FLiACT Summer School

Start date: 
10 Sep 2015
End date: 
14 Sep 2015
Venue city: 
venue country: 

Learning from the lord of the genes: Using Drosophila for Neurobiological and Behavioural studies.

A workshop from Young Scientists for Young Scientists.

A report by the Champalimaud organisation team:

The Drosophila neuroscience workshop was organized within the context of a European doctoral training network (FLiACT) focusing on “Systems neuroscience of Drosophila: from genes to circuits to behaviours”.

The goal workshop was for young neuroscientists to train young neuroscientists in how to use Drosophila to study the development and function of neuronal circuits. During 5 days, 20 young scientists participated in the Drosophila neuroscience workshop. The course was totally oversubscribed allowing us to select outstanding participants and highlighting the attractiveness of the course. During these days the participants heard lectures from world leaders in different aspects of Drosophila neuroscience, had the opportunity to get hands‐on training in different techniques including quantitative, automated behavioural analysis, two-photon calcium imaging, and advanced neuroanatomical methods. The hands-on training was performed by senior graduate students together with the invited speakers. When asked in the workshop evaluation questionnaire if the participants had enjoyed the fact that some of the instructors were also PhD students, we had very positive responses:

“For me, the fact that the course was organized by students made it one of the most exciting part. I absolutely enjoyed being taught by peers!” – by workshop participant

“I did enjoy this. They were very enthusiastic about their work and also very talented in what they were demonstrating-for me this is all that is necessary to be a good teacher.” – by workshop participant

At the end of the workshop the participants had the opportunity to evaluate and discuss their career perspectives and develop implemental actions to promote a future in neuroscience. Furthermore, the students extensively used the opportunity to network with the present scientists as well as the senior students. In the workshop questionnaire used to assess the satisfaction of the participants they highlighted the outstandingly positive impact of the course. What was especially remarkable was the importance of having access to more senior peers to discuss their science and also assess their current situation within their projects.

Furthermore, seeing how the tutors had mastered the challenging techniques nowadays required in neuroscience was outstandingly motivating for the participants.

“It was great, very helpful that they were at the same career stage as me and gave me confidence that I could repeat the methods they had learnt. As stressed throughout the course, a lot of methods in neuroscience hold some fear and getting rid of this fear was of vital importance.” – by workshop participant

Together with a low registration cost the support of our sponsors allowed us to invite many participants from underprivileged laboratories maximizing the impact of the course.


FLiACT fellows teaching the participants of  the summer school. FLiACT coordinator Matthieu Louis (second right), summer school organiser Carlos Ribeiro (third right), and invited faculty.  FLiACT fellows and workshop particpants discuss with Leonie Ringrose career perspectives.


List of faculty:

Andrew Seeds PhD (Julie Simpson lab, Janelia Research Campus, USA), Gregory Jefferis PhD (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK), Marta Costa PhD (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK), Leslie Griffith PhD (Brandeis University, MS, USA), Scott Waddell PhD (Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior, University of Oxford, UK), Eugenia Chiappe PhD (Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Portugal), Christen Mirth PhD (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Lisbon, Portugal), Leonie Ringrose PhD (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria).


a) FLiACT fellows: Ajinkya Deogade, Ahmed Mohamed, Elie Fink, Guangda Liu, Ibrahim Tatsekin, Ivan Larderet, Marianthi Karageorgi, Tanmay Nath, Sayanne Soselisa, Samuel Walker, Sercan Sayin, Simon Weinberger and Valentina Ferlito.

b) Post Doctoral fellows: Terufumi Fujiwara and Pavel Itskov. 

More information about the summer school you can find here.


FLiACT summer school Programme.pdf316.28 KB
Sep 2015