The 1st EMBL Monterotondo International PhD Students Minisymposium "Animal models: Tips and Tricks from Nature" will be hosted by the PhD students of the Monterotondo outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) situated close to Rome, Italy, in collaboration with the PhD students of the University of Rome "Tor Vergata". The goal of the event will be to give an outline of how different species of animals can be involved in various types of basic and applied research. We hope to provide young scientists with an overview of a broad range of experimental approaches that can be taken in modern animal studies. We also hope to show how results of animal studies can possibly lead to technological improvements and advances in health care. EMBL is an international organization, supported by seventeen countries including nearly all of Western Europe and Israel. It consists of a main laboratory situated in Heidelberg, Germany, as well as four outstations in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Monterotondo (Italy) and Hinxton (United Kingdom). Its pioneering, diverse and cutting-edge biological research attracts scientists from all over the world, including graduate students who are part of the well-known and highly regarded "EMBL International PhD Program". The collaboration with the Italian University PhD students is an endeavor to share the projects and opportunities that EMBL can offer with the local scientific institutes, in line with the spirit that our international research center would like to promote. This conference will be an opportunity to promote a modern scientific exchange which will appeal to young researchers from all over the world, as well as the local scientific community (e.g. the Science faculties of the three major universities of Rome, the Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche, the Istituto Superiore della Sanitá, etc.).