Seminar Colour Guide:              
Seminar given by an external postdoc
Friday, 4 May 2018, 11:00Add to calendarEffect of ageing on cellular variability and transcriptional dynamicsCelia Martinez, CRUK, Cambridge, United KingdomHost: Eileen FurlongSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
External Faculty Speaker
Friday, 4 May 2018, 13:00Add to calendarThe 20th Public MMPU Research DayThe 20th Public MMPU Research Day: 7 Speakers in total, Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU), GermanyHost: Matthias Hentze and Andreas KulozikATC - Courtyard A+B, EMBL Heidelberg
Tags: Molecular Medicine
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Monday, 7 May 2018, 11:00Add to calendarUnconventional Serine Ubiquitination and ER remodellingIvan Dikic, Goethe University Frankfurt, GermanyHost: Carsten SachseLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: Ubiquitination of proteins regulates a number of key cellular processes including protein degradation, endocytosis, translation, innate immunity and DNA repair. Conventional ubiquitination involves the ATP-dependent formation of amide bonds between the ubiquitin C-terminus and primary amines in substrate proteins. Recently, SdeA, an effector protein of pathogenic Legionella pneumophila, was shown to mediate catalyse unconventional phosphoribosyl-dependent ubiquitination of host substrate proteins during bacterial infection. SdeA is proposed to act as a multivalent catalytic platform composed of a mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase (mART) domain and a phosphodiesterase (PDE) domain that mediate first ADP-ribosylation of Ub and subsequently promote conjugation of phophoribosyl-bridged ubiquitin on substrate serines. Moreover, phosphoribosylation of ubiquitin prevents activation of E1 and E2 enzymes of the conventional ubiquitination cascade thereby impairing numerous cellular processes including mitophagy, DNA repair, TNF signaling and proteasomal degradation. I will describe the structure of SdeA spanning the PDE and mART domains (also in complex with an AMP-based inhibitor of SdeA) that provide insights into catalysis and inhibition of this unconventional ubiquitin modification and conjugation. Molecular characterization of this novel ubiquitination cascade and a potential crosstalk with the remodeling of ER via ER-phagy pathways will be discussed. Our current challenges focus on regulatory mechanisms and targets of ER-phagy receptors (FAM134b and RTN3) in mammalian cells.
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.
Company Representative
Wednesday, 9 May 2018, 10:00Add to calendarImaging Mass Cytometry - Comprehensively interrogate tissue in spatial contextRoberto Spada, Fluidigm, GermanyHost: Malte PaulsenSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
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
Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedSusan Holmes, Stanford University, USAHost: Wolfgang HuberLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
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.
Seminar given by an external postdoc
Thursday, 7 June 2018, 10:00Add to calendarTailor made aclar for correlative imaging by light microscopy and FIB-SEM tomographyMarianne Sandvold Beckwith, NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NorwayHost: Yannick SchwabSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: I will describe a new method of patterning identical aclar substrates for Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM). Aclar is a transparent polymer film that is suitable for growth of adherent cells, and compatible with sample processing for EM. Importantly, aclar is also thermomoldable, meaning it can be shaped at high temperatures. We have demonstrated that this characteristic can be used to pattern aclar with a stamp, transferring a custom-made micrometer sized pattern optimized for CLEM into the substrates. To make the stamps, we employ photolithography workflows to etch a master design into a silicon wafer. This stamp can then be used to pattern a large number of identical aclar substrates. We have optimized our design for imaging by Focused Ion Beam-Scanning EM (FIB-SEM), and used it for investigating Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections in human macrophages. I will present the method along with our newest results.
External Faculty Speaker
Monday, 11 June 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedTobias Bollenbach, University of Cologne, GermanyHost: Nassos TypasSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
EMBL Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Monday, 18 June 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTo be announcedJudit Villen, University of Washington, USAHost: Mikhail SavitskiLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Seminar given by an external postdoc
Thursday, 21 June 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTBCAynur Kaya-Copur, Muscle Dynamics Group, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany, FranceHost: Anne EphrussiSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
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.
External Faculty Speaker
Friday, 6 July 2018, 11:00Add to calendarTBCJerome Solon, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, SpainHost: Takashi HiiragiSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Career Day
Thursday, 19 July 2018, 09:30Add to calendarEMBL Career Day 2018Various speakers, EMBL Heidelberg, GermanyHost: EICAT (PhD and Postdoctoral Programmes)ATC Auditorium, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: The EMBL Career Day 2018 features a programme of Speakers from a range of career areas including science innovation who will share their experiences
of career change.
Science and Society
Tuesday, 11 September 2018, 14:00Add to calendarGenetic history: What ancient and modern DNA tells us about our human pastStephan Schiffels, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, GermanyHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
External Faculty Speaker
Friday, 21 September 2018, 10:30Add to calendarTo be announcedProfessor Daniel Fletcher, UC Berkeley Department of Bioengineering, USAHost: Alba Diz-MunozSmall Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Tags: Cell Biology
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
Science and Society
Friday, 9 November 2018, 14:00Add to calendarHow should we value "novelty" in science?Barak Cohen, Washington University School of Medicine, USAHost: Halldór StefánssonLarge Operon, EMBL Heidelberg
Abstract: Scientist are under increasing pressure to do "novel" research. Journals and funding agencies often specifically list novelty as a key criterion for judging the impact of research. In this lecture, Barak Cohen will examine whether novelty is an important component of good science and will introduce concepts from philosophy and sociology to argue that we currently over emphasise novelty in science. Furthermore, Cohen will discuss the negative effects of this emphasis and will suggest alternatives measures of good science.
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