Max Brain Power


Clara Tepohl, FAU-IMPRS graduate student. Photography by Kevin Albertini.

Max Brain Power

FAU and Top Biomedical Organization Training the Scientists of Tomorrow

A partnership on FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter is shaping the world’s next generation of neuroscientists — those who will answer the most critical questions in brain science.

Since 2015, FAU has collaborated with the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) to offer world-class education and research opportunities for high schoolers, college undergraduates and graduate students. MPFI, a not-for-profit research organization, is part of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization with more than 80 institutes worldwide. Since its establishment in 1948, 29 Nobel laureates have emerged from the society’s ranks of its scientists. The Max Planck Society has been recognized as the top biomedical nonprofit organization in the world by Nature Index.

At FAU High School - Jupiter Campus, in partnership with Max Planck Academy, high school juniors and seniors simultaneously pursue a free bachelor’s degree and their high school diploma. Students have unique opportunities to work alongside leading FAU and MPFI researchers, including Nobel laureates, and pursue independent neuroscience-related research projects in state-of-the-art laboratories.

“This extraordinary program allows high school students to integrate with the thriving, world-class scientific environment on the Jupiter campus,” said Daniel Flynn, Ph.D., FAU’s vice president for research. “And it creates a pipeline to funnel these extraordinary students into our undergraduate and graduate programs right here at FAU.”

Beginning this year, graduates will have the opportunity to earn an academy designation with a Max Planck Academy seal on their FAU High School diploma, followed by acceptance to the FAU Max Planck Honors Program. They also receive diverse study abroad opportunities and accelerated completion of degree programs at FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College or Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

The partnership between FAU and Max Planck also led to the creation of several successful graduate degree programs: the doctorate program in integrative biology, offering a concentration in integrative biology and neuroscience (IBNS); the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain and Behavior; and the newest graduate program, the International Max Planck Research School for Synapses and Circuits (IMPRS-SC). It is the only IMPRS-SC program in the United States and will welcome its first students in the fall.

“The launch of this new program emphasizes the seamless collaboration between Max Planck Florida and FAU,” said FAU President John Kelly. “This program will thrive on our Jupiter campus, which also is home to FAU’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute. The combination of these assets makes FAU a premier, global destination for neuroscience research and education.”

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