Royal Palm Beach High School Student Beats Cancer, Pursues Dream of Becoming a Doctor

For Kristina Michel of Royal Palm Beach Community High School, being a student in the school’s medical academy carries an extra special meaning.

Diagnosed with retinoblastoma at the age of 3, Kristina underwent surgery to remove her right eye. As she must continuously undergo check-ups to ensure the cancer doesn’t return in her other eye, she understands the importance and significance of quality medical care.

“Having retinoblastoma has given me a sense of empathy, because it helps me see from different perspectives,” she shares.

In addition to her success in the medical academy, Kristina serves as the president of My Fair Ladies, a women’s empowerment and community service club at the school.

“I think it’s important that girls have role models because, if you’re a female, you don’t have to just be in magazines or in movies – you can be a doctor, you can be a teacher, you can be whatever you want to be,” she says.

Kristina is mentored by medical academy instructor Janet Fabra, a person she calls her best friend. The feeling of admiration is mutual for Ms. Fabra. “I can see her being a physician,” she says of Kristina. “Whatever her dreams are, she’ll conquer it.”

Click below to watch as Kristina pursues her passion of helping and empowering others.


Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience Builds Bridges Across the Globe with Annual Neuroscience Retreat

In November of this year, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), the only Max Planck Institute in the U.S., hosted the Max Planck Society’s annual Neuroscience Retreat, bringing together directors and group leaders from 14 Max Planck Institutes worldwide who are engaged in neuroscience research. The goal of this three-day event was to share advancements across the institutions and discover new areas of potential collaboration. The panel of expert speakers featured three keynotes: Prof. Dr. Axel Borst, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology; Prof. Dr. David Poeppel, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics; and Prof. Dr. Reinhard Jahn, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry.

Prof. Dr. Axel Borst from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany discussed how nerve cells compute the dir

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‘Simple, but powerful’ model reveals mechanisms behind neuron development

JUPITER, Fla. – Dec. 18, 2017 – All things must come to an end. This is particularly true for neurons, especially the extensions called axons that transmit electrochemical signals to other nerve cells. Without controlled termination of individual neuron growth, the efficient and accurate construction of a nervous system is in serious jeopardy.

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It impacts 100 million Americans, it is the number one reason that people go to see the doctor, and it is now a national crisis. The problem: chronic pain and prescription opioids. The dilemma: how to provide the most effective pain treatment for 80 percent of pain patients who are at least risk for addiction while causing the least harm to the remaining 20 percent who are at most risk. The solution: it’s very complicated, but it may be possible to address both problems without adversely affecting either.