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

ection of motion. His work involves understanding the neural information processing at the level of individual neurons and small neural circuits. Prof. Dr. David Poeppel, from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany, spoke on the brain’s basis of speech perception and language comprehension. The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics aims to use scientific methods to explain the psychological, neuronal and socio-cultural basis of aesthetic perceptions and judgments. Prof. Dr. Reinhard Jahn, who has served as Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry since 1997, discussed Exocytosis of synaptic vesicles – a closer look at the fusion machine. His work includes studying how synaptic vesicles are filled within seconds with thousands of neurotransmitter molecules.

“We are honored to have hosted such a diverse and talented group of researchers,” said Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director at MPFI. “The weekend was filled with discussion around opportunities and challenges among the members of this Max Planck neuroscience research community. Collaboration is key to unlocking major scientific discoveries and we are proud to have served as the catalyst for work that has great implications for the public.”

By hosting this event, MPFI is building on strategies to continuously improve and grow the thriving neuroscience community in South Florida. For more information about the Max Planck Neuroscience community across the globe, visit