Each Route28 summit is thematically unique, is individually organized and decidedly addresses different groups of potential participants. The basic structure of Route28 meetings however has remained the same and a core of organizers has been active at all Route28 meetings so far.
Route28 - Summits in Neurobiology combine exposure to the thoughts and works of the most accomplished researchers in neurobiology with the challenge of synthesizing ideas into novel scientific solutions. The Route28 Summits are set apart from the routine scientific meeting in that they focus on the direct interaction between students and prominent researchers in Neuroscience. This is highlighted by informal speaker-led discussion sessions where students test theories and conjectures in the context of the Summit topic. One of the hallmarks of a Route28 Summit is a low-key competition for three prizes. These prizes are given to the collaborative groups that generate the most creative but scientifically sound proposals on their assigned therapeutic topic. The organizers have designed these Summits with two goals in mind, to encourage an informal and relaxed exchange of ideas between senior scientists and student participants, and to promote rewarding collaborative interactions that will continue in future scientific endeavors.
The Route28 Summit format highlights the strengths of scientific collaboration in an environment modeled after the granting process. In a retreat-like setting participants will hear talks from well-known speakers. Formal talks will alternate with candid and critical discussions led by each speaker. During the course of the workshop, participants will work in groups of 5 members to solve one of three problems presented on the first evening of the meeting. On the last day, the groups will have the opportunity to readdress the speakers on any topic and will then finalize and present the strategies they have developed. Continuous access to Medline and on-line journals will help groups substantiate their proposals with current literature. A panel of senior scientists, including speakers and representatives from both academic and biotech communities will assemble as a Faculty Study Section to score the merit of each proposal based on the creativity, scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed projects.