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Spring 2018 Course List



Registration Deadline
13 Jan Intro meeting 26 Feb – 6 Mar
Electron Microscopy Techniques in Cell Biology, Microbiology and Virology
10 January
18 Jan Intro meeting, 1,8, 15, 22 Feb
Advanced Python
10 January
22, 23 Jan
Images and Figures for Publication
15 January
8 Feb
Your Final Year as a PhD student
5 January
12-16 Feb
Scientific Writing 1: Thesis Proposal A
15 January
22, 23 Feb
Career Planning
15 January
26 Feb – 28 Feb
Basic Light Microscopy
15 January
26 Feb – 2 Mar
Scientific Writing 1: Thesis Proposal B
15 January
6 Mar
General Concepts and Applications of NMR
15 February
13, 14 Mar
Scientific Presentation A: Academic Perspective
15 January
26, 27 Mar
Scientific Presentation B: Performance Perspective
15 January
These courses are designed for PhD students. Post-docs, technicians and undergraduate students from our institutes. Students from outside our institutes may participate on a space-available basis.
To register, please send an email with your name, program affiliation/status and lab to courses[at] Please copy your registration email to your advisor/supervisor.
Should you be unable to attend a course that you have registered for, please send an email cancelling your participation as soon as possible, but no less than 3 days before the start of the course.

PhD Introductory Course

September 20 - October 12, 2018
Mandatory for first year students
You will be introduced to all faculty members and their scientific expertise, as well as the methods and infrastructure available within the institute. The introductory course will also let you get to know your fellow students.
Details available through the PhD program office.

Basic Skills Courses

Images and Figures for Publication
Dates:              22 – 23 January 2018, full days
Location:          Practical room 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Serge Paulus, Center for Data Processing (ZDV), University of Tübingen
Register by:       15 January 2018
This workshop will teach you to prepare images effectively for presentations and publications. We will focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, given that these tools represent the current industry standard. The workshop will however include tips on transferring the taught skills to other programs. You are encouraged to bring along your own data to work into figures during the workshop.
Day 1: Photographic images. Introduction and basic skills; colors and color correction; images for print and web; working with layers; image organization with metadata.
Day 2: Creating figures. Introduction and basic drawing skills; understanding layers; creating figure panels and exporting graphics.
Scientific Writing: Thesis Proposal
Dates:              12 - 16 February 2018, mornings (Workshop A) OR
                        26 February – 2 March 2018, mornings (Workshop B)
Location:          Seminar room 0.A.01, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Deborah Bennett
Register by:      15 January 2018
This workshop studies features of academic writing such as formality, objectivity, precision and clarity and provides practical methods for improvement in these areas. To help you prepare a thesis proposal in readiness for your first TAC meeting, you will be asked to prepare a partial draft in advance (further details later) and as part of the workshop you will work on this and receive individual feedback.
Deborah Bennett is a native of the UK and holds a PhD in Mathematical Biology from the University of Surrey, England. She has worked as a freelance academic writing trainer since 2010.
Scientific presentation A: From an Academic Perspective
Dates:              13 - 14 March 2018, full days
Location:          Seminar room 0.A.01, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Melanie Conrad, GOLIN WISSENSCHAFTSMANAGEMENT
Register by:      15 January 2018
Presentation skills in the academic context. In this workshop you will learn to identify the goals for your presentation, get prepared (with tips on creating well-designed academic slides to support your oral presentations), then through exercises and role-plays you will be familiarized with established presentation techniques. Dealing with tricky situations will also be covered. During the workshop you will give a short presentation of your PhD topic and get feedback (including use of video-taping) on the structure and delivery.
Melanie Lynn Conrad was born in Vancouver. She holds a PhD in immunogenetics from the University of Victoria, Canada and is presently working as a junior group leader at the Charité, Berlin, studying reproductive immunology.
Scientific presentation B: From a Performance Perspective
Dates:              26 - 27 March 2018, full days
Location:          Seminar room 0.A.01, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Julie Stearns, Impulsplus
Register by:      15 January 2018
Mastering scientific presentations: engaging the listener in your talk. This is an activity-based workshop led by a theatre professional whose expertise is in helping the speaker effectively communicate the importance and relevance of their scientific work and the core message in their talk.
Participants can strengthen the narrative, emotional tone, and the physicality of their talk in order to define and support the speaker’s own dynamic style. You will be guided through interactive exercises including focusing on language precision, sense of time and space, expression and movement, and connecting to the listeners. Attention will be given to breath and speech patterns, to strengthen both the ease and clarity of the speaker. Participants will be required to prepare a 5-minute talk; the use of slides is optional. You will receive plenty of personal feedback, including the use of video-taping.
Julie Stearns, a native of the USA, is a professional actress as well as a lecturer in the English language at the University of Duisberg-Essen. Since 2011 she has worked with Impulsplus, teaching university students presentation, debate and performance skills. Her background in theatre and dance strongly influences her teaching style.

Advanced Scientific Courses

Electron Microscopy Techniques in Cell Biology, Microbiology and Virology
Date:                13 January, 9am Introductory Meeting, 26 February – 6 March, 2018, 9am-5pm
Location:          Electron microscopy facilities at MPI for Developmental Biology, Developmental Genetics at the ZMBP, Pathology, University Tuebingen
Tutors:             Katharina Hipp, Y.-D. Stierhof (University of Tuebingen), P. Fallier-Becker (University of Tuebingen)
Register by:      10 January 2018
Level: beginners
On the first day, theoretical aspects of EM are covered in a series of lectures. This day is followed by three 2-day practicals at each of the EM facilities. The following topics are covered:
·       Introduction and basic preparation methods for biological samples
·       Chemical fixation, dehydration and plastic embedding, freeze fracture technique
·       Cryo-methods for the biological electron microscope
·       Immunolabelling for light and electron microscopy, antigens, antibodies, marker, preparation techniques
Note: The mandatory coordination meeting takes place on Saturday, January 13 at 9am in the lecture hall, Max Planck House.
 Advanced Python Programming for Bio-Scientists
Date:                18 January (Introductory meeting), 1, 8, 15, 22 February 2018, 9am-12:30pm
Location:          Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Estienne Swart, Jens Bassler, Lukas Zimmermann
Register by:      10 January 2018
Level: advanced
This course will focus on solving your real-life research problem with Python, a multi-purposeprogramming language. With the help of the tutors, you will design and implement an adequate solution to address your project computationally.
Hence, the course is going to be tailored to your specific needs and analysis of the biological data and problem you bring along. You will be mentored by a tutor and discuss issues and progress in weekly meetings. We also aim to provide general advanced topics in Python that are of broad interest, such as data visualization and BioPython. Also, depending on the need, we may extend the topics introduced in the Introductory Course. For teaching programming concepts to the class, we plan to offer five morning sessions over the course of five weeks.
Basic Light Microscopy
Date:                26-28 February 2018, 9:00am-4:00pm
Location:          Teaching lab 0.A.06, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Christian Feldhaus, Aurora Panzera
Register by:      15 January 2018
Level: beginners
Content In the light microscopy courses you will get knowledge about microscopy related topics with the aim that you understand the principles behind microscopic techniques and are able
a) plan and perform experiments and
b) interpret and analyse your data correctly.
This will be achieved by a mixture of lectures, demos and hands-on practical sessions. However, to be able to practically work with a specific instrument you need to ask for a personal introduction/ training on that instrument.
The basic light microscopy course is an introduction to light microscopy. It covers standard transmitted light techniques like brightfield, phase contrast and DIC as well as fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Apart from that, people will be introduced to the basics of digital image acquisition and analysis. For more detailed information please click here
General Concepts and Applications of NMR Spectroscopy
Date:                6 March 2018, 10:00am-12noon
Location:          Seminar room 0.A.01, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Vincent Truffault
Register by:      15 February 2018
Level: beginners
The versatility of NMR spectroscopy has made it a widespread tool in chemistry and biochemistry. The course will first introduce the main concepts in their global form. Then NMR applications will be presented from small organic molecules up to bigger protein complexes, such as sample purity, structure determination, molecular interactions, dynamics and motions, determination of molecular weight etc.

Advanced Skills Workshops

Your Final Year as a PhD Student
Date:               8 February 2018, 1:00pm-5:00pm
Location:          Seminar room 0.A.01, MPI for Developmental Biology
Tutor:               Dagmar Sigurdardottir
Register by:      15 January 2018
Level: advanced
Content: The final year of your PhD, when finishing up in the lab, getting your research published, writing your thesis and planning your career all need to be dealt with at the same time, can become easier when you apply standard project and time management techniques. We will identify requirements, investigate resources, define deliverables and set time lines. Also included is detailed information about the formal requirements for the thesis and defense.

Career Development Workshops

Career Planning for Bioscience PhDs
Date:               22, 23 February 2018, 9:00am-5:00pm
Location:          Conference room, Max Planck House
Tutor:               Dagmar Sigurdardottir
Register by:      January 15, 2017
Level: any
Content: In this workshop we will first analyze what a Bioscience PhD means outside the academic world. Then you will discover your professional strengths and personal preferences, create career visions, do a reality check and come up with the next steps you can take to make your career dream come true.