The major aim of the course is to allow participants to experience modern cell biology at work: not only to see but also to try out in practice how cutting-edge technologies can be used to answer questions at the frontiers of cell biology. It is a tradition that the entire faculty of the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit of EMBL teaches the course to cover a broad spectrum of techniques.
In addition, being embedded in the collaborative environment at EMBL, the course provides an excellent opportunity for participants and course faculty to discuss current and future challenges in cell biology.
The course will be primarily aimed at postdocs and advanced graduate students who have developed an interest in cell biology. We wish to attract cell biologists who want to acquire quantitative, biophysical, and computational methods as well as scientists (including early-career principle investigators) with different backgrounds (including physics, chemistry, engineering, informatics, etc) who want to use their expertise to address current problems in cell biology. We aim to balance the number of participants with a background in biology and participants coming from other disciplines. A key criterium for selection is the potential benefit of adding novel cell biological methods to the students' own research plans. Preference will be given to students where there is little or no possibility that the student can acquire these technologies at her/his home institution.
- Biological sample preparation
- Fluorescent probes development
- Image analysis
The course will provide an update on the latest developments from the beginning to the end of an experiment. This includes recent advances in fluorescent probe development (e.g. FRET-based activity probes), through new techniques and tricks of biological sample preparation (e.g. mounting of live embryos), novel approaches in biochemistry and molecular biology (e. g. digital PCR), cutting-edge microscopy (e.g. light-sheet imaging of entire organisms, super-resolution light microscopy and correlative light and electron microscopy) and image analysis and mechanobiology – covering the complete range of biological complexity from single molecules to whole organisms.
As the topics of the practicals are closely related to the current research in EMBL laboratories, they will cover many experimental model organisms (yeast, mammalian cells, fly, ascidian) and a wide variety of methods (fluorescence and electron microscopy, biochemistry, in silico approaches, image analysis).
This course is kindly supported by the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit of EMBL.