© Dieter Jacobi

Showcase: Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

The Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne of the University of Cologne can look back at a long and extremely successful partnership with the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) —a partnership which began in 2008. The CMMC is a biomedical research and educational centre that is part of the University of Cologne and is closely connected with Uniklinik Köln, the University Hospital Cologne. The sharing of knowledge within the scientific community is an extremely important activity that enables the centre to conduct internationally competitive research at the highest level. Thanks to our many years of excellent cooperation with the CCB team, we can offer high-quality national and international scientific events on the strong foundation of Cologne’s long-standing reputation as a centre of science.

“Our goal is to ensure that the invited guest speakers, the internationally renowned scientists and the participants from all over Germany, the rest of Europe and in some cases from further abroad — are not only thrilled by the scientific lectures and the interaction with other scientists but also by the city of Cologne. We want to make their trip to Cologne an unforgettable experience,” says Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher. “The CCB helps us reach this goal by finding suitable offers of overnight accommodation for the guest speakers, as well as special event locations for the conference dinner,” she adds. “In recent years we have got to know a variety of event venues that are typical of Cologne, and our conference visitors are still giving us enthusiastic feedback about them. The development of the social programme for the guest speakers is also very important. The top priority is a tour of Cologne Cathedral.”

A prime example of our successful long-standing cooperation is the annual Ernst Klenk Symposium in Molecular Medicine. Every year a current topic from the field of biomedicine is presented and high-ranking experts from all over the world are invited to be the guest speakers. More than 350 participants come to Cologne in order to hear about the latest research results, engage in discussions and make contacts. “An especially valuable feature of the symposium is the branding of the event, including the CCB’s creation of a microsite for the hotel reservations and its block booking of hotel room quotas for the participants who are coming to our city,” says Dr. Grosskopf-Kroiher.

Another very successful event in which CCB played a key role was the staging of the annual conference of ORPHEUS (Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System) in 2016. Cologne competed with four other European cities to be the venue of this conference. “With the help of the CCB’s Cologne Bid Book, we were able to present Cologne as such an impressive venue that we were awarded the contract and could implement the ORPHEUS conference in 2016 at the university’s department of medicine in Cologne,” says Dr. Grosskopf-Kroiher. We cooperated with the CCB with equal success when we organized the symposium “Molecules, Mice and People: Research in Molecular Biomedicine” in 2018 and the “First Cologne Symposium on Missing Links in HPV Biology” together with the Institute for Virology and the Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology of the University Hospital Cologne in 2019. Both of these events could be organized only thanks to the long-standing support and advice of the CCB team. The support of the CCB team made it possible to highlight not only the official ceremony and the scientific programme but also the city of Cologne.

For every major event and every large workshop, the CCB team provides the CMMC with a Cologne stand stocked with brochures and informational leaflets that present the cultural offerings and attractions of the city of Cologne in very appealing ways. The conference bags are another highlight: each conference participant receives a red cloth bag stamped with an image of Cologne Cathedral. This was an idea of the CCB team, and today it’s a familiar sight and a very popular item.

We greatly appreciate the CCB team’s expertise, and we gladly rely on its competent and target-oriented advice and outstanding support. We are always enthusiastic about its new recommendations, such as those regarding accommodation and support for our guests and guest scientists, as well as its innovative approaches to events. Thanks to the CCB, we are always in touch with the latest trends in event concepts. That’s why we warmly recommend cooperating with the CCB and are happy to pass along information about it and its contact persons, especially within the University of Cologne and the University Hospital Cologne.

“I still clearly remember how we organized the first international events and workshops of the CMMC years ago,” says Dr. Grosskopf-Kroiher. “Back then I was a newcomer in the area of event organization. Today I still remember with pleasure the intense meetings and shared projects with the former head of the CCB. In recent years, our main direct contact person on the CCB team has been Ms. Scholtysik, who is always at our side with advice and practical assistance. I’ve learned a great deal from the CCB team, and I’m very grateful for their constructive and innovative suggestions.”

We are especially pleased that the CCB team is still providing us with its highly professional support and advice today: The CMMC symposium “25 Years of Progress in Molecular Medicine — from Basic Research to Clinical Application” will be held in September 2021.

I sincerely thank the whole CCB team for our many years of wonderful cooperation and our mutual trust!

Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher
Managing Director | Scientific Coordinator
Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne