21st EMBL PhD Symposium
Facing the Future
Perspectives and challenges of life sciences in the 21st century
28th–30th November, 2019
EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

 

About the Symposium

Join us for the 21st Anniversary of the annual EMBL PhD Symposium. Since its conception in 1999, the EMBL PhD Symposium has evolved into a highly respected scientific meeting, connecting young researchers and high-profile scientists alike. This year our Symposium centers on the theme Facing the Future: Challenges and Perspectives of Life Sciences in the 21st century.

In order to present a global picture of the latest challenges and perspectives, in this event we are dedicated to bring together the most outstanding researchers from a broad range of disciplines, that implement highly promising approaches to tackle the current scientific questions as well as the global problems we face as humanity. We will address environmental and global health issues, highlight interdisciplinary approaches as physics and informatics in biology, present innovations in life sciences and raise awareness of the challenges within the scientific community including big data, open access and gender equality.

The meeting aims to showcase exciting and groundbreaking research, from Master's projects all the way to Nobel Prize winning work. It is an opportunity to meet the Scientists that currently drive the Science of the Future and to network with the next generation of scientists. With a broad theme, we hope to encourage many young researchers from across the sciences to showcase their research, stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion and meet scientists from diverse backgrounds to share ideas.

Come and join us at the 21st EMBL PhD Symposium, for three days of exciting and future-oriented science.

Speakers

Charles Pence Charles Pence Christophe Dessimoz Christophe Dessimoz Françoise Baylis Françoise Baylis James Briscoe James Briscoe Jennifer Brookes Jennifer Brookes Jenny Molloy Jenny Molloy Petra Schwille Petra Schwille
Photo of Charles Pence

Dr. Charles Pence

Université Catholique de Louvain

Charles Pence is Chargé de cours and Director of the Centre de philosophie des sciences et sociétés at the Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. His work focuses on the philosophy and history of evolutionary biology, as well as the ethics of contemporary technology. His group is also a leader in the application of digital humanities tools to the study of the life sciences. His current work explores the past, present, and future of the concept of chance and the tools of statistics in biology.

Photo of Christophe Dessimoz

Professor Christophe Dessimoz

University of Lausanne

Christophe obtained his Master in Biology (2003) and PhD in Computer Science (2009) from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. After a postdoc at the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge (UK), he joined University College London as lecturer (2013), then Reader (2015). In 2015, he joined the University of Lausanne as SNSF professor, retaining an appointment at UCL, where part of his lab remains active. Since 2016, Christophe is also a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. At the interface between biology and computer science, Christophe’s lab seeks to better understand evolutionary and functional relationships between genes, genomes, and species.

Photo of Françoise Baylis

PhD Françoise Baylis

Dalhousie University

Françoise Baylis, PhD is University Research Professor at Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Baylis was one of the organizers of, and a key participant in, the 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing. She is a member of the WHO expert advisory committee on Developing global standards for governance and oversight of Human Genome editing. Her forthcoming book is Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Photo of James Briscoe

Professor James Briscoe

The Francis Crick Institute

James Briscoe is a senior group leader at The Francis Crick Institute. He obtained a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick, UK. Following a PhD in Ian Kerr’s laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (now part of The Francis Crick Institute), he undertook postdoctoral training at Columbia University, New York, USA, with Thomas Jessell. In 2000 he moved to the MRC-National Institute for Medical Research (now part of The Francis Crick Institute) to establish his own research group and in 2001 he was elected an EMBO Young Investigator. He was awarded the EMBO Gold Medal in 2008 and elected to EMBO in 2009. In 2012 he was appointed Head of Division in Developmental Biology. He serves on several editorial boards and is Editor-in-Chief of Development. His research interests include the molecular and cellular mechanisms of graded signalling by morphogens and the specification of cell fate in the vertebrate neural tube. To address these questions his lab uses a range of experimental and computational techniques and model systems that include mouse and chick embryos and embryonic stem cells.

Photo of Jennifer Brookes

Dr. Jennifer Brookes

University College London, London Centre for Nanotechnology

Dr Jennifer Brookes (Jenny) first became interested in the biophysics and quantum mechanics of smell when she began her PhD studies at University College London with supervisors Prof. Marshall Stoneham FRS and Prof. Andrew Horsfield. Since then she was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship that enabled her to visit research teams headed by Prof. Shuguang Zhang at MIT and then Prof. Alán Aspuru-Guzik at Harvard in the USA. During this time she moved into the wider remit of “quantum effects in biology” looking at photosynthesis and magnetodetection also. Since 2014 she has moved back to the UK and University College London, and now leads within “i-sense” at the London Centre for Nanotechnology the theoretical and computational biophysics work that looks to optimizing protein: protein interactions for nanosensor design for detection of infectious disease.

Photo of Jenny Molloy

Dr Jenny Molloy

University of Cambridge

Dr Jenny Molloy is a Shuttleworth Fellow at the University of Cambridge, studying the role and impact of open approaches to intellectual property for a sustainable and equitable bioeconomy. In particular she researches the potential for local, distributed manufacturing of enzymes to improve access and build capacity for biological research. This work combines technical development using synthetic biology-based platform technologies with qualitative research on challenges faces by molecular biologists globally through interviews and case studies. In addition to her research, Jenny is a founding Director of Biomakespace, a community laboratory for engineering with biology, and she co-organises the international Gathering for Open Science Hardware.

Photo of Petra Schwille

Prof. Dr. Petra Schwille

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Thu
Fri
Sat

Day 1, Thursday, November 28th

08:00 - 09:00 Registration
09:00 - 09:25 Symposium Opening & Welcome

Life Sciences Innovations

09:25 - 11:00 To be announced
11:00 - 11:20 Coffee Break
11:20 - 12:25 To be announced
12:25 - 13:15 Lunch

Science and Society

13:15 - 14:00 To be announced

Physics in Biology

14:00 - 15:15 To be announced
15:15 - 15:40 Coffee Break
15:40 - 16:30 To be announced
16:30 - 17:30 Workshop
17:30 - 19:00 Poster Session
19:00 - 20:00 Dinner
20:00 - 22:00 Evening Programme: Tour of Heidelberg

Day 2, Friday, November 29th

Machine Learning & Big data

09:00 - 10:45 To be announced
10:45 - 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 - 12:15 To be announced
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch

Science and Society

13:15 - 14:00 To be announced

Systems & Synthetic Biology

14:00 - 15:45 To be announced
15:45 - 16:15 Coffee Break & Round Table
16:15 - 17:15 To be announced
17:15 - 19:00 Poster Session
19:00 - 20:00 Dinner
20:00 - 22:00 Evening Programme

Day 3, Saturday, November 30th

Medicine, Health & Diseases

10:00 - 10:45 To be announced
10:45 - 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 - 12:15 To be announced
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch

Science and Society

13:15 - 14:00 To be announced

Environmental issues

14:00 - 15:15 To be announced
15:15 - 15:45 Coffee Break
15:45 - 17:15 To be announced
17:15 - 18:15 Panel Discussion
18:15 - 18:30 Awards and Thank you's
18:30 - 20:00 Dinner
20:00 - 22:00 Symposium Party

Travel and Accommodation

How to get to Heidelberg

Heidelberg is easily reached by train, car or plane from any country in the world. The EMBL campus is located in the neighbourhood area of Boxberg which is approximately 10 minutes by car from Heidelberg's city centre.

Reaching us by train, plane, or car.

Travel Documents and Visas

Prior to travelling to Germany, some applicants from certain countries may have to acquire special travel documents, such as a visa. Applicants are strongly encouraged to check with the local German Authorities (Embassies or Consulates) about the need for special travelling documents. Since the process may be time consuming, applicants are advised to make such arrangements as soon as possible. Failure to obtain a visa after the deadline for participation in the conference will not result in a refund. Applicants are responsible for providing the right documentation needed for their entry into Germany. However, upon request, the Organising Committee can issue a formal letter of acceptance to the symposium for the purposes of obtaining a visa. Please be aware that no visa letters will be issued before payment of the registration fee. The organising committee can not be held responsible in the case of a refusal by German authorities to enter German territory.

Accommodation

The registration fee does not include accommodation, which has to be personally arranged. Buses to EMBL from Heidelberg downtown will be provided during the symposium.

Financial Support

There are a number of options for obtaining a travel grant:

  1. EMBL provides a number of travel grants for participants of the Symposium. If you would like to apply for one of these grants, please register for the Symposium. After successful registration you will be provided with a link to submit your abstract and apply for an EMBL travel grant. To apply, you will need to submit an abstract and provide details on your motivation for applying for financial assistance. You must submit your abstract and motivation by September 5th 2019 if you wish to be eligible for an EMBL travel grant. Successful applicants will be informed by September 12th 2019.
  2. There are a number of external grants available. You can find a list of these below:
    • The Royal Society of Biology have several travel grants for various biological fields such as genetics, biochemistry, and biology. Be sure to check the respective websites for application deadlines.
    • The Company of Biologists: This grant is aimed at early-career scientists wanting to attend scientific meetings, conferences, workshops and courses relating to the areas of research covered by the journal. Deadline is 19 August, 2019 (for travel after 30 September, 2019).
    • Axol Bioscience: You must be a PhD student or postdoctoral-level researcher working in academia or industry performing life science research in the fields of neuroscience or cardiovascular research.
    • The Biochemical Society offers students bursaries to help their Undergraduate and Postgraduate members attend a range of Biochemical Society events or online courses. Please note that bursaries are given on a first come, first served basis. Please apply early to avoid disappointment.
    • Fritz Thyssen Stiftung offer travel subsidies for projects that have a clear connection to the German research system. This connection can be established either at a personal level through German scientists working on the project, at an institutional level through non-German scientists being affiliated to German research institutes or through studies on topics related thematically to German research interests.
    • Each quarter, Antibodies.com offers travel grants up to $500 to help cover the cost of attending conferences. These travel grants are open to PhD candidates, lab managers, and post-docs from academic research institutions across the US. The grant is intended to help cover the costs of registration, accommodation, and travel to conferences of choice. For a chance to win, simply complete the online application form; including a summary of your research or abstract for the conference.” Details of the Travel Grants Program can be found on this webpage.
    • Contact personal university / institution for conference travel grants

Please note that you need to apply independently to these grants.
If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact the Symposium Organisers.

Registration

Deadline
Registration: October 17th
Abstract submission / EMBL Fellowship application:   September 5th
Short talk and Fellowship selection: September 26th

  Fee Registration
General 170€ Register
Industry 220€ Register
Press   Register
EMBL Staff (including new EMBL PhD Students)   Register

Please note, payment is by credit card only. It is possible to pay later but registration is only complete and confirmed after paying the registration fee by October 17th 2019. If you experience any issues with payment, please contact the Symposium Organisers.

Abstract submission

To submit an abstract for the Symposium, please register for the conference. Upon registering, you will receive an email providing you with a link to submit an abstract and apply for a travel grant. Please provide your abstract for the conference, by 5th September 2019.

We encourage all participants to submit an abstract: all those who do, have the opportunity to present their work as a scientific poster or in a short talk.

The Symposium offers the opportunity to present your work to an international audience and last year we received submissions on a range of topics, including Bachelor’s theses, Master’s Projects and PhD work.

To receive updates about the Symposium subscribe below.

Sponsors

Sponsorship Information

The EMBL PhD symposium will provide an invaluable networking environment for your company to enhance the profile amongst the molecular biosciences research community, especially towards the young generation. The symposium will offer prime opportunities for your company to promote your new products, latest technology, and services. If you are interested in sponsoring our symposium and would like to have more information, direct your enquires to us.

Sponsors of the symposium

EMBL EMBO

Contact

Have a question? Please free to contact the PhD Symposium 2019 Organising Committee:
phdsymposium2019@embl.de

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