French-Israeli Research Summit at Institut Curie
The meeting took place in Paris on May 28–30: three years on from the previous workshop, which was held at the Weizmann Institute, a renowned Israeli research university located in Rehovot, south Tel Aviv. As previously, the workshop focused particularly on the interface between physics and biology. 23 researchers travelled over from Israel: 11 team leaders and 12 students and postdocs. On the French side, 30 researchers played an active role, including 13 permanent staff from Institut Curie and two from other Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) institutes. The event was free for the whole of the Institut Curie Research Center, and was very well attended.
The Weizmann Institute had a lot to share with Institut Curie. The three-day program of scientific seminars was split into four sessions: “in vitro systems”, “statistical analysis of biological systems”, “single-cell behavior”, and “multi-cellular systems”. The workshop began by looking at reconstituted acellular systems, then continued with a session on the physical analysis of complex biological systems, such as biological networks. The second part of the workshop focused on the biophysical study of a wide variety of cellular systems, ranging from individual cells to entire organisms. Effective integration between theory and practical research—a key feature of both institutes—was visible throughout the workshop, with both areas covered in parallel during the same sessions.
The organizers decided to favor presentations from young permanent researchers, which enabled them to reflect the community’s dynamism. Poster presentations were led by students and postdocs, giving young researchers from both institutions the opportunity to interact with senior colleagues and boost ongoing and future connections. Coffee breaks, meals, a gala dinner, and other social activities allowed opportunity for further scientific discussion and plans for future collaborations.
The event was deemed a success by all those who attended and is set to be repeated in Rehovot in 2020. Between now and then, the institutes plan to launch more joint projects and improve the organization of their ongoing collaborations through joint funding. This will serve to strengthen the leading position of both Institut Curie and the Weizmann Institute with regard to their interdisciplinary work, in the face of strong international competition.