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The 13th International School of Biophysics on Adriatic Cruise

Sep 2nd 2016
The 13th International School of Biophysics on Adriatic Cruise

Today Split hosts twenty international and Croatian scientists in the field of biophysics as well as 120 young doctoral candidates from 28 countries who gathered on the occasion of  the 13th International School of Biophysics Greta Pifat Mrzljak. This is one of the most interesting such projects in the country with a long trading of almost 35 years.

Since 1981, the School has been introducing the participants to various vantage points and aspects of the physics, chemistry and structure of biological and soft matter systems. The participants (mostly Ph.D. students) and lecturers came from comparably diverse scientific communities.

The 2016 School features a novel, itinerant concept in order to provide an intense experience, both for students and lecturers. The School starts at the new campus of University of Split with hands-on training in several experimental and computational biophysical techniques. From there on the School continues as an Adriatic islands cruise, towards University of Zadar. A comprehensive set of lectures in biophysics will be held throughout the cruise.

The School will introduce the participants (Ph.D. students) to various vantage points and aspects of the physics, chemistry and structure of biological and soft systems. The participants and lecturers come from comparably diverse scientific communities. Specifically, it will focus on the biomacromolecular complexes and assemblies (protein-RNA/DNA complexes, e.g., viruses, ribosomes; quaternary protein structures; DNA, proteins/ligands and polyelectrolytes).

In addition to the School’s inherent role in the transfer of knowledge and ideas, we emphasize its catalytic role in arranging future research collaborations, joint projects, visits and postdoc positions – and friendships. The previous 11th and 12th Schools were attended by 70-80 Ph.D. students, from 20 countries in Europe and some from Iran, Australia, Armenia and Russia. Usually 2/3 of the students presented the poster, of which about 20 gave also a short talk. There were usually about 20 lecturers from different countries: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, UK and USA.

The School, future and past

With the legacy of Prof. Pifat-Mrzljak in mind, it is the intention of the organizers to position this school as a biennial event, complementary to, rather than competing with, relevant international activities, e.g., the Regional Biophysics Conference or the EBSA Biophysics Course. In 2014 it was also coorganized by COST CM1306 Molecular Machines action as a training event for this Action.

We remind that for more than 30 years, the school was chaired by the late Prof. Greta Pifat-Mrzljak, an eminent Croatian biophysicist and recipient of the American Biophysical Society’s Emily M. Gray Award, and is generally regarded as one of the best of its kind in Europe. Through the years, it has been attended by more than one thousand Ph.D. students and postdocs interested in becoming acquainted with the state-of-the-art in biophysics. The lecturers have always been of the highest quality, including top scientists in their respective disciplines and several Nobel laureates.

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