1st EBM Retreat in Bad Windsheim

Group photo at the 1st EBM Retreat in Bad Windsheim.
Group photo at the 1st EBM Retreat in Bad Windsheim. (Image: S. Schmitzer )

The 1st EBM Retreat took place from September 21st to 22nd, 2023 at the Hotel Arvena Reichsstadt in the small historic town of Bad Windsheim and provided a platform for scientific presentations primarily from doctoral researchers and postdoctoral researchers of the CRC 1540 „Exploring Brain Mechanics.“ The main objective of this conference was to present the current status of the 19 ongoing research projects and stimulate lively and constructive discussions to strengthen and further develop collaboration between various research projects.

Day 1: September 21, 2023

The retreat started with a warm welcome by EBM’s spokespersons Paul Steinmann and Silvia Budday. In a brief presentation, they provided an overview of the current status of the research consortium and an outlook on the program of the next two days. The first day of the retreat focused on presentations and discussions on topics such as the role of mechanics in cell-matrix interactions (projects of the focal research areas C), standardization and integration of in-vivo and ex-vivo test data across different scales (X01), transferability of data between different species and experimental methods through advanced machine learning techniques (X02), and the development of substitute materials for brain tissue (X03). Additionally, the current progress in establishing an MRE at FAU (Project Y) was discussed.

During the extended coffee breaks, participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and insights, leading to a fruitful exchange of knowledge. After the scientific presentations, there were simultaneous activities, including a brainstorming session for (post)doctoral researchers to develop ideas for the Long Night of Sciences 2023 and the quarterly meeting of the EBM Executive Board. The day ended with a walk through the beautiful Fränkische Freilandmuseum, where the researchers had the opportunity to get to know each other better in smaller groups.

The day ended with a delicious dinner followed by informal conversations that further enhanced the collegial spirit of the retreat.

Day 2: September 22, 2023

The second day began with a general assembly of the EBM, where all members gathered to discuss the latest developments and future directions. This included feedback from EBM leadership to members and vice versa, where EBM leadership received constructive and valuable feedback from doctoral students and project leaders.

The day’s program continued with presentations on brain malformations (projects of the focal research areas A) and spinal cord regeneration (projects of the focal research areas B). These presentations covered a wide range of topics investigated by various researchers. Lively discussions followed each presentation, facilitating the exchange of ideas and perspectives.

After the final scientific presentations, the doctoral researchers presented the results of their brainstorming session for the Long Night of Sciences program.

The 1st EBM retreat in Bad Windsheim was diverse, informative, and constructive, and provided ample time for discussion about science and other important aspects of life. The enthusiasm of the participants in actively and openly engaging in constructive discussions underscored the success of the retreat, fostered collaboration, and inspired all attendees.

You can download the program of the 1st EBM Retreat here.