International Research Exchange

The Program

HRD-funded doctoral researchers spend several months at the international partner – at the Alberta Diabetes Institute at the University of Alberta, Canada for HDC-based doctoral researchers or at HDC for ADI-based doctoral researchers. This research exchange fosters expert technology training, international networking and career development.

All associated HRD members are also encouraged to collaborate and interact with doctoral researchers and senior scientists at the corresponding international partner. The annual Joint Symposia, conducted alternatively at the HDC and the ADI, offer possibilities for all members to take a glimpse into interdisciplinary projects, engage in lively scientific discussions and learn more about the research and career opportunities at the international partner. Accompanying social events enhance the networking opportunities.

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.