L-R: Annalisa Pastore, Anastasia Politou, Claudia Koch-Brandt, Oddmund Bakke, Mehrnoosh Rayner, Giulio Superti-Furga, Freddy Frischknecht, Maria del Mar Vivanco
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The EMBL Alumni Association board held its 17th meeting in Heidelberg on 14 March 2011. The board was delighted to note the continued diversity of new memberships from all eras, staff categories and EMBL Units, and agreed to offer a special prize for the 2000th member. Currently the Association has 1,787 members, 81% of whom are former EMBL scientists. The board would like to see this number grow to 2,500 in the next year to capture 50% of EMBL’s alumni population. 

Giulio Superti-Furga (Chair) thanked Oscar Martin-Almendral (Treasurer) for keeping the accounts, and EMBLEM for a generous annual donation of 2,500 Euros towards the EMBL Alumni Association Fund. The board will conduct a major survey in the second half of 2011 in an effort to further improve services for its members and best utilise its available funds.

The Alumni Relations Office reported its priorities for 2011 to the board. These include working closely with EMBL departments to better utilise the alumni network, better support of and collaboration with the EMBL outstations, and encouraging the formation of more local chapters. In preparation for the next big alumni reunion in 2014, the board agreed to prepare a special EMBL Alumni Association publication.

Giulio thanked all board members who will be stepping down before the September elections for their invaluable contributions. Giulio, Maria del Mar Vivanco and Oscar agreed to stand for the positions Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer respectively, and Giovanni Paolella, Anastasia Politou and Anastasios Koutsos agreed to stand as continuing board members.

The John Kendrew Award ceremony, which is always held during EMBL Lab Day, will be hosted this year by Maria, and presented by Sydney Brenner. The board looks forward to a large attendance of EMBL pre- and postdocs to hear the lecture from this year’s prize winner, former Monterotondo postdoc Amaicha Depino.

The EMBL Alumni Association initiative for a European Molecular Biology Archive (EMBA) is still in its early stages, and Giulio and Mehrnoosh will meet at the end of April to review and edit a business plan before taking this to the Working Group.


Approval of minutes from last session
Review of action points
Financial up-date
Approval of new members
Up-date on alumni relations at EMBL
Board elections 2011
John Kendrew Award Ceremony June 2011
Reunions and local chapter meetings
Current developments at EMBL


Giulio Superti-Furga
Oscar Martin-Almendral
Oddmund Bakke
Freddy Frischknecht
Claudia Koch-Brandt
Giovanni Paolella
Annalisa Pastore
Anastasia Politou
Maria del Mar Vivanco  

Matthias Hentze
Mehrnoosh Rayner