From microbes to microproduction units - the future lies in synthetic biology
The Leibniz Research Cluster at the VAAM Annual Conference
From 17 to 20 March 2019, the annual conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) took place in Mainz, Germany. This is the scientific event of the year for microbiologists from all fields in Germany. In addition to the main program, the individual Special Groups (Fachgruppen) of the VAAM organized mini symposia with exciting and emerging topics and speakers. This year, several sessions were dedicated to synthetic microbiology and biotechnology as independent topics. This development shows that topics that the Leibniz Research Cluster has been working on for four years now are increasingly moving into the focus of the scientific microbiological community.
The LRC scientists Junior Professor Martin Weissenborn (Leibniz-IPB Halle), Dr. Jiaxi Cui (Leibniz-INM Saarbrücken), Dr. Carola Graf (Leibniz-IPF Dresden) and Dr. Sandra Höfgen (Leibniz-HKI Jena) were selected from the many submitted projects for a lecture at the VAAM annual conference. In various sessions they were able to present the work of the LRC in front of a broad audience. Several LRC-Doctorate researchers presented their work on posters.
The special feature of this year's conference was a two-hour special session of the Leibniz Research Cluster on 19 March 2019 entitled "From microbes to microproduction units". Under the leadership of Dr. Vito Valiante, junior research group leader at Leibniz-HKI Jena, high-ranking speakers such as Prof. Sabine Flitsch (University of Manchester) and Prof. Thomas Pfohl (University of Freiburg) presented their work. Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran, the representative of Prof. Aránzazu del Campo Bécares (Leibniz-INM Saarbrücken), inspired the audience with his lecture on living drug depots in the body. In addition, Dr. Daniel Bollschweiler (MPI Martinsried) impressively demonstrated that cryo electron microscopy is a new tool for visual proteomics that is also suitable for many microbiological projects. Also young LRC-scientists, here with Dr. Ute Münchberg (Leibniz-ISAS Dortmund), were given the opportunity to present their results. The feedback from the auditorium was both very positive, and led to stimulating discussions long after the end of the event.