Mediterranean sunshine, food and spirit made for an excellent staff-alumni event at EMBL Monterotondo on Friday 23rd November. This was the second year that local alumni were invited to meet staff at an EMBL outstation in combination with an EMBL Alumni Association board meeting.
Phil Avner, Head of EMBL Monterotondo since June 2012, warmly welcomed alumni to EMBL’s youngest and smallest outstation, established in 1997 with now 75 staff, asking them to help the outstation strengthen its links with scientists and institutes throughout Italy.
The excellent turn out of 60 staff and alumni was a great way to conclude an already successful Alumni Association board meeting. Key decisions made at the meeting concerned the selection of the 2013 John Kendrew Young Scientist Award winner, and planning for a series of local chapter events to celebrate the EMBL 40th anniversary, in addition to an EMBL 40th Anniversary reunion programme, scheduled for 18-19 July 2014 at EMBL Heidelberg.
Phil Avner: "It was a pleasure to meet the Alumni Association board for the first time and to appreciate the sense of commitment that alumni have to EMBL and the richness of their souvenirs and 'vécu' concerning their EMBL careers."
Dónal O'Carroll: "The meeting really highlighted the importance of the Alumni Association. Interacting with Des Higgins, I learnt of the challenges currently facing Irish research and of EMBLs importance to Ireland. To celebrate our reciprocal contribution, we plan to hold a one day conference in Dublin to coincide with EMBL's 40th anniversary."
Rafael Ramirez Morales: "Having the EMBL Alumni Association event at Monterotondo was a good opportunity to meet the Alumni Association Board and visit the EMBL Monterotondo outstation. Even after working several years in Rome, I had never gotten around to visiting the EMBL campus. These events are very interesting occasions to exchange ideas on a variety of topics, meet new people, connect with old friends and build new networks. It would be nice to see more small events of the national EMBL chapters, just to swap some ideas over a couple of beers."