Following the success of the 2009 MPI career symposium, we are back in 2010 for a longer, bigger and better edition. This year's symposium will be organized by and for a combination of MPI-CBG postdocs and DIGS-BB predocs and feature a similar format as last year, extended to include Workshops and interaction with Industry Representatives.  This website contains provisional information to be updated regularly as organization and planning progresses.

Dates:  Monday and Tuesday October 18th and 19th, 2010  -  Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics

Program:  3 sessions over 1.5 work days

Session 1 -18.10 Monday  09:15 - 14:30   -    Speaker presentations

SEVEN outside speakers from varied scientific career paths - 15-minute descriptions of the speakers’ career trajectory, current job, and benefits/drawbacks of working in their chosen scientific fields followed by 15-20mins Q&A session with the audience

Talks Schedule:

09:15 - 09:30      Introduction and Welcome

09:30 - 10:00      Don Powell - Press Officer of Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - "Is the pen mightier than the pipette?"

10:00 - 10:30      Uta Mackensen - EMBO Graphics Editor - "A picture AND more than a thousand words."

10:30 - 11:00      Maria Cruz - Editor Science Magazine - "From science to Science: editing as a scientific career"

coffee and snack break

11:30 - 12:00      Gwen Soete - Health Council the Netherlands - "The science of policy advice"

12:00 - 12:30      Doris Meder - Head of Core Facilities at Center for Genomic Regulation - "Cutting edge science needs access to top equipment and the latest technologies – the challenges of managing shared resources"

informal lunch with the speakers

14:00 - 14:30    Christophe Echeverri - CEO/CSO of Cenix Bioscience - "The good, the bad and the ugly of life in industry: from Hyman lab postdoc to biotech founder/CEO/CSO"

14:30 - 15:00      Rainer Brosch - Recruiting Director and Principal of Boston Consulting Group - "Consulting careers for scientists at BCG"


Session 2 - 18.10 Monday    15:00-17:00  Informal individual meetings

Boston Consulting Group will be in the MPI atrium presenting information about their company and career opportunities for scientists in consulting in general.

Additionally, during this period we will have small-group meetings with presenters.  No sign-ups necessary, all presenters will be available for discussion in the MPI atrium starting at 15:00.

Session 3 - Tuesday 19.10  - FOUR MPI-driven workshops (all in Galleria Seminar Room - 2nd Floor MPI-CBG)

09:30 - 10:30     WORKSHOP 1 - "Licensing and patenting opportunities from primary research" - Experts in bringing research ideas to market will present the things every researcher needs to know to commercialize and license their findings
Confirmed participants - Oliver Uecke and Tobias Mahn

11:00 - 12:00     WORKSHOP 2 - "The secrets of obtaining research funding" - a senior group leader and a funding manager on how to write a grant and what funding agencies are looking for
Confirmed participants - Birgit Knepper (head of MPI-CBG Research Grants Office) and Eli Knust (MPI-CBG Director and Vice President of DFG)

13:30 - 14:30    WORKSHOP 3 - "How to find and have a successful postdoc" - MPI postdocs presenting to predocs regarding how to get a postdoc, questions to ask a potential RGL, and postdoc life in general
Confirmed participants - Antonio Domingues, Alexis Webb, Simone Reber, Günes Özhan-Kizi

15:00 - 16:00    WORKSHOP 4 - "So you want to be a Research Group Leader?" - RGLs presenting their experience and giving advice regarding interviewing, start-up funds and grants, life as a young RGL, etc
Confirmed participants - Kai Simons (MPI-CBG RGL and Director Emeritus), Simon Alberti (New MPI-CBG RGL), Claudia Waskow (CRTD RGL)


  • Christophe Echeverri - Cenix Bioscience - Chris is Founder & CEO/CSO of Cenix Bioscience, a biotechnology Contract Research Organization based in Dresden's BioZentrum.  Originally spun off from EMBL and MPI-CBG, Cenix focuses on the application of RNAi for high-throughput genome-wide screening of genes involved in human disease and has been a self-sustaining operation since 2003.
  • Maria Cruz - Science Magazine - Maria Cruz is an editor at Science magazine, responsible for astronomy and planetary science. She earned a degree in Physics from Lisbon's Instituto Superior Técnico and a DPhil in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford. After a three-month fellowship at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, she did a post-doc that entailed coordinating a road map for European astronomy research over the next 20 years. She joined Science in 2008.
  • Gwen Soete - Health Council of the Netherlands - After finishing a postdoc at the MPI-CBG, Gwen has made the successful transition to the public sector as the policy analyst for Health Council of the Netherlands.
  • Don Powell - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Working his way through complexity – in so many ways – Don studied biology of viruses, the fruitfly Drosophila, and mouse in the US and UK before retiring his pipette in the mid-1990s. Taking up pencils, crayons and overhead sheets, he talked about and discussed biology, developed websites and worked with schools and the media. He joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as Press and PR Officer in January 2000, just as ‘genomes’ were coming to a lively, rolling boil. Whether he has stirred the pot, fanned the flames or tempered the dish is undetermined
  • Uta Mackensen - EMBO Reports - Uta studied biology at the Georg-August University in Göttingen where she received her diploma from the Albrecht-von-Haller Institute of Plant Sciences. After she had worked as an editor for the Institute for Scientifc Film (IWF) in Göttingen and as scientific illustrator (freelance) in Berlin, Uta joined the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) as Graphic Designer and Graphics Editor in March 2002.
  • Doris Meder - Center for Genomic Regulation - After completing her successful PhD studies in Kai Simons' laboratory at the MPI-CBG, Doris became the assistant facilities manager with Ivan Baines.  She is currently the Facilities Manager at the new multidisciplinary institute Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Rainer Brosch - Boston Consulting Group - Rainer studied business at Stanford University's Graduate Business School before joining Boston Consulting Group and is currently a Principal at BCG-Berlin