14th Final of the German Neuroscience Olympiad at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

April 27, 2024

On April 27, the final of the German Neuroscience Olympiad (DNO) took place for the 14th time at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. The event provided a platform for the 45 best young neuroscientists from German schools to demonstrate their knowledge of the brain in various competitions.

Participants in this nationwide competition had previously been selected in three regional preliminary rounds in Berlin, Bonn and Heidelberg. The competition consisted of several disciplines, including a written test, a neuroanatomy test and a patient diagnosis. The highlight of the event was the grand final, where the top students competed in a final elimination challenge. All tests and discussions were conducted in English, emphasizing the international nature of the event.

As MPI for Brain Research Postdoc Dori Grijseels said: "It is great to see the next generation of students show such passion for neuroscience. I was very impressed by the depth of their knowledge and their enthusiasm for the subject.”

In between rounds of the competition, participants, their parents and teachers were able to conduct their own experiments at various booths in the institute foyer. Neuroscientists from research and medical practice were available to answer questions and provide insights into their work.

The competition is an initiative of the DNO e.V., a nationwide association whose goal is to inspire and connect students with the neurosciences. Under the motto “driving connectivity”, young people are encouraged to acquire comprehensive knowledge of neuroscience at an early age and to share their enthusiasm for the brain and its research.

The German final of the DNO was made possible by the volunteer efforts of students and scientists from Frankfurt and beyond. In addition, partnerships with organizations such as the German Neuroscience Society (NWG) and the Hertie Foundation helped make the event possible.

The winner of the competition, Krzysztof Janota from Berlin, will represent Germany at the International Brain Bee (IBB) competition, happening online during the Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago in October 2024. The DNO thus offers talented young neuroscientists not only the opportunity to present their knowledge and skills, but also to gain international experience and exchange ideas with like-minded people.

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