“I interacted with several students from the course and had the chance to visit  the laboratory of Andrea Calixto. What struck me in particular is that students that are in Ph.D. programs do this because they love science, not a career move to enter industry later or because of the lack of alternatives. These are people that are genuinely passionate about figuring things out. Students may have some “problem solving” advantages since they have to be creative to get things done for less money”.

Mark Alkema, Ph.D.
Faculty, UMass Medical School, USA

We had great interactions between students and professors, students asked a lot of questions, and met with the faculty after their talks to discuss their science further. Most students seemed to really benefit from learning new techniques, since quite a few of them already worked in invertebrates. The students who did not already work with invertebrates benefited the most from learning “why” we would use invertebrates for neuroscience. We were able to inspire current Ph.D. students to pursue a postdoc abroad, if they desired and encouraged students to ignore the language barrier when thinking about science abroad”.

Jamie Donnelly and Ceren Tezer
Teaching Assistants, 2010. Neurobiology Department, UMass Medical School, USA

“This course has impacted a lot in my professional career. We are planning to open a new research line in invertebrate research but we need more students involved in this approach. We are really interested in keep in touch and we are an enthusiastic group looking for opportunities to improve neuroscience research in Peru”.

Anthony Ariza, participant 2010
Laboratorio de Neurociencia y Comportamiento Departamento de Ciencias Morfológicas
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, PERU

“The course was an excellent experience for me, an opportunity to know in deep the invertebrate models used in neuroscience and even better work with them and do experiments. I also learned from other students that had some experience and I got to get a better understanding of the big picture on different top scientific fields that I was ignorant about. The faculty was incredibly helpful and patient to answer all my questions. I met people that now I keep as a friends and colleagues. I also expanded my network to be able to apply to outstanding Universities in the near future and then enhance my professional career. The best of all was the energy injection for my own work, with not doubt the best experience of 2010”.

Elsa Fritz Garrido, participant 2010,

“This course was great. During some year I was trying to participate in a course like the “Small brain, big ideas” done in Chile. Among Its features I highlight it included an good number of kind instructors giving really a variety of interesting lectures (in the field I like most, Drosophila neurobiology, and others I really knew nearly nothing and I could learn a  little bit, like doing science using another great research model C. elegans). Another important thing of the course was the reduce number of participants (no more than 20 people). This made possible to get enjoyable contact between students and lecturers. In another phrase, remembering this feeling of great proximity between students and instructors, yesterday I remembered that together with other participants we were talking about that this course reinforce our view and ideas that it is possible to do good science using these great models and also help us to realize (at least in my case quite markedly) that the research community should be open, kind, helpful and it needs to be in close contact as we were in that course. I don´t know if this last part is clear…but it is a feeling or a though sometimes I have”.

Santiago Ruiz, participant 2010,
Universidad de la República, Uruguay

“I could met amazing people and the University and teachers were great! The course bring me a new view of “small brains’ study”: I could learn more about other invertebrate models and techniques that I used for my researches until now. My network was amplified and I could change informations about methods, experimental problems and references with students and invertebrate researches. I liked pratical classes and It was very nice to met Santiago and Valparaiso! The chilean were a welcoming people! “

Gabriela Hollmann participant 2010,
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“The course totally reinforce my commitment with this kind of animal model given the great variety of tools and possibilities that their offer. The course was really useful to me in two different ways. First it was a great opportunity to get in touch with the C. elegance model; I had no previous experience on this model and was a great discovery to me. Second, it was a big opportunity to meet foreign professors and talk with their students. It was important to me in order to think about my future, to evaluated different possibilities to my future posdoc and to get a flavor about how could be to work abroad”

Esteban Beckwith, participant 2010,
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina