A PhD student in retreat

“The ZNZ PhD School is a super organization”. Interview with PhD student Karl Frontzek, MD, of the Institute of Neuropathology, USZ, about the ZNZ PhD retreat in Valens.

ZNZ Newsletter: What did you like about the retreat?
Karl Frontzek: I have enjoyed the exchange of scientific ideas with other PhD students. From the professional point of view, I could benefit from the retreat at lot. The presentations of students coming from the diverse neuroscience disciplines, united in the ZNZ, makes it a highly interesting event.

What did you present?
Since I am in the first year of my PhD studies, I presented a poster entitled “A novel fluorescence-based live-imaging assay for sensitive detection of neuronal cell loss in hippocampal organotypic slice cultures”. PhD students in their third and fourth year presented their work in a talk.

How was the interaction with other PhD students?
I had a number of interesting discussions at my poster. The exciting thing is that – coming from different disciplines – other PhD students looked at my work from a completely different angle. Very refreshing! I have made many new contacts at the retreat and have refreshed those I already had. During the retreat we formed a real community; this was of course strengthened by the evening activities: we had dinner together and went on a wine tasting event at a nearby vineyard.

What is your opinion of the ZNZ PhD program?
The ZNZ PhD School is a super organization that puts a lot effort in the education of their PhD students with an extended program. The PhD retreat that is part of this program was very well organized. The location is superb and I enjoyed visiting the Clinic Valens of which I had heard so much before. It was a nice weekend that has enriched me both personally and professionally. I plan on going to the meeting again next year.

The annual retreat is a workshop for PhD students held in the Rehabilitation Center Clinic Valens. The retreat took place from 1-3 May 2014.