Ten years of excellence
Two institutions of excellence at the University of Freiburg are celebrating their tenth anniversary: The Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM) and the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies were successful in both rounds of the previous competition for excellence. “SGBM and BIOSS are significant model organizations for our university,” says Rector Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer. “They have made important strides to increase our reputation in the life sciences research thus raising our university’s international visibility.“ Both institutions are hosting an international symposium from October 18-20, 2017 entitled “Signals from the invisible“. The focus will be new techniques and methods to explore biological signaling processes in the nano-dimension.
The SGBM offers its doctoral students a multidisciplinary, internationally focused and well-structured PhD program. “Our doctoral students not only pursue their scientific project, but also attend courses on how to write scientific texts and do presentations. They can study abroad and prepare their next career move by assessing the opportunities they have at the university, in the private or public sector,“ explains the molecular medicine professional Prof. Dr. Christoph Borner, spokesperson for SGBM. At present SGBM has 109 alumnae and alumni that work in research worldwide –in academia and in the private sector. SGBM has set the standard across the University of Freiburg, says Borner: “Structured PhD programs are the future.”
For the first time BIOSS has brought signaling research together with methods for synthetic biology. The cluster’s goal is to better understand biological signaling processes. They create the basis of existence for every cell within an organism and their malfunction is associated with many diseases such as cancer or autoimmune disorders. The cluster takes a dialectical approach to research: It combines analytical methods – for exploring signaling processes within and between cells – and the synthesis with which the results of the analyses can be verified by replicating the examined systems. Researchers from biology, medicine, chemistry and technology are involved in the efforts. “We have a great research program. We have about 220 annual publications to prove it and we have appointed great professors,” says BIOSS spokesperson Prof. Dr. Michael Reth.
Interviews in the University of Freiburg’s online magazine