Canada - Munich Diabetes Research Exchange

The Canada - Munich Diabetes Research Exchange offers a joint program with doctoral researchers from the Alberta Diabetes Institute in Canada and the Helmholtz Diabetes Center in Munich, respectively. The one week course takes place at the University of Alberta and sets a focus on translational diabetes research and fosters expert technology training, international networking and career development.

The Program

During a joint symposium with researchers and early-career scientists, doctoral researchers present and discuss their research projects, and exchange interdisciplinary ideas. Lectures and technical training from ADI experts will provide insight into clinical research, beta cell technologies and challenges in diabetes health care and promote interdisciplinary thinking.

During workshops on career development doctoral researchers will learn about career options for early-career scientists ranging from academia, clinical research to drug development with a special focus on options in Canada. In addition, doctoral researchers will establish an Individual Career Development Plan with support from the University of Alberta's Career Center.

Social events and hiking excursions will support the team building and exchange between graduate students from both countries.

A Week of Incredible Experiences at the Alberta Diabetes Institute

After one week at the Alberta Diabetes Center (ADI) in Canada eight doctoral researchers of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) returned back to Munich with new experiences. During the intensive program together with ADI trainees they presented their research during a joint symposium, discussed their ideas together with experts in the diabetes field, and visited and trained in the labs of Dr. Peter Light, Dr. Patrick MacDonald, Dr. Richard Lehner, and Dr. Jessica Yue (follow the tweet).

Additional lectures by Dr. Andrew Pepper (Supervisor Dr. James Shapiro) on "Progress towards a Cure in Diabetes through Cellular Transplantation", Dr. Peter Light on "The Photobiology of Fat Cells: From Serendipitous Discovery to Clinical Implication, Fake News and Beyond" and Dr. Patrick MacDonald on "Procurement and Phenotyping of Human Islets" engaged students in translational aspects of diabetes research.

Hands-on introduction into clinical research on energy metabolism and body composition with Dr. Carla Prado expanded the options and ideas taking fundamental research to the next step and towards patient care. Workshops on career planning by the University of Alberta's Career Center and Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research addressed the development of an Individual Career Development Plan, setting and achieving career goals and working in Canada. Nevertheless, meeting other doctoral researchers, thinking outside of the box and networking opportunities were supported during joint evening program and a visit to the Elk Island National Park for canoeing and hiking.

All this was made possible by Dr. Peter Light, the Alberta Diabetes Institute and the jont forces between the two excellent diabetes institutions at the University of Alberta and at Helmholtz Munich.