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

Photo of Franziska Badenschier

society Franziska Badenschier - (website)

Science Media Center Germany

Franziska Badenschier is a science editor at SMC. Her specialties are neglected (tropical) diseases, health systems in developing countries and global health. Her previous work as a freelance science journalist for radio and online media took her all over the world, be it Nodding Syndrome in Uganda, Ebola outbreak detection in Guinea, Cholera in Haiti or Mental Health in Madagascar. She has won several awards, including the Peter Hans Hofschneider Research Award and the Media Award of the German AIDS Foundation. In 2014, Franziska was ranked amongst the top ten science journalists by medium magazin. She studied science journalism in Dortmund and Strasbourg and trained with Spiegel Online.

Photo of Jason Chin

The EMBO Keynote Lecture

chemistry Dr. Jason Chin - (website)

MRC - Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK

Professor Chin did his undergraduate studies at Oxford University and went on to obtain his PhD at Yale University, where he worked with Professor Alanna Schepartz on the design of miniature proteins. During his postdoctoral studies at the Scripps Research Institute in the group of Professor Peter G. Schultz he developed the first approach for genetic code expansion in eukaryotic cells.
In 2003 he set up his own lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB) in Cambridge further focussing on genetic code expansion techniques. Currently, he heads the Center for Chemical and Synthetic Biology at the MRC-LMB and is a Professor for Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cambridge University. Professor Chin was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2010 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2016.

Photo of Carla Fehr

society Prof. Carla Fehr - (website)

University of Waterloo, Canada

Prof. Carla Fehr did her undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Biology at the University of Saskatchewan where she obtained a B.Sc. in 1993. She then completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Duke University under supervision of Dr. Robert Brandon. Between 1999-2011, she was affiliated with the Iowa State University as, originally Affiliate Faculty, and later as Assistant Professor, and finally Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Her scientific interests are orientated around philosophy of science and feminist epistemology. While studying the social nature of scientific research, she argues that “diversity promotes excellence”.
Currently Dr. Fehr is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and she holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy. She also leads a Feminism and Science Research Group which focuses on “research (…) unified by attention to justice and the social nature of scientific, technological and medical research” as she describes.
Moreover Dr. Fehr is a Director of the Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS) and an Associate Director of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women Site Visit Program and an editor of the Feminist Philosophy Quarterly.

Photo of Dorothea Fiedler

chemistry Prof. Dorothea Fiedler - (website)

FMP Berlin, Germany

Dr. Fiedler did her undergraduate studies at the University of Wuerzburg and went to UC Berkeley for her thesis work. Subsequently, she did her PhD work at the UC Berkeley in the Raymond and Bergman labs studying host guest systems and working on utilizing them for catalysis. After finishing her PhD she joined the Shokat lab at UC San Francisco focusing on signal transduction pathways.
In 2010 Dr. Fiedler set up her own lab at Princeton University, where she studied regulatory functions of phosphate containing compounds. In particular her lab focused on inositol pyrophosphates, which are important in a multitude of signaling pathways. In 2015 Dr. Fiedler moved her lab to the FMP Berlin, where she is continuing her work on inositol pyrophosphate signaling.

Photo of Arnaud Gautier

chemistry Prof. Arnaud Gautier - (website)

École Normale Supérieure, France

Dr. Gautier obtained his Bachelor and Master degree from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, working with Dr. Dutasta and Dr. Crassous on the design of biomimetic supramolecular calaysts. He stayed in Lyon to work on his PhD in the group of Prof. Hasserodt, where he worked on enzyme inhibitors based on the transition state of proteolysis reactions. Subsequently, he joined Prof. Johnsson’s lab at the EPF Lausanne to work on multiplexed covalent labeling of proteins in living cells.
Afterwards, he worked on the genetic incorporation of photoactivatable unnatural amino acids in the lab of Jason Chin at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
In 2010 Dr. Gautier set up his own lab at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris focussing on the development of novel biomolecular imaging tools suitable for improved live cell imaging.

Photo of Fiammetta Ghedini

society Dr. Fiammetta Ghedini - (website)

ERCcOMICS, France

Dr Ghedini did her undergraduate studies at the university of Pisa, Italy, Born in Bologna, Italy. Subsequently, she did her Diplome in the univerisity Paris 1, France and completed her PhD thesis on perceptual illusions in the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the University College London, then moved to Paris, where she began working in science communication. She currently works in the ERCcOMICS project.

Photo of Fabien Guillemot

engineering Dr. Fabien Guillemot - (website)

Poietis, France

Fabien Guillemot is a pioneer in the field of bioprinting. He obtained his PhD in Material Sciences from the National Institute of Applied Sciences Rennes (France) in 2000. In 2005, he was appointed researcher at INSERM, where he initiated a project of tissue engineering assisted by laser (TEAL). He habilitated in Health and Life Sciences from Bordeaux University in 2010. Based on his results in the TEAL project, he founded the start-up company Poietis in 2014. The company is developing a two-step approach of 4D bioprinting: First, the 3D printing of biological components with single-cell resolution precision layer by layer and then the maturation of the bio-printed tissue. This technique allows the study and control of the self-organisation of cells in a tissue and offers promising perspectives in both biomedical research and regenerative medicine.

Photo of Andrew Griffiths

engineering Prof. Andrew Griffiths - (website)

EPSCI Paris Tech, France

Prof. Andrew Griffiths obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield in 1985 and a Ph.D. from the University of Leicester in 1988 for works on mRNA splicing. After completing his Ph.D., he worked for almost 20 years at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge. He worked first as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Greg Winter on developing phage-display technologies for therapeutic antibodies, and later as a Senior Scientist on novel microfluidic-based systems for high-throughput screening and directed evolution. In 2005, he was awarded Chaire d’Excellence by the French Research Ministry and became a Director of The Laboratory of Biological Chemistry at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires in Strasbourg. Since 2011, he works as a Professor at the École Supérieure de Physique Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI ParisTech) where he leads the Laboratory of BioChemistry working on projects involving microfluidics in both fundamental and applied science. He is an inventor of many patents in the field of microfluidics and his research lead to creation of successful spin-offs. His work at MRC-LMB yielded the Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca for $1.32 billion) and Domantis (acquired by GSK for $0.45 billion). He is also a co-founder of RainDance and Droplet Diagnostics created in 2005 and 2008, respectively. More recently, he co-founded HiFiBiO and Biomillenia.

Photo of Janet Kelso

mathematics Dr. Janet Kelso - (website)

Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany

Janet Kelso is a computational biologist and Group leader of the Minerva Research Group for Bioinformatics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. After completing MSc studies in medical biochemistry and chemical pathology at the University of Cape Town, she received her PhD in bioinformatics from the University of Western Cape, South Africa. Her research interests now focus on comparative primate genomics. She has contributed importantly to various genome projects, including that of orangutan, bonobo, Neanderthal, as well as other archaic and modern humans. In parallel, Dr. Kelso serves as an Executive Editor of the journal Bioinformatics, and as a Vice President of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). Finally, Dr. Kelso has received a number of awards and honors, including a L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science in 2004, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the most outstanding paper in Science in 2010, while she was also nominated as an ISCB fellow in 2016 for her contributions to the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology.

Photo of Suliana Manley

physics Prof. Suliana Manley - (website)

Éccole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Prof. Manley started her career with a bachelor in Physics & Mathematics at the Rice University, Houston, TX. After obtaining her PhD at the Harvard University, MA in 2004 she joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge for her postdoctoral research. She continued her research as a Post-Doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD until 2009. She then joined the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as a Tenure-track assistant professor. At the EPFL Prof. Manley main focus lies on the dynamics of protein assembly and their coordination. Due to the fact that current fluorescence microscopy techniques are typically limited in their spatial resolution or only give access to few molecules, our understanding of how proteins form mesoscale structures is limited. To overcome these limitations, Prof. Manley develops novel microscopy techniques based on super-resolution fluorescence microscopy as well as live cell imaging and single molecule tracking to study the dynamics of protein assembly.

Photo of Lori Passmore

EMBO Young Investigator Lecture

physics Dr. Lori Passmore - (website)

MRC - Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK

Lori A. Passmore, PhD is originally from Canada and studied Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Afterwards, she moved to the UK for her PhD studies at the Institute of Cancer Research. She worked on structural and functional studies of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C). After finishing her PhD, Lori moved to Cambridge where she became a Career Development Fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, funded by a Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research. In 2009, she became a Group Leader at the MRC-LMB and is a fellow of Clare Hall. Furthermore, Lori was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2011 and was chosen to be part of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2015.

Photo of Angela Relógio

mathematics Dr. Angela Relógio - (website)

Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Angela Relógio is a Research Group leader at the Charité Medical University of Berlin, Germany, since September 2014. The research projects in her group focus on Systems Biology of Cancer. An important goal is to understand the correlation between the cell circadian clock and tumorigenesis, by combining experimental molecular biology techniques and computational methods.
Dr. Relógio's educational background spans across various disciplines, from Technological-Physics to Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering (University of Lisbon, Portugal). She has also completed her PhD and Post-doctoral research in Biomedical Sciences at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany. Since then, she has served as a Research Scientist and as a Rachel-Hirsch fellow at the Charit´ Medical University of Berlin. She has received a number of awards, including a Female Independency Award (FIA) from the Berlin School of Integrative Oncology (BSIO), and a Young Investigator's Group Grant from the BMBF, Germany.

Photo of Michael Rosen

physics Prof. Michael Rosen - (website)

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA

Dr. Rosen obtained his bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and afterwards spent a year at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Alan Battersby. For his PhD he joined the lab of Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University, where he studied FKBP12, the FK506 binding protein. Subsequently, he did his postdoctoral studies at the University of Toronto in the labs of Tony Pawson and Lewis Kay, studying the signaling adaptor protein Crk and developing methods for methyl group labeling of proteins for NMR spectroscopy.
Dr. Rosen started his own lab at Cornell University and the Sloan-Kettering Institute before joining the UT Southwestern in 2002. Currently, Dr. Rosen is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is the Chair of the Department of Biophysics at UT Southwestern. His lab focuses on understanding the chemical and physical mechanisms, which are responsible for the organization of cells.

Photo of Ernst Stelzer

physics Prof. Ernst Stelzer - (website)

Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

During his Ph.D. at the EMBL (1983-1987) Prof. Stelzer worked on confocal microscopy. He remained at the EMBL for his postdoctoral studies (1986 - 1987) and later as a project leader (1987 - 1989). He then went on to become a scientific group leader at the EMBL (1989 - 2011). Prof. Stelzer developed the confocal 4Pi fluorescence microscope, introduced orthogonal and multi-lens detection/illumination schemes and therefore triggered the development of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy. His other contributions include optical tweezers, photonic force microscopy, and laser based cutting devices. Additionally, he has worked extensively on image processing, theoretical aspects of image formation, optical levitation, and biophysical properties of microtubules. His work lead to more than 200 papers and to about 20 patent applications. Currently, his focus lies on three-dimensional cell biology. Therefore he employs and develops various techniques to grow, maintain, observe and manipulate cell clusters in 3D. Light-sheet microscopy as well as data processing pipelines and mathematical modeling remain important parts of his research.

Photo of Barbara di Ventura

chemistry Dr. Barbara di Ventura - (website)

Heidelberg University, Germany

Prof. Dr. Di Ventura gained her degree in Computer Science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” after which she carried out her PhD in the group of Luis Serrano at the EMBL, Heidelberg, where she worked in the fields of systems and synthetic biology, combining experiments with mathematical modeling. After finishing her PhD she joined the Sourjik lab at the ZMBH, where she studied the bacterial Min system.
In 2011, Dr Di Ventura joined the department of Roland Eils, in the BioQuant, Heidelberg as the head of the Synthetic Biology group. In 2016 she became an independent group leader there, her lab, the Molecular and Cellular Engineering group is interested in understanding the mechanisms used by cells to control processes in space and time using an interdisciplinary approach that combines molecular and cellular biology with synthetic biology and mathematical modeling. A special focus of the lab is optogenetics, that is, the use of light to externally control protein function and localization in individual living cells. In September 2017 her lab will move to the Centre For Biological Signaling Studies at the University of Freiburg.

Franziska Badenschier Franziska Badenschier Jason Chin Jason Chin Carla Fehr Carla Fehr Dorothea Fiedler Dorothea Fiedler Arnaud Gautier Arnaud Gautier Fiammetta Ghedini Fiammetta Ghedini Fabien Guillemot Fabien Guillemot Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Janet Kelso Janet Kelso Suliana Manley Suliana Manley Lori Passmore Lori Passmore Angela Relógio Angela Relógio Michael Rosen Michael Rosen Ernst Stelzer Ernst Stelzer Barbara di Ventura Barbara di Ventura

Programme

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
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 EMBO Young Investigator 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

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 Heidelberg's neighbourhood area of Boxberg which is approximately 10 minutes by car from Heidelberg's city centre.

Reaching us by train, plane, 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 of 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 Organizing 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 organizing 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. However, we have reserved a few rooms at the EMBL/ISG Hotel. The costs are 49.50 EUR per person/per night incl. breakfast in a twin or double room. If you are happy to share a twin/double room with a fellow participant, please indicate this when making the booking.

Please call or email the ISG Hotel for your booking and use the code “PhD Symposium 2017” to receive the EMBL special rate.

A shuttle bus will run between EMBL and the ISG Hotel during the conference.

Financial Support

Below you can find a list of travel or support 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

Deadlines
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:

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, please direct your enquires to us.

EMBL EMBO

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 New England Biolabs Nikon Sanofi

Sponsors of this symposium

Bayer QIAGEN Takara Bio

Meeting Grant

Galton Institute

Contact

PhD Symposium 2017
phdsymposium2017@embl.de

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