From 7-9 June 2017, the Junior Scientist Zoonoses Meeting (JSZM) of the National Research Platform for Zoonoses took place for the fifth time in a row. This year's venue was the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Langen (Hesse). 39 young scientists from various institutions and disciplines took part in the event. During the event, Dr. Shari Fell (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) was elected member of the Internal Advisory Board of the Zoonoses Platform.
As in previous years, the programme of the meeting was organised in cooperation with the Riems site of the Zoonoses Platform, with the participation of committed young scientists. Special thanks are due to Prof. Dr. Veronika von Messling and her team, who provided the appropriate premises and organization on site.
The speakers were PD Dr. Minka Breloer (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg), PD Dr. Christoph Conrad (Paul Ehrlich Institute), Piotr Wojciech Dabrowski (Robert Koch Institute Berlin), Dr. Alina Debski (QIRM), Fabian Flüchter (IP Center of Bucerius Law School), Prof. Dr. René Gottschalk (Frankfurt am Main Health Authority), Amelie Leipprand (DIN Innovation Department), Frédéric Lohr (Mission Rabies), Dr. Sophie Schneitler (Bethanien Hospital, Solingen), Roman Stilling (Information Initiative "Understanding Animal Experimentation"), Prof. Dr. Jens Teifke (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Riems) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Vieths (Paul-Ehrlich-Institut).
In topic-oriented Round Tables and Poster Sessions, the participants made effective and committed use of the opportunity to present their results to each other, to engage in interdisciplinary discussions and to network across disciplines and institutions. The keynote speeches on biosecurity, bioinformatics and NGS, interdisciplinary communication, standardisation procedures, patent law, scientific standardisation procedures and animal experiments offered an insight into topics relevant to young scientists and also pointed out current and future important contacts for their own scientific work. The same applied to the presentations on the work of NGOs such as Mission Rabies, the role of public health services in (inter)national infection control and the necessity of interdisciplinary cooperation in the sense of the One Health concept with regard to the migration-related spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or leishmaniasis. The motivational lectures and the presentation of job descriptions by established scientists offered an insight into different academic careers and professional perspectives.
As a special feature of the fifth event, Katja Hille (TiHo Hannover), Dr. Hendrik Scheinemann and Dr. Jan Schinköthe (FLI Riems) presented a review of the beginnings of the JSZM and meetings already held. Afterwards, they offered an outlook on the possible future of the junior researcher event and the promotion of young scientists in general and initiated an interesting discussion on the current situation of young scientists in zoonoses research.
Following the meeting, the election of the junior scientists' representative for the Internal Advisory Board of the Zoonoses Platform took place. From the ranks of the young scientists present, Dr. Shari Fell (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) was elected member of the Internal Advisory Board. As of October 2017, she will protect and represent the interests of young scientists in national zoonoses research in this committee.
As in previous years, the event was highly appreciated by the participating Junior Scientists as well as by the Senior Scientists who presented and attended. Furthermore, there were numerous suggestions for further events, e.g. regarding workshops and future JSZMs.
The JSZM 2018 will take place at the end of May / beginning of June 2018 at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) in Hamburg.