Bridging the Gaps
Interdisciplinary Approaches in Life Sciences
19th EMBL PhD Symposium
19th–21st October, 2017
EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

About the Symposium

Since its conception in 2000, the annual EMBL PhD Symposium has grown into a well-respected meeting of early-career scientists and high-profile speakers. It is organized entirely by predoctoral fellows at EMBL, and the aim of this year's symposium is to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary approaches in the Life Sciences.

During the past decades, rapidly progressing research and technological breakthroughs in the Life Sciences have produced unparalleled biological knowledge and provided valuable insights into the molecular mechanisms that govern living systems. Despite these remarkable advancements, there are still many gaps in our understanding of biology. It is often by pushing the limits surrounding conventional biological approaches and creating connections with other fields, that new bridges are built to successfully answer scientific questions.

This symposium aims to depict a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches that are used in the Life Sciences. Such approaches bear a great potential in explicitly defining and successfully resolving complex biological problems. By bringing together accomplished scientists and young researchers from diverse backgrounds, we aim to build bridges between disciplines and also people, and to highlight the value of diversity in the scientific process.

Confirmed speakers


Day 1, Thursday, October 19th

Evolving Life

08:00-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:30 Symposium Opening & Welcome
09:30-10:30 The EMBO Keynote lecture: Jason Chin
Reprogramming the Genetic Code
10:30-10:45 Short Talk 1: TBD
10:45-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:00 Lecture: Barbara di Ventura
A matter of dynamics
12:00-12:15 Short Talk 2: TBD
12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:30 Science & Society Talk: TBD
14:30-15:15 Lecture: Janet Kelso
Functional implications of admixture between archaic and modern humans
15:15-15:30 Flash talks
15:30-17:00 Poster session 1
17:00-17:45 Lecture: Angela Relógio
17:45-18:00 Short Talk 3: TBD
18:00-18:15 Short Talk 4: TBD
18:15-18:30 Thank the speakers and Introduce Blackboard Discussion
18:30-19:15 Blackboard Discussion
18:15-19:00 Blackboard Session
19:15-20:15 Dinner
20:15 Evening programme

Day 2, Friday, October 20th

Modifying Life

09:00-09:45 Lecture: Dorothea Fiedler
09:45-10:45 Keynote lecture: Andrew Griffiths
10:45-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:00 Lecture: Fabien Guillemot
12:00-12:15 Short Talk 5: TBD
12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:30 Science & Society Talk: Carla Fehr
14:30-14:45 Short Talk 6: TBD
14:45-15:00 Flash Talks
15:00-16:30 Poster session 2
16:30-17:15 Lecture: Ernst Stelzer
Improve your four-dimensional image: The impact of light sheet microscopy on the life sciences
17:15-17:30 Short Talk 7: TBD
17:30-17:45 Short Talk 8: TBD
17:45-18:30 Panel Discussion
18:45-19:00 Thank the speakers
19:00-20:15 Dinner
20:15 Evening programme

Day 3, Saturday, October 21st

Visualizing Life

09:00-09:45 Lecture: Suliana Manley
Automated super-resolution microscopy for sub-cellular structure and dynamics
09:45-10:45 Keynote lecture: Michael Rosen
Physical Mechanisms of Cell Organization on Micron Length Scales
10:45-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:00 Lecture: Arnaud Gautier
Labeling proteins on-demand with fluorogenic probes
12:00-12:15 Short Talk 9: TBD
12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:30 Science & Society Talk: TBD
14:30-14:45 Short Talk 10: TBD
14:45-15:15 Coffee Break
15:15-16:00 Lecture: Lori Passmore
16:00-16:15 Short Talk 11: TBD
16:15-16:30 Short Talk 12: TBD
16:30-17:00 Coffee Break
17:00-17:45 Blackboard Discussion
17:45-18:00 Thank the speakers
18:00-18:30 Award ceremony
18:30-20:00 Dinner
20:15 Evening programme


Open until September 1st
Abstract submission deadline: September 1st

  Fee Registration
General 150 € Register
General - Day Passes 70 € Register
Industry 200 € Register
EMBL internal   Register

Abstract submission

Submit an abstract

Please note:


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, please direct your enquires to us.


Also kindly supported by:

EMBL CPP founder partners

Leica Microsystems Olympus

EMBL CPP corporate partners

BD Boehringer Ingelheim Glaxo Smith Kline Illumina Sartorius ThermoFisher Scientific

EMBL CPP associate partners

Eppendorf Merck Nikon Sanofi

Meeting Grants

Galton Institute


PhD Symposium 2017

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