At the auditory of the Centro Cultural de la Ciencia (C3), located at the Polo Científico Tecnológico in Palermo district, the Frontiers in Biosciences Symposium was inaugurated. It was organized jointly between the Biomedicine Research Institute of Buenos Aires (IBioBA, CONICET-MPSP) and the Max Planck Society (MPS) of Germany.
The aim of the meeting is to discuss the state of the art of the different disciplines that comprise the Biosciences field, such as structural, plant, molecular, and cell biology.
During the opening, Alejandro Ceccatto, president of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), said “Germany and Argentina have had a historical and productive relationship in different scientific and technological areas. I hope to continue strengthening the bonds between both scientific communities.”
As regards the IBioBa –the first and unique Latin American institute associated to the German organism- Ceccatto added “it is important not only for its scientific quality but also for its great potential to attract foreign scientists that will later interact with local researchers and students. At CONICET, we are very proud of the stable bonding between the Max Planck Society and the IBioBA.”
Ceccatto was accompanied by the former vice chairman of the Max Planck Society and director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry of Göttingen, Herbert Jackle. Glad for the attendance of young researchers, the scientist said: “One of the missions of the Max Planck Society is to become more international so that’s why we seek to work with foreign gifted researchers. For this reason, we want to work with Latin Americans.” He also highlighted the role of women in science and their presence at the meeting.
Both representatives recognized the work and commitment of Eduardo Arzt, CONICET senior researcher and director at the IBioBA-, for the good development of the symposium.
It is worth mentioning that there are more than thirty directors of Max Planck Institutes including Erwin Neher, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1991 and former director of the membranes department of the Max Planck Institute of Göttingen, and scientists of Argentine research centers who study biomedicine.
On Friday afternoon, there will be a public ceremony in which the minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, and the ex president of the Max Planck Society, Peter Gruss are going to be present.
The relationship between the MPS and Argentine science has lasted for more than twenty years and included different scientific collaborations, joint projects and Argentine visits to the various Max Planck Institutes in Germany.
In November 2007, there was an agreement between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Argentina and the Max Planck Society for the creation of an Institute in Biomedicine which formalized after the signature of the right regulation between the MPS and CONICET, represented by its current president at that time, Eduardo Charreau.
The current founder of the Institute and current director, Eduardo Arzt, is also an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society, according to the founding agreement of the Institute.
The MPS –which has about eighty research institutes- has trained Nobel Prize winners and is devoted to basic research on natural, biological and social sciences. With the universities, the MPS trains young researchers in the 43 Max Planck International Research Schools. Foreign exchange is one of the main characteristics of the society: it has more than 1300 projects with foreign partners.
The institution has three partner institutes abroad: one of them is in Shangai, China; another in the USA and the third one in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the IBioBA as the first one in Latin America.
According to its activity, the IBioBA is one basic biomedicine institute, that is to say, it does not focus on clinical diseases, it covers subjects such as the function of the cells, diseases’ development and the biological problems that lead to them. It also studies cell growth, functional proteomics, and neurobiology.
Its mission is to promote the development of new technologies for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Furthermore, scientists work on the production of patents and the development in companies. These studies are conducted jointly with other three institutes located at the Polo Científico y Tecnológico.
Currently, the staff of the Institute comprises eighteen researchers – ten of them were repatriated–, more than forty doctoral and postdoctoral fellows and researchers, eleven technicians and eight administrative staff.