The Jupiter Life Science Initiative (JLSI) was intended to bring an FAU research presence to Jupiter and to collaborate with the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and the Scripps Florida to create a tri-institutional research and training center. In the last five years, the FAU presence has grown dramatically and this very impressive showing at the SYNAPSE event demonstrates our success. More than 150 young scientists including, 40 Postdocs, 40 graduate students and 30 undergraduates from the three institutions demonstrate that we are succeeding in this endeavor. The SYNAPSE event is focused on the trainees and is designed to exhibit their work and enhance the connectivity across the campus. Students and postdocs are the workhorses and tech-transfer engines of the research endeavor, and this event is intended to create new synapses and strengthen old ones among our many members. Many of these posters and recent publications have authors from multiple institutions demonstrating the collective effort of the group.
“All three institutions on FAU’s Jupiter campus are leading key initiatives from their neuroscience programs,” said Dr. Rod Murphey, JLSI Director and Department of Biological Sciences Chair. “SYNAPSE is just one of the many opportunities that FAU’s Jupiter Life Science Initiative offers to foster growth and collaboration among the three institutes, creating exciting and valuable environment for our students and scientists.”
“This event gives the unique opportunity for researchers, ranging from undergraduates to principal investigators from all institutes, to come together to share their work and network,” said Serena Sossi, FAU Integrative Biology-Neuroscience Ph.D. candidate that works in the laboratory of Dr. Hiroki Taniguchi at the Max Planck Florida Institute. “This intermingling of backgrounds inescapably leads to a flow of ideas allowing collaboration to flourish.”
The large number of undergraduate and graduate students at this event highlights our success at expanding the training endeavor. A number of training related projects have been initiated or are on the drawing board. The FAU Integrative Biology-Neuroscience PhD program was the origin of the doctoral program and it has grown to 17 students and multiple programs including the International Max Planck Research School for Brain and Behavior program that extends our reach to Europe where we are now “on the map” for potential neuroscience students. At the undergraduate level, JLSI supports an undergraduate Research Experience (REU) program each summer. We are also in the process of creating an undergraduate FAU-Max Planck Honors program that will begin functioning in fall 2018.