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11 cities, 6 countries, 16,474 miles

I was fortunate to have been invited to speak at a few outstanding meetings in Germany last fall and managed to make an amazing 5-week trip out of it by squeezing in visits and seminars with a number of colleagues in Europe.

Charo Robles in Munich

My trip kicked off with an exciting meeting at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz, Germany where Eva Wolf and Achim Kramer hosted a terrific symposium on Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Clocks. From there, I flew to Cambridge, UK to visit Mick Hastings and John O'Neill at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and then headed on to Paris for an expat Thanksgiving celebration with Muge Ogrunc, a fellow Sancar lab alum. After a wonderful break in Paris replete with cutting-edge art exhibits, eating, and celebrating, I made my way to Munich, Germany to visit Charo Robles, Martha Merrow and Till Roenneberg for a fun visit full of exciting science and good beer. For an added bonus, I got to catch up with Partch lab alum Hande Asimgil, who is working as a staff scientist in Munich!

After Munich, I headed to Basel, Switzerland to visit with my first PhD student, Alicia Michael, an EMBO and HFSP postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Nico Thoma. Visiting Nico's lab was inspiring--such great science and trainees! I also managed to visit an old friend, Paul Erbel, from the Gardner lab, where I did my postdoc training. Many thanks to Paul for giving me the chance to speak to the Protein Science group at Novartis about our work on the molecular basis for night owl and morning lark behavior.

After Basel, I made my way back to Germany to visit Michael Brunner in Heidelberg and speak at the DFG Network meeting on Spatio-temporal regulation of cellular signaling. Thanks to Walter Nickel and colleagues for putting together an amazing meeting with a huge breadth of science and great talks. including my friend Meg Stratton from U Mass Amherst. I'm grateful to Achim Kramer and Hanspeter Herzel for the invitation to speak.

Four weeks into the trip... and it rounded out with a trip to Rehovot, Israel for the student-run Timelines in Biology meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to rhythms (biological and otherwise) from Gal Manella and Rona Aviram, two of Gad Asher's students who coordinated the meeting along with Yaarit Adamovich.

Kingsley pencil stamping machine

When I got back, I wanted to thank all of my gracious hosts, so I fired up my graphic designer husband's Kingsley pencil stamping machine and made some custom sets of pencils with a circadian focus with sayings like 'Night owl, 'Morning lark' and 'Zeitgebers abound."

Check out Gad and his trainees Gad, Rona and Yaarit (left to right) below with their pencils.

Thanks again to everyone for an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip filled with friends and amazing science.

Members of the Asher lab

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