MtL Spring Days 2022

A journey through Matter to Life!

Our annual Spring Days took place from 13 to 14 April! Once again, it was two days full of exciting presentations and discussions, providing the MPS MtL students and faculty members with an insight into the various research possibilities within Matter to Life.

“A Journey through the Max Planck School Matter to Life” was the theme of this year's MtL Spring Days! This included many exciting presentations by our students and Fellows, covering the spirit of Matter to Life coming from all over Germany. Due to the pandemic, we decided to hold the majority of the event virtually. Thanks to the virtual platform Gather.Town lively exchange, valuable scientific discussions and also fun was guaranteed. Here, our participants could move as an avatar through our customized conference-like landscape, video-meet, discuss their scientific posters or even have a virtual drink in the coffee corner.

We kicked off on Wednesday, April 13, with scientific talks by our MtL Fellows and our PhD students. Here, we not only learned about fascinating science but also got to know some fun facts about the different MtL locations. Did you know the custom of Göttingen of visiting the Gänseliesel after graduation and giving her flowers and a kiss before celebrating? Most of us neither! But thanks to our PhD graduate Leila Abbaspour we are smarter now. "What would be your "Plan B" if you were not an academic?" "When do you stop working in the evening?" Questions like these could be asked at our Fellows-meet-Students networking event, a kind of speed dating where students could ask them anything and our Fellows were happy to give students advice and information, about careers and life outside the lab. The networking event was followed by a Keynote lecture and a lively discussion with our Fellow Anthony Hyman about his talk on diverse properties of liquid-like condensates.

It was particularly nice to conclude the first day with an in-person gathering and dining, simultaneously in Göttingen and Heidelberg.

The second day of our Spring Days started with more exciting presentations from our Fellows with details of how to build artificial compartments, how to remodel membranes and how to patch a broken heart. In the afternoon, our students presented their current research at their poster session. Holding the event online also provided some unusual moments such as a student presenting his poster from a train station in India. MtL Fellow Laura De Laporte rounded off the evening, joining us from Canada with another Keynote lecture on injectable smart colloidal building blocks. We are grateful that she got up extra early to join us. 

With such a full scientific program, we were glad to get the chance to refresh our minds, by joining Philipp Nowak from "MindfulLife" in the coffee breaks for a moment of movement and relaxation.

Finally, we would like to thank all participants, especially to everyone who contributed with a talk, a poster presentation or actively participated in the discussions! This event showed us once again how broad our network is and how diverse research within the field of Matter to Life can be. We are already looking forward to our Fall Days in Aachen this autumn, where we will all meet in person!

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