MDC strengthens cooperation with Poland

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) is launching a strategic partnership with the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) in Warsaw. In an initial step, science managers from the two research centers will exchange knowledge and experience.

The MDC will first host two science management specialists from IIMCB; the partnership officially gets under way in February 2020 and will run for eight weeks. It is funded through the GO-EXCHANGE project, which is part of the ERA Fellowships – Science Management program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). What’s special about GO-EXCHANGE is that it takes place not at the level of science but at the level of science management. “GO-EXCHANGE will help build enduring networks with scientific institutions in the EU-13 member states, which are the countries that joined the European Union from 2004 onwards. The aim is to integrate these countries more closely into the EU and to strengthen solidarity,” explains Joanna Kaldrack. She is a research officer in the MDC’s Department for Strategic Cooperations and Research Funding, which led the efforts to bring the project to Center.

“We will exchange knowledge and experience with our Polish guests, especially in areas such as the management of grant applications and participation in scientific networks like EU-LIFE and LifeTime. Further areas will include ethics, compliance and digitalization,” says Kaldrack. But the science manager stressed that the exchange is not a one-way street: “For example, IIMBC has been working in the field of digitalization longer than we have. I’m sure they will have ideas that we can use at the MDC.”

Networking in bioinformatics and neurobiology

Two three-week trainings are planned, as well as a reciprocal visit to Warsaw. “IIMCB is strong in bioinformatics and neurobiology. We want to establish stronger ties between the groups working in these fields at the two institutions,” reports Kaldrack. Marcin Ogonowski will be the first guest from IIMCB; the MDC will then host his colleague Dorota Libiszowska in May. The reciprocal visit will take place in October 2020.

IIMBC is also a new partner of the MDC within EU-LIFE. This alliance of 14 life science research centers came together to support and strengthen research excellence in Europe. The MDC is already cooperating with the Czech Republic through EU-LIFE – a Polish institution is now on board as a long-term strategic partner.

Text: Wiebke Peters