Location & dates EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 15 - 18 Mar 2020
Deadlines Registration closed Abstract submission closed
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Coronavirus information for participants

The onsite course and conference programme at EMBL has been paused until the end of June 2020.


We aim to continue offering our advanced training for the scientific community however we safely can. While some events have been cancelled, many have been rescheduled for a later date and others will be delivered as virtual events.


Registration is open for onsite courses and conferences starting after 1 July and for the virtual events. All registration fees for any events which don’t take place due to the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.


More information for participants of events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found here.

EMBL has taken the difficult decision to pause our programme of external courses and conferences. As a result, we are postponing the meeting to 20 - 23 March 2022 and apologise for the inconvenience.

Symposium Overview

One of the major outcomes of research using model organisms is that we are far from knowing all the functions fulfilled by various organs in vertebrates or invertebrates. Deleting one gene at a time in a single cell type is at the origin of unprecedented progress in our understanding of how homeostasis is maintained at the level of an entire organism. As a result, modern physiology has slowly moved from a purely molecular discipline back to being a truly holistic one. This molecular, genetic and yet holistic approach to physiology has had an effect on energy metabolism, the control of blood pressure, the plasticity of cognitive and immune functions, as well as the multiple ways in which organs such as fat, bone or gut can exert control over other organs such as the brain. Symbiotic interactions with resident microbes have added a further dimension to the study of host physiology. 

This symposium aims to provide a high visibility platform to scientists who use modern molecular genetic tools to discover inter-organ communications, and therefore to illustrate how much our molecular and genetic understanding of whole-organism physiology has progressed in the last 20 years. Bringing together scientists interested in various aspects of a single discipline, whole-organism physiology, will foster interactions between researchers working in different fields in order to speed up the discovery of novel physiologies. This meeting will also directly address a central question:  How can recent developments in whole-organism physiology pave the way to novel and adapted therapies for multiple degenerative diseases? Lastly, it will showcase an approach to modern biology that starts from a question paused at the level of the entire organism and is answered through genetic means at the molecular level.

Session Topics

  • Brain-body crosstalk
  • The gut and its microbes
  • Bone and blood signals
  • Fat and liver signals
  • Immune-metabolic crosstalk
  • Beyond hormones: non-canonical inter-organ communication