Location & dates Virtual 17 - 19 Mar 2021 Register Now
Deadlines Registration - 24 Feb 2021 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.

Preliminary Programme

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  • The virtual conference includes live-streamed invited speakers with Q&A sessions after each talk. All short talks are live-streamed with Q&A available in Slack throughout the duration of the meeting.
  • Information on the live stream and access to the discussion platform and digital posters will be provided shortly before the start of the event.
  • Access to the recorded talks will be available for 1 week after the start of the event.

The following time is used in the programme below:

  • Central European Time (CET): eg. Berlin, Amsterdam Paris

To find out the equivalent time zone in your location, enter Berlin, the CET programme time and your city into the Time Zone Converter.

Please note this is a preliminary programme and is not yet finalised.

Day 1 - Wednesday 17 March 2021
TimeSpeaker
13:00 - 13:10 (CET) Opening remarks
13:10 - 16:00 (CET) Session 1 - Origin and evolution of life
Chair: Justin Crocker
13:10 - 13:35 (CET)

Evolutionary dynamics of the regulatory genome and expanding developmental opportunities
Doug Erwin - Smithsonian Institution, USA

13:35 - 13:40 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

13:40 - 13:55 (CET)

Selected short talk

13:55 - 14:00 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

14:00 - 14:25 (CET)

Frank Jülicher - Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Germany

14:25 - 14:40 (CET)

Short break

14:40 - 14:55 (CET)

Selected short talk

14:55 - 15:00 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

15:00 - 15:25 (CET)

Conservation and evolutionary flexibility in developmental gene regulatory networks
Isabelle Peter - California Institute of Technology, USA

15:25 - 15:30 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

15:30 - 16:00 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 1 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
Doug Erwin, Frank Jülicher and Isabelle Peter

16:00 - 17:30 (CET)

Break and digital poster session 1

17:30 - 20:50 (CET)

Session 2 - Engineering life
Chair: Dora Tang

17:30 - 17:55 (CET)

Cell dynamics of self-organising feather pattern fidelity
Marie Manceau - Collège de France, France

17:55 - 18:00 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

18:00 - 18:15 (CET)

Selected short talk

18:15 - 18:20 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

18:20 - 18:45 (CET)

Bottom-up design of protein self-organization
Petra Schwille - Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany

18:45 - 19:00 (CET)

Short break

19:00 - 19:25 (CET)

Physical biology of synthetic cells
Wilhelm T. S. Huck - Radboud University, The Netherlands

19:25 - 19:30 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

19:30 - 19:45 (CET)

Selected short talk

19:45 - 19:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

19:50 - 20:15 (CET)

Wendell Lim - University of California, San Francisco, USA

20:15 - 20:20 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

20:20 - 20:50 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 2 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
Marie Manceau, Petra Schwille, Wilhelm T. S. Huck and Wendell Lim

20:50 - 21:00 (CET)

Short break

21:00 - 22:00 (CET)

Optional: Virtual social programme

22:00 (CET)

End of day 1 - Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms

Day 2 - Thursday 18 March 2021
TimeSpeaker
14:00 - 16:50 (CET)

Session 3 - Artificial cells/tissues
Chair: Vikas Trivedi

14:00 - 14:25 (CET)

Synthetic gene regulatory networks for spatiotemporal pattern formation in populations of E. coli cells
Yolanda Schaerli - University of Lausanne, Switzerland

14:25 - 14:30 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

14:30 - 14:45 (CET)

Selected short talk

14:45 - 14:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

14:50 - 15:15 (CET)

Cooperativity and the design of gene regulatory circuits
Ahmad (Mo) Khalil - Boston University, USA

15:15 - 15:30 (CET)

Short break

15:30 - 15:45 (CET)

Selected short talk

15:45 - 15:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

15:50 - 16:15 (CET)

Mustafa Khammash - ETH Zürich, Switzerland

16:15 - 16:20 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

16:20 - 16:50 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 3 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
Yolanda Schaerli, Ahmad S. Khalil and Mustafa Khammash

16:50 - 18:20 (CET)

Break and digital poster session 2

18:20 - 21:10 (CET)

Session 4 - Developmental mechanisms
Chairs: Vikas Trivedi and Stefano De Renzis

18:20 - 18:45 (CET)

Engineering pancreatic tissue: Cells in time and space
Francesca M. Spagnoli - King's College London, UK

18:45 - 18:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

18:50 - 19:05 (CET)

Selected short talk

19:05 - 19:10 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

19:10 - 19:35 (CET)

Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz - University of Cambridge, UK

19:35 - 19:50 (CET)

Short break

19:50 - 20:05 (CET)

Selected short talk

20:05 - 20:10 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

20:10 - 20:35 (CET)

Michael Stumpf - University of Melbourne, Australia

20:35 - 20:40 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

20:40 - 21:10 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 4 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
Francesca M. Spagnoli, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz and Michael Stumpf

21:10 - 20:30 (CET)

Short break

20:30 - 21:30 (CET)

Optional: Virtual social programme

21:30 (CET)

End of day 2 - Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms

Day 3 - Friday 19 March 2021
TimeSpeaker
13:00 - 15:50 (CET) Session 5 - Patterning and self-organization
Chair: Stefano De Renzis
13:00 - 13:25 (CET)

The cellular and molecular logic of spinal cord development
James Briscoe - The Francis Crick Institute, UK

13:25 - 13:30 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

13:30 - 13:45 (CET)

Selected short talk

13:45 - 13:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

13:50 - 14:15 (CET)

Denis Duboule - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland

14:15 - 14:30 (CET)

Short break

14:30 - 14:45 (CET)

Selected short talk

14:45 - 14:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

14:50 - 15:15 (CET)

Self assembly of multi-lineage human stem cell systems
Eric D. Siggia - The Rockefeller University, USA

15:15 - 15:20 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

15:20 - 15:50 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 5 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
James Briscoe, Denis Duboule and Eric D. Siggia

15:50 - 17:20 (CET)

Break and digital poster session 3

17:20 - 20:15 (CET) Session 6 - Physics of life
Chair: Dagmar Iber
17:20 - 17:45 (CET)

Jan Brugués - Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany

17:45 - 17:50 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

17:50 - 18:05 (CET)

Selected short talk

18:05 - 18:10 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

18:10 - 18:35 (CET)

Edouard Hannezo - Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Austria

18:35 - 18:50 (CET)

Short break

18:50 - 19:15 (CET)

A field theory of axonal growth and guidance
Alain Goriely - University of Oxford, UK

19:15 - 19:20 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

19:20 - 19:35 (CET)

Selected short talk

19:35 - 19:40 (CET)

Break (to setup and switch to the next live talk)

19:40 - 20:05 (CET)

Otger Campas - University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

20:05 - 20:15 (CET)

Closing remarks

20:15 - 20:20 (CET)

Break (to switch to breakout room)

20:20 - 20:50 (CET)

Meet the speakers session 6 in individual zoom breakout rooms with:
Jan Brugués, Edouard Hannezo, Alain Goriely and Otger Campas

20:50 (CET)

End of conference - Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms for 1 week after the conference