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LMU-Harvard Young Scientists’ Forum (YSF)

The LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (YSF) "From Molecules to Organisms" seeks to unite researchers from Harvard University and LMU Munich through enabling Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows to have contact with core faculty from both universities. The goal is to create a framework for an interdisciplinary, as well as an international exchange of ideas.

The first meeting in the series was held at LMU-Munich in 2009, and a similarly structured meeting was convened at Harvard University in the following year.


13th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum, ONLINE from July 12-14, 2021

After last year's canceled event, a total of more than 70 academics from both institutions have met in the first virtually-held Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum.

The schedule of the 13th YSF meeting, covering three late afternoons CET, brought together 42 active participants, who showcased 19 posters and 18 oral presentations featuring 28 labs at Harvard and LMU Munich.

Presentations included a mix of 45-minute lectures and 2-hour sessions for posters and short 20-minute-talks.

Among the participating labs at Harvard who have presented and nominated delegates for the event were the groups of:

  • Chinfei Chen
  • Ben de Bivort
  • Sandeep Robert Datta
  • Zhigang He
  • Gabriel Kreiman
  • Jeffrey Macklis
  • Venkatesh Murthy
  • Bence Ölveczky (TBC)
  • Bernardo Sabatini
  • Amar Sahay
  • Aravinthan Samuel
  • Joshua Sanes

Participating labs from Munich included:

  • Alexander Borst (MPIN)
  • Laura Busse (LMU)
  • Marianne Dieterich (LMU Clinic)
  • Magdalena Götz (LMU/HelmholtzCenter)
  • Benedikt Grothe (LMU)
  • Ilona Grunwald Kadow (TUM)
  • Inga Koerte (LMU-Clinic)
  • Hernan Lopez-Schier (HelmholtzCenter)
  • Martha Merrow (LMU)
  • Thomas Misgeld (TUM)
  • Jovica Ninkovic (LMU)
  • Michael Pecka (LMU)
  • Dominik Paquet (LMU Clinic)
  • Gerhard Rammes (TUM)
  • Anton Sirota (LMU)
  • Hans Straka (LMU)
An abstract compilation and a detailed participants' list are available in the 2021 YSf Booklet.

12th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum (LMU Munich), CANCELLED!

PLEASE NOTE: The event had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


11th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum (LMU Munich), June 24th-26th, 2019

The 11th meeting of the Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum has taken place June 24th-26th, 2019, at LMU Munich, following a welcome reception at the LMU Center for Advanced Studies on June 23rd.

Similar to the 2018 meeting in Cambridge, the 2019 YSF touched on the formation, function, and dynamics of neuronal structures, as well as cognition and behavior with some emphasis on neural circuits in localization, spatial processing, and navigation.

The meeting was once again complemented by an optional excursion on June 27th, to continue the scientific discussions in a different setting.

Among the 40 scientists who presented their data at the 2019 YSF, were 16 Harvard delegation members (PhD students/postdocs/faculty) representing 12 Harvard labs, and 24 Munich contributors representing 20 local groups.

Harvard faculty members Lisa Goodrich, Takao Hensch, and Venkatesh Murthy were present in Munich, together with CBS executive director Kenneth Blum.

The delegation includes a total of 16 participants*, with further PhD and postdoc nominations from the labs of:

Local nominations* have been made from labs including those of:

* All participants are indicated in the Meeting Schedule.

10th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum (Harvard), July 23-25, 2018

The anniversary 10th meeting of the Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum took place July 23-25, at the Center for Brain Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The schedule comprised the guests' arrival on July 22, an optional excursion on July 26, and departures on July 27.

As in previous years, a Munich delegation of faculty members and postdocs/advanced PhD students have met a matching number of participants from Harvard for an in-depth exchange on topics ranging from molecular and circuit neuroscience to computational, behavioral, and clinical research areas.

As a long-standing local faculty member, Venkatesh Murthy has taken a central role in organizing the 2018 event at Harvard, together with CBS executive director Kenneth Blum. Other Harvard faculty members such as Dragana Rogulja, Sam Gershman, and CBS academic director Joshua Sanes presented their latest research. The faculty delegation from Munich included Martin Biel, Laura Busse, Antje Grosche, Benedikt Grothe, and Martha Merrow. 37 postdocs and advanced PhD students from 23 laboratories - 11 of which at Harvard (e.g. Rick Born, Jeff Lichtman, Florian Engert, Bence Ölveczky, Jan Drugowitsch),  and 12 in Munich at the TU and LMU, as well as Max-Planck and Helmholtz Institutes of the Munich area, e.g. labs of Stefan Lichtenthaler, Matthias Mann, Andreas Herz, Anton Sirota, Ilona Grunwald Kadow, Marianne Dieterich - formed the group of participants. During the YSF excursion (optional; day 4), scientific discussions between Harvard and Munich delegation members were continued in a more informal setting.

Both participating and nominating faculty members, as well as executive representatives, have indicated an interest in maintaining the YSF-Format in the years to come. We are looking forward to the 11th return of the YSF in 2019 - to be hosted in Munich.

2018 ysf moment

A special moment during the 2018 meeting

9th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum (LMU), July 2017

The 2017 YSF meeting took place at LMU Biocenter and Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) between the 23rd and 26th of July.

Visiting Harvard Faculty
Benjamin de Bivort
Zhigang He
Luk Vandenberghe

Prospective delegation of 18-20 people from Harvard
The Harvard delegation encompassed advanced PhD students and postdocs from the labs of Benjamin de Bivort, Kevin Eggan, Florian EngertZhigang HeJeffrey Macklis, Venkatesh Murthy, Sharad Ramanathan, Bernardo Sabatini, Joshua Sanes, and Luk Vandenberghe.

Munich nominations and faculty lectures from the labs of Herwig Baier (MPIN), Martin Biel (LMU), Tobias Bonhoeffer (MPIN), Alexander Borst (MPIN), Laura Busse (LMU), Nadine Gogolla (MPIN), Magdalena Götz (LMU), Benedikt Grothe (LMU), Ilona Grunwald (TUM), Rüdiger Klein (MPIN), Stefan Lichtenthaler (TUM), Hernan Lopez-Schier (HMGU), Stylianos Michalakis (LMU), Anton Sirota (LMU), Carsten Wotjak (MPIPsy).

8th Harvard-LMU Young Scientists' Forum (Harvard), July 9th - 11th, 2016

The meeting took place at the Center for Brain Science and the Harvard Medical School. Traditionally, the yearly alternating format covers a broad range of topics ranging from Biochemistry and Genetics to Translational Neuroscience. The scientific schedule of the three-day meeting in 2016 featured 18 LMU delegates, among which academic staff and students from the LMU Faculty of Biology, Faculty for Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Medical Faculty, as well as the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU).

Six plenary lectures were held as part of the already traditional meeting. The interdisciplinary topics varied from Development, Function, and Therapy of Neural Circuits (Paola Arlotta & Connie Cepko - HRVD, and Martin Biel - LMU & Hernán Lopez-Schier - HMGU) to Cell Differentiation (Alex Meissner - HRVD) and Genetics (Peleg Shahaf - LMU).

7th LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (LMU), June 28 - July 2, 2015

The meeting took place at the Center for Advanced Studies and the Campus Martinsried. The scientific program of the three-day meeting (June 29 - July 1) was complemented by a welcome dinner on June 28 and an excursion day on July 2.

6 faculty lectures were scheduled, in addition to 36 oral and/or poster contributions by advanced PhD students and postdocs nominated by Harvard and Munich faculty.

6th LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (Harvard), July 19 - 22, 2014

Four faculty members from Munich and three Harvard faculty members presented plenary lectures during the interdisciplinary meeting, covering topics from Chemical Biology (J.Hooker HRVD) and Proteomics (S.Lichtenthaler TUM) to Cell Biology (M.Subklewe LMU), the formation and function of Neural Circuits (B.Grothe LMU / S.Datta HRVD) and Behavioral Genetics (W.Enard LMU / C.Weitz HRVD).

5th LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (LMU), July 8 - 12, 2013

Lectures are open to everybody


4th LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (Harvard University), July 7 - 10, 2012

3rd LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (LMU), June 27 - 30, 2011

2nd LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (Harvard University), July 23 - 28, 2010

1st LMU-Harvard Young Scientists' Forum (LMU), June 21 - 24, 2009