On Nov 10, 2016, the fifth CGA Graduate Symposium took place in the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing. This festive Symposium takes place annually to celebrate the graduating students that have successfully completed their CGA curriculum. This year twelve graduate students presented their work in different areas of ageing research such as the impact of diabetes on the development of colon cancer or the role of different proteins in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Each session was accompanied by a key note lecture given by an invited, international renowned expert in ageing research, Malene Hansen (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, USA), David Rubinsztein (Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, UK), Massimo Zeviani (Cambridge University - Medical Research Council, Mitochondrial Biology Unit, UK) and Jane Hubbard (New York University, USA). Biozol, Nikon, Peprotech and Zymo Research financially supported the one-day Symposium.