Donations for Projects in the Lindau Region

Symbolic handover of books with portraits of Nobel Laureates. © Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

The donations of this year’s Grill & Chill event that took place during the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting have today been handed over to two projects in the Lindau region. A total of 2.850 € will be used to support the Mentor Stiftung Deutschland for workhops with students at a school in Lindau. Another 5.000 € go to the nature conservation project Degermoos. The project is also supported with 688 € that were donated by young scientists during #LINO18.

Do not Lose Confidence in Yourself

Interview with Lindau Alumna Martine Abboud

This interview is part of a series of interviews of the “Women in Research” blog that features young female scientists participating in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, to increase the visibility of women in research (more information for and about women in science by “Women in Research” on Facebook and Twitter). Enjoy the interview with Martine and get inspired.

Martine Abboud from Lebanon is a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She participated in the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting as an Eddy Fischer Lindau Fellow. Her doctoral research made use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the activity of two classes of enzymes in important biological processes. Her work has led to novel method applications, the mechanistic understanding of these enzymes, and the development of inhibitors for them. She is currently working on metabolic enzymes involved in cancer.

 

Martine Abboud in her lab. Photo/Credit: Martine Abboud

What inspired you to pursue a career in science?

I have always been driven by curiosity. I grew up asking my parents loads of questions about everything around us. I was so fascinated by the stars and galaxies that I wanted to become an astronaut. However, during my teenage years my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He was one of the closest people to my heart, and his illness made me question my career choices. I wanted to help people but did not feel suited to working in a hospital, so I decided to pursue a career in scientific research.

 

Who are your role models?

My role model in science is a bright mind, who makes impactful contributions, and who is a beautiful human being at the same time. To me, academic merit is as equally important as being kind.
During my time in Oxford, I have discovered a genuine enthusiasm for scientific research, which has undoubtedly been enhanced by my supervisor’s support and positive attitude. Prof C. Schofield has given me the freedom to work on various fascinating and rewarding projects which span multiple areas of research. His guidance style suits my curious nature and has helped my development as a scientist enormously, allowing me to acquire practical skills in a range of topics and biochemical/physical techniques. My NMR work with Prof T. Claridge has also nurtured my passion for research even further. These two along with former mentors at LAU, Profs S. Tokajian, C. Daher, R. Taleb, and S. Ammous, are people I look up to. They have inspired me to thrive.

 

How did you get to where you are in your career path?

At the undergraduate level, I started by learning biology to better understand physiological processes and their pathological implications. Soon after, I realised that biology and chemistry are complementary and that an understanding of both fields is important to achieve results of clinical relevance. Hence, I went for a secondary focus in chemistry, both at the Lebanese American University (LAU), from which I graduated with the President’s award for excellence and leadership skills.
The interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford caught my attention as I was excited to work at this interface. Coming from a minority background, I was scared of applying to Oxford because of how competitive and prestigious it is, but my mother was right – not applying is a definite rejection. I am glad I did. During my time there, I was provided with opportunities I never dreamt I would be lucky enough to have. Three years later, I graduated with a Thesis Commendation at the university divisional level, winning awards from both academia and industry.
Being Lebanese, another major challenge was securing funding. The government does not have support funds and most non-Lebanese funds are available to select nationalities. My doctoral studies would not have been possible without the support of the British Biochemical Society through the Sir Hans Krebs Memorial Award, college and departmental grants and prizes, and the guidance of my former and current mentors, to whom I am beyond grateful.
Having been granted a Junior Research Fellowship from Kellogg College, Oxford, last year, I am developing my skills further. I think basic research is important in understanding molecular mechanisms and I have enjoyed doing both proof-of-principle and applied studies. I am interested in enabling science, community, and policy to combat antimicrobial resistance and I am pursuing work on the metabolic enzymes involved in cancer with the aim of starting my independent academic group in the future.

 

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?

During my doctoral studies, I worked on antibiotic resistance and, more specifically, on metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) which degrade the β-lactam antibiotics: the most commonly used class of antibiotics. My method development using protein-observe 19F-NMR has provided new structural insights into MBL catalysis and the requirements for inhibitor development. My work with cyclobutanone shed light on MBL mechanism and showed that it may mimic the formation of the oxyanion tetrahedral intermediate in β-lactam hydrolysis. I have studied the susceptibility of avibactam, the first clinically useful non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor, to MBL-catalysed hydrolysis. The results revealed that avibactam is not an MBL inhibitor and a poor substrate of most members of all three clinically relevant subclasses of MBLs.
I have also applied NMR methods to study the human prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein 2 (PHD2), which is crucially involved in the chronic hypoxic response. The hypoxic response is important under normal conditions, but also at high altitudes and in cancerous conditions. My work showed that the substitution of a single amino acid, as occurs with PHD2 variants linked to erythrocytosis and breast cancer, can alter the selectivity of PHD2 towards its substrates. Competition and displacement assays were designed and applied to investigate PHD inhibitor binding modes. Comparative studies on the activities and selectivities of PHD inhibitors in clinical trials should aid in the work on the therapeutic manipulation of the natural hypoxic response.

 

Eddy Fischer Lindau Fellow Martine Abboud with Nikolaus Turner, Managing Director of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, and Ernst Ludwig Winnacker, Director of The Vallee Foundation. Photo/Credit: Patrick Kunkel/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

What’s a time you felt immense pride in yourself/your work?

I was beyond thrilled to be selected to represent the university at the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and to be named a Future Leader in my field by the American Chemical Society CAS SciFinder programme. Unlike traditional conferences, these two meetings were focused on what shapes a scientist and on the importance of science communication, leadership, outreach activities, interdisciplinary science, and global integration. All of these topics are close to my heart as I have advocated for them on internal committees in our department. My proudest moments have always been about lobbying and succeeding in introducing change to internal policies. My recent achievement, along with other committee members, was introducing management trainings for new principal investigators/group leaders. I believe that being great at science and people management are not necessarily related; these trainings will help to further create a better environment for graduate students, ensure their wellbeing, and encourage a culture of proper life-work balance.

 

What is a ‘day in the life’ of Martine like?

A day in the lab is never typical. It varies a lot depending on what types of experiment are being done. But one thing is common: we always encounter surprises! Working in a lab environment is flexible but never boring, and that’s an aspect I enjoy. A protein preparation, for instance, requires spending a few hours in a cold room (4°C) while protein NMR-ing takes an overnight run in the basement. I have spent so much time with these machines that I have even given them nicknames! Experiments do not always go as planned and this is okay. Life in research has taught me how to deal with failures, enjoy the small successes, and keep going. It is important to troubleshoot all the time as some of the most exciting discoveries in science come from mistakes. Determination, perseverance, and serendipity are keys in scientific research.
My day will, however, always include a cup of tea. Our group is very international and we enjoy sharing a dynamic environment. I end up learning exciting cultural aspects over tea most of the time. Other days in the lab involve writing or meeting with collaborators and these are as important as doing the experimental work. It is crucial to communicate our findings with the scientific community: it puts our science into perspective, shapes our future direction and, sometimes, even helps in influencing policy.

 

What are you seeking to accomplish in your career?

I have come to realise that success in science is not an overnight effort. It is the accumulation of years of hard work. I would love to have an independent academic career and I aspire to meaningfully contribute to society. There is nothing better than leaving a legacy. My dream is to contribute back to my society by helping build a research centre in the Middle Eastern region. I have worked with Oxford Entrepreneurs earlier this year and helped in organising the Oxford Hackathon. Over 300 students from 90+ universities attended; there are so many bright minds and ideas out there that just need to be given the right opportunities. I hope to inspire the next generation of scientists through Oxford and build bridges between science and entrepreneurship in both regions as science has no nationality.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not doing research?

In my free time, I like painting and poetry writing. Science and art are complementary on various levels. Art sets me free; the alchemy of colours with no boundaries is very relaxing to me. I do enjoy attending events and talks which are stimulating and intellectually challenging. Recently, I have become interested in coding and computer science. Electronic information and machine learning are on the rise. Chemists are not meant to be lifetime technicians. Accordingly, we need to learn how to keep being creative in a technological era. Using the power of AI will help us with our daily tasks. I also write scientific articles to various magazines and blogs, contribute to different societies (including the Oxford Arab Society and Oxford Entrepreneurs), and run events and social media outlets. My ultimate guilty pleasures remain travelling and watching football though.

 

Martine Abboud in conversation with Nobel Laureate Walter Gilbert at #LINO18. Photo/Credit: Christian Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

What advice do you have for other women interested in science?

As young women, we are more prone to being victims of implicit bias. We need to be more assertive in the workplace. Curiosity is the driving force of a scientist. The most exciting discoveries arise from mistakes. My advice is do not be afraid to make mistakes. Troubleshoot and think critically all the time. It might feel hard sometimes, but keep going. Do not lose confidence in yourself. Manage your time and do your tasks. There are networks of more experienced women who can help and support us; do not be afraid to speak out, reach out, and get involved.

 

In your opinion, what will be the next great breakthrough in physiology/medicine?

Our understanding of the human brain and of driving forces in developmental biology is still very limited. Novel discoveries in these fields will definitely be breakthroughs. The same applies to developing novel and more powerful methods enabling quicker drug discovery and deeper biological understanding.

 

What should be done to increase the number of female scientists and female professors?

Encouraging women to become scientists is unfortunately not enough. If we do really want more women to be involved, we need to create the right environments for them to thrive. As much as mobility is important to provide scientists with wider perspectives, the current culture of “postdoctoral nomading” is very destabilising and difficult for people with partners and/or caring responsibilities. It should not be a prerequisite on fellowship applications; women should not feel pressurised into changing environments every couple of years. Another simple example for creating suitable environments is by not holding talks/seminars after 4 pm. People with caring responsibilities are directly excluded from these meetings and this can make them wrongly feel guilty and/or less dedicated than their colleagues. Proper life-work balance is important and nurturing; it enhances productivity and happiness.

 

Additional Note: A video interview with Martine Abboud at #LINO18 can be watched here.

Lindauer Nobelpreisträger-Steg entsteht

Am Therese-von-Bayern-Platz vor der neuen Lindauer Inselhalle wird der Nobelpreisträger-Steg entstehen. © Ingenieurbüro Sabine Wiederer

Am Donnerstag, den 4. Oktober 2018 sind die Bauarbeiten für den Lindauer Nobelpreisträger-Steg fortgesetzt worden. Der neu entstehende Steg bildet künftig die zentrale Station des Lindauer Wissenspfades und ehrt die rund 400 Nobelpreisträger, die seit Gründung der Lindauer Nobelpreisträgertagungen 1951 in Lindau waren.

Weitere Informationen zum Stegbau lesen Sie in unserer Pressemitteilung.

#LINO18 Daily Recap – Friday, 29 June 2018

After a week filled with impassionate lectures, insightful discussions and an abundance of scientific exchange we have come to the end of our  68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting – before we bid you farewell, take one more look at our highlights from Friday.

 

Picture of the day:

Farewell

Young scientist Nataly Naser Al Deen gave a heartfelt farewell speech to all #LINO18 participants.

Photo/Credit: Gero von der Stein/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day: 

Young scientists attending a Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting frequently ask the laureates for career advice. In her latest blog post Tracing the Beginnings of a Scientific Career, Melissae Fellet describes  J. Michael Bishop’s and Harold Varmus’ experiences on career planning.  

Harold Varmus J. and Michael Bishop during the #LINO18 Agora Talk. Photo/Credit: Julia Nimke/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

https://twitter.com/MohamedBrolosy/status/1012684984447045632?s=09

https://twitter.com/Kiaraso/status/1012633901024661504?s=19

https://twitter.com/embl/status/1012683990795456512?s=19

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

Video of the day:

A glimpse of the final day of #LINO18 filled with inspiring encounters, fruitful discussions and last but not least a great party.

 

Obviously, this is not the only video of #LINO18! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque or our YouTube channel for more!

 

This was our last Daily Recap. We hope you enjoyed this week as much as we did and felt the Lindau Spirit!

Goodbye Lindau Alumni! Let’s stay connected!

#LINO18 Daily Recap – Thursday, 28 June 2018

Thursday was the last day at the Inselhalle in Lindau but not the last day of the meeting. Friday is going to take our participants to Mainau Island, so while they are enjoying their last day on this picturesque island, let’s take a look at what happened yesterday. Here are our highlights from Thursday:

Picture of the day:

Lecture by Ada Yonath

Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath giving a fascinating lecture on ‘Next Generation Species Specific Eco Friendly Antibiotics and Thoughts about Origin of Life’.

 

Picture/Credit: Christian Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day:

What will the future of scientific publishing look like? In her latest post, blogger Judith Reichel reflects on the heated debate during the #LINO18 panel discussion ‘Publish or Perish’.

#LINO18 panel discussion ‘Publish or Perish’. Photo/Credit: Patrick Kunkel/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

https://twitter.com/martina_kapitza/status/1012440530125508608

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

Video of the day:

Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie talks about his experiences in Lindau and shares that the best part of the meetings are the interactions with young scientists.

 

Obviously, this is not the only video from yesterday and today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque or our YouTube channel for more!

 

Tomorrow you will receive our last daily recap of the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Then it will be over with the  highlights in a blink of an eye. The daily recaps feature blog posts, photos and videos from the mediatheque.

#LINO18 Daily Recap – Wednesday, 27 June 2018

With Wednesday ending, we are striding towards the last two days of the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting – but that most certainly does not mean that the next days will be any less exciting than the previous ones. Talking about exciting days, let’s go take a look at some of yesterday’s highlights!

 

Video of the day:

The panel discussion ‘Publish or Perish’ with Nobel Laureates Randy Schekman and Harold Varmus was a heated debate on the role of high-impact scientific journals, transparency in the publication process and the responsibilities of publishers and scholars. 

 

 

Obviously, this is not the only video of #LINO18! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque or our YouTube channel for more!

 

Picture of the day:

Science Breakfast

Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt enjoying a light-hearted conversation with young scientists during the Science Breakfast of #LINO18

Photo/Credit : Patrick Kunkel/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day:

We can’t wait for the Bavarian Evening taking place tonight! On our blog, Alaina Levine proposes some Dos and Don’ts  for the penultimate #LINO18 party, and she also lifts a little surprise of the night…

Photo/Credit: Christian Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

 

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

Over the course of the next two days, we will keep you updated on the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with our daily recaps. The idea behind it is to bring to you the day’s highlights in a blink of an eye. The daily recaps will feature blog posts, photos and videos from the mediatheque.

#LiNO18 Daily Recap – Tuesday, 26 June 2018

We are already three days into this year’s Lindau Meeting and there are so many interesting things happening. We have collected a huge amount of exhilarating pictures, exceptional lectures and thought-provoking blog contributions. So as you can imagine there is so much more you should definitely check out on our mediatheque. For now enjoy some of yesterday’s highlights below!

 

Picture of the day:

Poster Session

Mohammed El-Brolosy explaining his research to other young scientists and Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler 

Photo/Credit: Julia Nimke/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day:

In her latest blog post, science journalist Alaina Levine describes the challenges of improving health care in developing nations and presents some exciting initiatives of #LINO18 young scientists Svenja Kohler from Germany, Nataly Naser Al Deen from Lebanon and Jeerapond Leelawattanachai from Thailand. 

 

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

 

Video of the day:

Young scientist Arunima Roy from the University of Würzburg comments on the psychology of the post-factual problem, describing her research on ADHD and how it can help to understand people’s inability to pay attention.

 

 

Obviously, this is not the only video from yesterday and today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque or our YouTube channel for more!

 

Over the course of the next three days, we will keep you updated on the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with our daily recaps. The idea behind it is to bring to you the day’s highlights in a blink of an eye. The daily recaps will feature blog posts, photos and videos from the mediatheque.

 

#LiNO18 Daily Recap – Monday, 25 June 2018

Yesterday, the scientific programme of the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting commenced. It was an inspiring day full of scientific exchange – this short recap can only give you a glimpse of everything that happened. You should definitely have a look at our mediatheque to see all the fascinating lectures!

 

Picture of the day:

Science Walk

Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt and young scientists enjoying a relaxing walk by the lake 

Picture/Credit: Christian Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day:

Never before have we had so many tools at our disposal to communicate and disseminate facts. And yet, the current general political and societal climate feels very anti-science and anti-fact. In her latest blog post, science writer Judith Reichel discusses whether science communication can bridge the gap and how Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty approaches the issue. “First and foremost, as science communicators, we have to base our stories and articles on facts and hard evidence,” he said during yesterday’s Agora Talk.

 

Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty and science journalist Zulfikar Abbany during the Agora Talk at #LINO18. Photo/Credit: Patrick Kunkel/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

 

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

Video of the day:

To kick off the scientific programme, freshly minted Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine Michael Rosbash gave an engaging first lecture on the inner clock.

 

 

Obviously, this is not the only video from yesterday and today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque for more.

 

Over the course of the next six days, we will keep you updated on the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with our daily recaps. The idea behind it is to bring to you the day’s highlights in a blink of an eye. The daily recaps will feature blog posts, photos and videos from the mediatheque.

#LiNO18 Daily Recap – Sunday, 24 June 2018

Do good science for the good of humanity.

Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn

 

 

Yesterday, the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting started in grand fashion with the festive opening ceremony featuring the warm and heartfelt welcome address by Countess Bettina Bernadotte and a very impassionate keynote address by Elizabeth Blackburn on the important role of science in today’s society and politics.

 

Picture of the day:

Inselhalle

We are happy to welcome 600 young scientists and 39 Nobel Laureates to our new and modernised meeting venue Inselhalle.

Photo/Credit: Julia Nimke/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

 

For even more pictures from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, past and present, take a look at our Flickr account.

 

Blog post of the day:

Spotlight on Women in Research at #LINO18


Some of the talented female young scientists of #LINO18 have answered questions about their career path, their passion for science, their struggles and successes and give advice to other women in research.

Do take a look at more exciting blog posts.

 

Tweets of the day:

 

Last but not least, follow us on Twitter @lindaunobel and Instagram @lindaunobel and keep an eye out for #LINO18

 

Video of the day:

“We can all agree that to solve humanity’s great challenges, we need all of humanity involved.”

Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn opened the Lindau Meeting with a keynote speech from the perspective of a leading scientist. In remarks directed towards those shaping research policy, she pleaded for a stronger integration of science in political decisions to resist the ‘post-truth age’.

Obviously, this is not the only video from yesterday and today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque for more.

Over the course of the next six days, we will keep you updated on the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with our daily recaps. The idea behind it is to bring to you the day’s highlights in a blink of an eye. The daily recaps will feature blog posts, photos and videos from the mediatheque.

Spotlight on Women in Research at #LINO18

Many talented female researchers are among the young scientists of #LINO18. In this interview series, they answer questions about their career path, their passion for science, their struggles and successes and give advice to other women in research.

Get inspired by…

Gintvile Valinciute from Lithuania

Menattallah Elserafy from Egypt

Lara Urban from Germany

Amy Shepherd from New Zealand

Rhiannon Edge from the UK

Nataly from Lebanon

Arunima Roy from India

Mieke Metzemaekers from the Netherlands

Miriam Van Dyke from the United States

Forough Khadem from Iran

Edith Phalane from South Africa

Harshita Sharma from India

Chelsea Cockburn from the USA

Lisa Nicholas from Malaysia

Mariana Alves from Portugal

Jeerapond Leelawattanachai from Thailand

Kayoko Shioda from Japan

and

Rushita Bagchi from India.

 

To be continued…

 

 

These interviews are part of a series of the “Women in Research” blog that features young female scientists, to increase the visibility of women in research (more information for and about women in science by “Women in Research” on Facebook and Twitter).