Seminar Colour Guide:              
Company Representative
Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 10:00Add to calendarBiology at Enamine: Things you can do having 2.5 million compounds next door.Iaroslava Kos, Bienta/Enamine Biology Services, GermanyHost: Joe LewisSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Tags: Chemistry and Chemical Biology
External Faculty Speaker
Thursday, 25 January 2018, 11:00Add to calendarDeciphering Ubiquitin signaling by mass spectrometry-based proteomicsPetra Beli, IMB Mainz, , GermanyHost: Janosch HennigSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Tags: Biocomputing, Structural Biology
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Friday, 26 January 2018, 11:00Add to calendarNeural motionGilles Laurent, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, GermanyHost: Robert PrevedelLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: This talk will mainly examine neural population dynamics, drawing from our past and present work on three different systems and animal species: the olfactory system of an insect (sensory), the camouflage system of a cephalopod (sensory and motor) and the cerebral cortex of a reptile (cortical). The identification of common features in the dynamics of such distant and different neural systems reveals the existence of a hidden order in neural activity, and suggests the existence of common principles of neural population behavior. Our work on reptilian cortex reveals some potential mechanisms for these deterministic dynamics.
External Faculty Speaker
Monday, 5 February 2018, 17:15Add to calendarAntibodies and bicyclic peptides - paradigm shifts in the world of pharmaceutical drugsSir Dr. Gregory Winter, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Trinity College Cambridge, Bicycle Therapeutics, United KingdomHost: Carsten Schultz/Magic BulletLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Thursday, 15 February 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedMichael N. Hall, Biozentrum, University of Basel, SwitzerlandHost: Matthias HentzeLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
External Faculty Speaker
Friday, 16 February 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedStephan Preibisch, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), GermanyHost: Yannick SchwabSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
External Faculty Speaker
Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 14:00Add to calendarMultiple ways of altering the gene regulatory program in cancers: focus on transcription factors, DNA methylation, and microRNAsAnthony Mathelier, Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), NorwayHost: Judith ZauggSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: While most cancer studies focused on patient variations lying in protein-coding regions, the noncoding ~98% of the genome, containing cis-regulatory regions that control when and where genes are expressed, is largely unexplored.Transcription factors are key proteins binding to cis-regulatory regions to modulate the rate of gene transcription. Delineating the specific positions at which a TF binds DNA is of high importance in deciphering gene regulation. As cancer is a disease of disrupted cellular regulation, it is critical to analyze these regions to highlight patient somatic mutations and epigenetic modifications altering the gene regulatory program of the cells.
In this talk, I will present our recent works on improving our capacity to predict direct TF-DNA interactions and highlighting somatic mutations and DNA methylation alteration that shift the regulation of protein coding and microRNA genes expression in cancer patients.
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedAndrea Musacchio, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, GermanyHost: Christian HäringLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Thursday, 19 April 2018, 14:00Add to calendarTo be announcedSean Carroll, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USAHost: Anne EphrussiLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Science and Society
Friday, 20 April 2018, 10:00Add to calendarThe Serengeti Rules; The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It MattersSean Carroll, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USAHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Monday, 7 May 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedIvan Dikic, Goethe University Frankfurt, GermanyHost: Christoph MüllerLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Science and Society
Monday, 7 May 2018, 18:00Add to calendarThe Human Genome; a promise or a constraint for the future?Denis Duboule, Federal Institute of Technology, SwitzerlandHost: Halldór StefánssonPrint Media Academy
Abstract: Ever since the first release of the human genome sequence in 2001, our knowledge of both the structure and function of our chromosomes has increased exponentially. Today, we are close to being in a position to use this knowledge and the accompanying technology to modify our own genetic material, these ...good old chromosomes, which haven t changed much since Cro-magnon , as stated by Jean Rostand in the late 1950 s. There are two distinct, though somewhat related frameworks where such potential modifications are currently being discussed and where various justifications are being formalized and put forward into the public domain. The first has to do with precision medicine , i.e. the possibility to use our genetic material as one of the major parameters, either to cure or to predict diseases. The second and perhaps more controversial context is that of trans-humanism, i.e. to try to move towards a novel human being (homo novus), as a result of genetic modifications along with technological assistance. In both cases, these future developments raise important questions and understandable concerns within our society, in particular regarding ethical and legal issues. In the meantime, and partly as a consequence of these valid societal questions, the critical scientific items underlying these potential advances are difficult to address in a rational context. Yet the discussions as to whether such future developments are consistent with our values, whether they are desirable or even necessary would likely be enriched by asking in parallel the questions related to the actual possibilities and feasibility of such approaches, i.e. to what extent our genome can either be interrogated to anticipate pathological states, or be modified to potentially improve human performances. From this utilitarian viewpoint, an important question is whether the increasing knowledge of our genetic material, its origin and its functioning make these new steps more or less likely to occur in a foreseeable future.
Science and Society
Monday, 14 May 2018, 14:00Add to calendarWhy is left-handedness ubiquitous and constant in space and time?Rik Smits, Science writer, NetherlandsHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: The issue of handedness is riddled with mystery. For one thing, it is not as clear as most people think what it really means for someone to be right- or left-handed. And why should there be both left- and right-handers at all? Furthermore, what could be the evolutionary advantage of having a left-handed fraction in a predominantly right-handed population, and why is there only one left-hander for every nine right-handers?
Another puzzling phenomenon is the association of left-handedness with a wide range of mental as well as physical and even cultural afflictions. It has long been noted that almost any group suffering from some negative trait, ranging from mild forms of brain damage to bizarre things like encarceration and even smoking, is likely to have a slightly above-average number of lefthanders in its ranks. On the other hand, virtually no group of randomly selected lefthanders can be correlated with any of these traits.
But the greatest conundrum of all is the ubiquity and stability of left-handedness. All communities, however isolated, seem to have around 10% lefthanders, and this seems to have been so ever since hominids began making tools. We know there is a hereditary factor involved, but for classical Darwinism, left-handedness is a tough nut to crack, all the more so in view of its the doubtful evolutionary value. As it turns out, however, there are other, positively detrimental traits which show similar characteristics, and there might be a more or less common explanation for their extraordinary resilience.
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Monday, 4 June 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedRudolf Jaenisch, MIT, The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, USAHost: Nadezhda AbazovaLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Science and Society
Monday, 4 June 2018, 15:00Add to calendarUsefulness of Useless KnowledgeRobbert Djikgraaf, Institute for Advanced Studies, USAHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: In his classic essay, The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the man who helped bring Albert Einstein to the United States, describes a great paradox of scientific research. The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. In short, no quantum mechanics, no computer chips. Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Institute s current director, explains how Flexner s defense of the value of the unobstructed pursuit of useless knowledge may be even more relevant today than it was in the early twentieth century. Dijkgraaf describes how basic research has led to major transformations in the past century and explains why it is an essential precondition of innovation and the first step in social and cultural change.
Science and Society
Friday, 22 June 2018, 14:00Add to calendarSlow, closed, expensive and ineffective: How science publishing is killing science and how to fix itMichael Eisen, University of California, Berkeley, USAHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: The Internet was invented so that scientists could communicate their research results with each other. Yet twenty years after the birth of the modern Internet most of the the scientific literature one of greatest public works projects of all time remains locked behind expensive pay walls.

Every year universities, governments and other organizations spend in excess of $10 billion dollars to buy back access to papers their researchers gave to journals for free, while most teachers, students, health care providers and members of the public are left out in the cold. Even worse, the stranglehold existing journals have on academic publishing has stifled efforts to improve the ways scholars communicate with each other and the public, slowing scientific progress and increasing the divide between researchers and the public.

In my talk I will describe how we got to this ridiculous place. How twenty years of avarice from publishers, conservatism from researchers, fecklessness from universities and funders, and a basic lack of common sense from everyone has made the research community and public miss the manifest opportunities created by the Internet to transform how scholars communicate their ideas and discoveries. I will also talk about various ongoing efforts to liberate the scholarly literature where we have succeeded and where there is more work to be done. And finally, with these efforts gaining traction, I will describe where I think scholarly communication is headed in the next decade.
Science and Society
Thursday, 12 July 2018, 18:00Add to calendarWie Gliazellen zu Nervenzellen werden: neue Ansätze zur Therapie nach GehirnverletzungenMagdalena Götz, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, GermanyHost: Halldór StefánssonPrint Media Academy
Abstract: Das menschliche Gehirn kann abgestorbene Nervenzellen größtenteils nicht mehr ersetzen. Um dies zu ändern, untersuchen wir die Mechanismen, wie Nervenzellen während der Entwicklung gebildet werden, um dies dann auch im erwachsenen Gehirn nach Verletzung auslösen zu können. Tatsächlich werden Nervenzellen während der Entwicklung von radialen Gliazellen gebildet, einem Zelltyp der bislang nur als Stützzelle angesehen wurde. Diese Gliazellen gehen bei der Reifung des Säugergehirns verloren und differenzieren in andere Gliazellen aus. Dementsprechend geht auch die Fähigkeit zur Bildung neuer Nervenzellen in den meisten Gehirnregionen verloren, mit Ausnahme weniger Regionen, in welchen radiale Gliazellen erhalten bleiben, und tatsächlich zeitlebens noch neue Nervenzellen gebildet werden. In vielen anderen Wirbeltieren bleiben diese Gliazellen weitverbreitet erhalten (Barbosa et al., Science 2015), und Gehirnverletzungen können ohne Narbenbildung völlig geheilt werden (Baumgart et al., Glia 2010). Wir arbeiten daran zu verstehen, wie diese radialen Gliazellen Nervenzellen bilden, und wie wir die Bildung von Nervenzellen auch in den differenzierten Gliazellen des Säugergehirns wieder auslösen können (als Übersichtsartikel: Masserdotti et al., Development 2016). Diesbezüglich haben wir gerade in den letzten Jahren große Fortschritte gemacht und es gelingt uns nun, viele narbenbildende Gliazellen in reife Nervenzellen nach Gehirnverletzung im Mausmodell umzuwandeln (Gascon et al., Cell Stem Cell 2016). Zudem konnten wir zeigen, dass auch Gehirnregionen, in denen normalerweise keine neue Nervenzellen im Erwachsenenstadium gebildet werden, die Fähigkeit besitzen, neue Nervenzellen wieder passend in das Nervenzellnetzwerk zu integrieren und die Funktion der abgestorbenen Nervenzellen wieder zu ersetzen. Die große Frage ist nun, ob dies auch für lokal aus Gliazellen umgewandelte Nervenzellen möglich ist.
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Monday, 24 September 2018, 14:00Add to calendarTo be announcedMasayo Takahashi, Riken Center for Developmental Biology, JapanHost: Anne EphrussiLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedCraig Thompson, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USAHost: Joel Perez-PerriLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Friday, 9 November 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedMartha Bulyk, Harvard University, USAHost: Aleksander JankowskiLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Friday, 7 December 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedPetra Schwille, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, GermanyHost: Rainer PepperkokLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg