland talked about 3D lung cell models to assess effects of particle or drug aerosols. Dr. Clemente Britto-Leon from Yale University in the USA talked about a clinical application of basic science research with non-invasive biomarkers to predict Cystic Fibrosis exacerbations. Clemente Britto-Leon very much enjoyed his visit at the CPC and recommends MIAS to any young scientist in the pulmonary field: “MIAS is an opportunity to learn state of the art technologies in biomedical research and an opportunity to make friends and build collaborations. I would recommend it to anyone that asked and to anyone that did not ask...!”

In addition to attending the lectures and training modules, there was plenty of opportunity to socialize and network at the conference. The participants enjoyed a wonderful Bavarian dinner where the participants stated in the end: “It’s an unique experience, it’s not only the science part, it’s also the community part, you meet a lot of other scientists, a lot of peers from different countries, so it’s also like a cultural exchange other than a scientific exchange”.

The MIAS is taking place at the CPC since 2012 and was initiated by AtemWeg together with the scientific and clinical partners within the CPC in order to provide knowledge transfer and training for young and early career scientists and clinicians. With the increasing and alarming numbers of patients suffering from chronic lung diseases worldwide, translational respiratory research is the pathway to new approaches for preventional and interventional measures.