Location & dates Virtual 7 - 9 Oct 2020
Deadlines Registration closed Abstract submission closed
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EMBL Courses and Conferences during the Coronavirus pandemic

With the onsite programme paused, many of our events are now being offered in virtual formats.


Registration is open as usual for many events, with back-up plans in place to move further courses and conferences online as necessary. Registration fees for any events affected by the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.


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

EMBL is committed to sharing research advances and sustaining scientific interaction throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We are delighted to announce that the conference is going virtual and invite you to join us online. The virtual conference includes live-streamed oral presentations from invited speakers and short talk presenters, digital poster sessions and online group discussions. More information on the virtual programme will follow soon.

Symposium Overview

Before the genetic information stored in DNA can be used to direct cell growth and metabolism, it has to be transferred into RNA. Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that code for proteins and noncoding RNAs are key components in the transmission of genetic information in all life forms - from viruses to complex mammalian organisms. Exciting recent findings now reveal a new layer of information added to RNAs in the form of chemical marks (the epitranscriptome) that play a critical role in gene expression control. This remarkable complexity in the lives of RNAs will be discussed at this meeting.

The EMBO | EMBL Symposium “The Complex Life of RNA” will bring leaders in the RNA field together with post-docs and students, to disseminate and discuss the most recent results, and will honour Kiyoshi Nagai’s life and many contributions to the field.

Session Topics

  • Transcription
  • RNA processing
  • Export and localisation
  • mRNA surveillance and decay
  • Translation and the control of mRNA expression by microRNAs
  • RNA modifications
  • Noncoding RNAs

What Past Participants Say about the Symposium

"The Complex Life of RNA is the key event in RNA biology. It is incredibly difficult to represent this complex area of knowledge, but the organisers succeeded in decomposing the complexity!" - Alexey Moskovtsev, Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Moscow, Russia

"Mind blowing science fresh from the bench and presented by top experts - a truly rewarding experience!" - Peer Staehler, BASF New Business GmbH, Germany

"I loved attending the 2018 Complex Life of RNA Symposium: Timely talks on the most recent and stunning findings, which nicely covered topics and hot issues in the field; great opportunities for scientific discussion, in a gorgeous venue. Can't wait for 2020!" - Alice Lebreton, Institute of Biology of ENS, Paris, France

While I was at The Complex Life RNA symposium held at EMBL, I was able to present my work as a poster to several researchers. One such researcher from Norway got interested in my work and offered to host me for a short term in his lab to enhance my current project. After several correspondences, I was able to design a project that could also potentially start a collaboration between my home lab in India and his lab in Norway. I applied for the EMBO-STF fellowship and I was successful in securing this grant for my visit to Norway. So, I believe, attending this conference was a great boost for my scientific career.” - Preeti Kute, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, India