31st EMBL Alumni Association board meeting

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On 20 July 2018, the EMBL Alumni Association board gathered at EMBL in Heidelberg for their 31st meeting.

The agenda included updates on developments across EMBL and, in particular, on alumni relations, the alumni volunteer programme and international relations.

There were also in-depth discussions on:

  • Proposals to commemorate Fotis Kafatos, EMBL’s 3rd Director General who passed away in late 2017.  The board is now developing more detailed plans including costing estimates for those proposals it has selected for further consideration.
  • Developing a mechanism for receiving memorial funds in the form of donations, for alumni who have sadly passed away.  The board agreed to establish a working group to look at this initiative in more detail and discuss how it could be implemented.
  • Planning for upcoming EAA board elections, which are next due to take place in 2019.  Any alumni who are interested in standing for election are encouraged to get in touch with the Alumni Relations team at alumni@embl.org.  We will be circulating further information about board elections to all alumni in early 2019.

After the meeting, board members celebrated the achievements of this year’s John Kendrew and Lennart Philipson Award winners at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony.  John Kendrew Award winner, Nils Gehlenborg, gave an inspiring presentation about his work visualising complex genomic and clinical datasets for scientists.  Lennart Philipson Award winner, Raffaele De Francesco, revealed how his research paved the way for making Hepatitis C the first chronic viral infection that is now curable with direct antiviral agents. Both prizes are awarded by the EAA annually.

The Alumni Awards Ceremony was then followed by a special farewell celebration for Iain Mattaj, who will be stepping down as EMBL Director General at the end of 2018, where alumni and staff entertained a packed auditorium with heartfelt presentations and performances of song and dance.

The next EAA board meeting will be held at EMBL Hamburg on Friday 1 February 2019.