More than 400 participants and 30 speakers took part in the Frontiers in Bioscience 4 Symposium, organised by the Instituto de Investigación en Biomedicina de Buenos Aires (IBioBA) from Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 September at the Centro Cultural de la Ciencia (C3).

After three intense and very full days, the international meeting dedicated to the field of biosciences came to an end. More than 30 talks with presentations by directors of Max Planck institutes in Germany and researchers from different centres in the country, gave the fourth edition of the Frontiers in Bioscience Symposium its pulse.

“It is a joy to have shared these days listening to conferences of an exceptional level. The Symposium has been very well attended, which shows how important these events are for the scientific community and makes it a unique opportunity to share and interact between Argentine and German peers”, said Damián Refojo, director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Buenos Aires (IBioBA, CONICET – Max Planck Partner).

The opening ceremony took place on Thursday afternoon and included speeches by Eduardo Arzt, founder of IBioBA; Peter Neven, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; Herbert Jäckle, former vice-president of the Max Planck Society; and Daniel Filmus, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

On the occasion, Arzt briefly recapped the history of the previous editions of the Symposium and the link with the Max Planck Society, and recalled the signing of the agreement in 2007 between CONICET and the German research society, which initiated the creation of IBioBA. He also stressed the importance of this type of meeting “which strengthens the ties of cooperation between our Institute and the Max Planck Society”.

Herbert Jäckle, for his part, celebrated the meeting and emphasised the friendship with the IBioBA, “which has made possible the collaboration over all these years, and the holding of these scientific meetings that strengthen the values of the Max Planck”. In his turn, Peter Neven referred to the historical link between Argentina and Germany and said that “science and cooperation are important: on behalf of the German Embassy, I affirm that we will continue to contribute so that this scientific collaboration continues to deepen”.

Finally, the head of the Ministry of Science referred to the importance of sustaining long-term state policies and being consistent in supporting science in the long term: “It is unimaginable that basic science is useful for the market, that it can be privatised, we cannot imagine a country without science”, he said. He also thanked the Institute of Biomedical Research of Buenos Aires because its construction was the cornerstone for the subsequent construction of the entire Scientific and Technological Pole.

Also present at the opening were the president of CONICET, Ana Franchi; the executive director of the Bunge y Born Foundation, Gerardo della Paolera; and members of the Foundation for the support of IBioBA.

The second day ended with a public lecture by Moritz Helmstaedter, director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, who spoke about the connectomics of the cerebral cortex, and was moderated by CONICET researcher Diego Golombek. Earlier in the day, Asifa Akhtar, vice-president of the Max Planck Society, gave a presentation entitled “Multiple facets of epigenetic regulation by the MSL complex: From the X chromosome to neurodevelopmental syndrome”.

On the third day of the meeting, there were presentations on signalling, microbiology, structural and plant biology. The final public lecture was given by Stefan Kaufmann, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, who spoke on vaccination against tuberculosis.

The symposium also featured two poster sessions in which more than 190 scholars and researchers from around the country presented their ongoing research. It is worth mentioning that 50 students from different provinces and from Mercosur countries who received scholarships from IBioBA through FOCEM – Mercosur also presented their posters.

The event is a postgraduate academic activity and scientific dissemination of IBioBA, carried out within the framework of the Mercosur FOCEM Biomedicine Project. The scientific coordination was in charge of Eduardo Arzt, founder of IBioBA and CONICET researcher, and Herbert Jäckle, former vice-president of Max Planck.