2nd Vanderbilt-Leipzig Collaboration Workshop November 10-14, 2010

/ January 3, 2011/ Events

In November, eight professors from Leipzig University traveled to Vanderbilt for the purpose of further developing the collaboration in education and research between Vanderbilt Leipzig Universities. They were accompanied by Dr. Martin Schlegel, the Vice Rector of Research at Leipzig University and Anja Landsmann, the Leipzig coordinator of this collaboration. The workshop began on Wednesday morning with research presentations by six Vanderbilt researchers: Borden Lacy, Walter Chazin, John McLean, Jeff Johnston, Brian Bachmann, and Larry Marnett. In the afternoon the guests from Leipzig University presented their research in a scientific symposium. Opening remarks were given by  Dr. Joel Harrington, Vanderbilt Associate Provost for Global Strategy, Dr. Martin Schlegel, and by Dr. Larry Marnett, director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. The eight researchers from Leipzig: Annette Beck-Sickinger, Evamarie Hey-Hawkins, Thorsten Berg, Ralf Hoffmann, Christoph Schneider, Bernd Abel, Daniel Huster, and Torsten Schöneberg then presented their research to a large audience of students, faculty, and administrators from across the Vanderbilt campus. The symposium concluded with a reception that gave the opportunity to mingle and discuss research.

The second and third days of the workshop included tours of Vanderbilt facilities such as the high-throughput screening center, the mass spectrometry research core, the ACCRE super-computing center, and the biomolecular and small molecule NMR center. The Leipzig faculty met one-on-one with Vanderbilt researchers who were interested in their particular field of research. These meetings were designed to identify potential new areas of collaboration between the two universities. A group of twenty graduate students and post-doctoral fellows also hosted the Leipzig visitors for an informal luncheon to discuss research and academic life. Finally, the Center for Structural Biology invited the Leipzig guests to their monthly gathering to provide yet another opportunity for the visitors to make close ties with Vanderbilt researchers.

Each evening, Vanderbilt research faculty and students joined the Leipzig guests for dinner at various Nashville restaurants and music venues. These smaller gatherings contributed to the tremendous success of the workshop, further allowing the groups to develop their collaborations. Overall, several new collaborations are now underway, and older collaborations have a fresh perspective and plan for the coming years. Multiple funding opportunities were discussed from both sides, and future exchanges of students and research will be proposed to these agencies. Because of the workshop, four new projects were submitted to the DAAD to bring undergraduates from Leipzig to study at Vanderbilt, while six new projects were submitted to bring Vanderbilt students to Leipzig. In May 2011, Vanderbilt researchers will visit Leipzig for another workshop in the hopes of strengthening ties formed during the Vanderbilt workshop.

The Leipzig visitors in front of Alumni Hall with Dr. Jens Meiler

Lunch at Vanderbilt Campus

At the Bluebird Café

A visit to Lynchburg