13 - 16 October 2012

Germline - Immortality through Totipotency

Most organisms have a defined lifespan, however life of a species continues and evolves via germline from generation to generation. Recent studies show that tissue stem cells share molecular and developmental signatures with the germline and that even fully differentiated, postmitotic cells can be reprogrammed to regain totipotency. This symposium will go beyond a description of the phenomena involving stem cell behaviour, programming and reprogramming. It will bring together researchers from different disciplines, who will address fundamental questions of totipotency as they relate to evolution, development and tissue specialisation.

7 - 10 October 2012

The Complex Life of mRNA

Before the genetic information stored in the DNA can be used to direct cell growth and metabolism it has to be transferred into RNA. Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are key components in the transmission of genetic information in all life forms - from viruses to complex mammalian organisms. Exciting recent findings have revealed a remarkable degree of complexity in the lives of mRNAs and the field is rapidly developing. This symposium will bring leaders in the mRNA field together with post-docs and students, with the aim of disseminating and discussing the most recent results.

19 - 22 September 2012

Quality Control – From Molecules to Organelles

Cells constantly suffer damage and make errors. All cells from bacteria to human have developed powerful quality control systems. These detect and minimise the damage that would ensue if mistakes and abnormal molecules went unchecked and uncorrected. This symposium addresses the molecular mechanisms of these systems, generating a unique forum of interdisciplinary discussion on quality control mechanisms of the genome (DNA), the transcriptome (RNA) and the proteome, and thus bringing together experts from traditionally separated fields.

13 - 16 September 2012

Diabetes and Obesity

Over recent decades, the incidence of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes has risen to epidemic proportions. Projections into the future suggest increasingly unmet patient needs and an unsustainable challenge for health care systems. Simultaneously, the drug discovery process is facing its own challenges. The number of pharmaceutical companies who are able to conduct expensive late stage clinical trials is declining. Funding for academic laboratories and biotechnology operations is limited. Novel strategies and new insights are needed to treat these diseases. This symposium aims to bring together established experts, physician scientists and basic researchers to discuss the multi-layered and complex processes leading up to novel therapeutic strategies for diabetes, obesity and related health issues, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

19 - 22 May 2012

New Perspectives on Immunity to Infection

Despite decades of study, the mechanisms determining host vulnerability versus resistance to pathogens remain poorly defined. This has impeded the rational design of vaccines and other forms of immunologic intervention. This symposium will discuss new developments and approaches for overcoming critical gaps in our understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases and immunity to infection.