Scientists in Jena decided to tackle the task of decoding the languages of microorganisms. The complexity of this undertaking requires the concerted effort of researchers from various scientific disciplines. In order to bring these disciplines together, the Graduate School "Jena School for Microbial Communication" (JSMC) was founded. Within a structured PhD training program, doctoral researchers at JSMC receive an intensive, interdisciplinary education on topics centered around "Microbial Communication".
Consequently, not only microbiologists are trained at the JSMC. The institutes at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena involved in the JSMC PhD training program are distributed over five university faculties (Biology & Pharmacy, Chemistry & Earth Sciences, Medical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, and Mathematics & Computer Sciences). Moreover, six non-university reseach facilities participate in JSMC (Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Institute of Photonic Technology, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Helmholtz Centre of Environmental Research, and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry). Twelve companies in the fields of biotechnology and physical high technology do not only ensure a rapid transfer of JSMC research results into industrial application, but also participate in training of the doctoral researchers.
This extensive network of research institutions and biotech companies in Jena facilitates a lively exchange of ideas and information between all members of JSMC. It is one of the major tasks of the doctoral researchers at JSMC to contribute to strengthening this network. With this aim in mind, their research projects are deliberately situated between the usual research disciplines at the interfaces where investigations rarely occur.