4 Oct

Annual Conference of the Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life Sciences (GGL)

It was a particular honor to be invited by the students of the International Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life Sciences (GGL) to deliver a keynote lecture during the annual conference which ieatures an exciting and diverse program covering ten interdisciplinary research sections. The two days were packed with fascinating talks covering diverse topics ranging from ecology and bioresources to reproduction, cardiovascular disease, immunity and metabolism.

Apart from the great conference, it was particularly nice to return to my Alma Mater – the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen – and to catch up with old friends and colleagues in the various departments. Also, I was very impressed by the new buildings (on and close to the life science campus) – an extraordinary demonstration of how well the University is developing and growing.

I would like to thank the students of the ‘Protein and Nucleic Acid Interactions’ section of the GGL very much for the kind invitation and the entire GGL team for the hospitality!

Picture courtesy of Dr. L. Lück, managing director of the GGL

2 Sep

Understanding RNA-based Regulation in Cells

It was a particular honor to be invited for the PhD choice lecture to the conference of the Collaborative Research Center 902 – Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation which took place on August 29th and 30th 2018 at the Otto-Stern-Zentrum in Frankfurt am Main. The conference featured many exciting talks on diverse topics in RNA biology.

I would like to thank the PhD students very much for the invitation – it was a real pleasure to participate in the conference!

12 Apr

RNA Transport Meeting 2018

Organized and hosted by the DFG-funded Research Unit 2333 ‘Macromolecular complexes in mRNA localization’ (FOR2333), the RNA transport meeting 2018 took place from March 3rd to 6th in Düsseldorf. The keynote lectures by Christine Mayr and Erin Schuman were embedded in an exciting scientific program that featured talks by 18 invited speakers and by members of the FOR2333 network. For us it was a great opportunity to share and discuss our latest findings with the community.

16 Nov

RNA transport meeting coming up…

picture courtsey of M. Feldbrügge

Registration is now open for the RNA transport meeting 2018, hosted by the Forschergruppe2333! The Conference will take place from March 3rd to 6th, 2018 in Düsseldorf. It features a great line-up of invited speakers and aims to bring together various experts from a broad field of RNA biology with the goal of representing the current state of the mRNA-localization field. It’s going to be a really exciting meeting – you don’t want to miss out on that, so make sure to register soon!

10 Nov

Sino-German Symposium on RNA Biology

 

The second Sino-German Symposium on RNA Biology with the title `From Big Data and Structure to Novel Mechanisms´ was held in Shanghai from November 4th to 8th. It was an exceptional meeting featuring many scientific highlights!

The meeting was co-organized by the CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology (co-established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society) and the CAS Key Laboratory of Computational Biology. I want to thank our hosts for their outstanding hospitality and the great organization. It was a truly outstanding combination of state-of-the-art science with cultural and culinary highlights in the vibrant city of Shanghai. Xièxiè to all of you!

16 Oct

International SFB960 Conference on ‘The Biology of RNA-Protein Complexes’

 

What a great meeting!

The International meeting of the SFB960 on ‘The Biology of RNA-Protein Complexes’ has just finished. We are all exhausted but also thrilled about the outstanding research that was presented. Four days of exciting and cutting edge science, 4 keynote lectures, almost 50 talks, 70 posters and more than 150 participants! Really a great meeting.

We want to thank all the participants for the lively discussions, the speakers for showcasing their fascinating research, the session chairs for coordinating the sessions and discussions and for  making the speakers staying in time (we really had a busy schedule), and of course we want to particularly thank all the invited speakers for supporting our conference by accepting our invitation. Also, we want to acknowledge the people that helped setting up everything – the past days were quite hectic and we had many helping hands that did the work.

Thanks to all of you and we hope you all had safe travels home!

 

(Picture: Universität Regensburg, Referat II/2 – Kommunikation, Lilly Peithner)
15 Oct

SFB960 conference

The president of the University of Regensburg Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel (on the right) and the organizers of the SFB960 conference on  ‘The Biology of RNA-Protein Complexes (from left to right: Prof. Dr. Herbert Tschochner, Dr. Jan Medenbach, Prof. Dr. Dina Grohmann, Prof. Dr. Thomas Dresselhaus – Prof Dr. Gunter Meister missing in the picture).

20 Aug

Conference coming up…

 

This is going to be really exciting!

The International meeting of the SFB960 on ‘The Biology of RNA-Protein Complexes’ is just around the corner…From October 11th to 14th, there will be exciting talks about the latest research on RNPs. Keynotes will be by  Allan Hinnebusch, Reinhard Lührmann,  Roy Parker, and Nahum Sonenberg. Check out the rest of the program and make sure to register before August 31st – there is only a rather small number of free places left!

 

24 May

German American Frontiers of Engineering (GAFoE) Symposium in Evendale, Ohio

Did you ever go to a conference addressing a topic well outside your comfort zone? No? Well, then you are missing out on some great and exciting science!

I was recently invited to the German American Frontiers of Engineering (GAFoE) Symposium in Evendale, Ohio, by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The sessions were planned to cover a great diversity of topics ranging from ‘Gene Editing’ to topics that initially sounded rather mysterious to me, like ‘Advanced Manufacturing’, ‘Industry 4.0 vs. Industrial Internet of Things’, and ‘Streams of Water and Information’. To be honest, I was puzzled about the invitation to participate. I didn’t really feel like somebody who could contribute a lot to this meeting. But then I thought why not try something new? I eventually accepted the invitation and that turned out to be a great decision!

In particular the sessions with the rather mysterious titles were the most exciting and fascinating ones to me! Everything was new and every single talk provided me with novel insights into topics that I had so far not really thought about a lot. Looking beyond one’s own nose can sure be a very stimulating and exciting experience! I feel that during this GAFoE meeting from March 31st to April 2nd, 2017, I learned more than in the previous three meetings combined.

But hearing about novel topics is one thing – it was even more exciting to meet the many other, enthusiastic participants. Most of them felt to be non-experts, too, and they were evenly excited to expand their knowledge into the other disciplines. This created a unique atmosphere and stimulated discussions that continued at the hotel bar into the early morning hours.

So, if you ever get invited to a meeting that addresses a topic that appears quite distant to your own research interests, don’t immediately turn down the invitation – rather think about the great opportunity  to learn something new and meet new people.

 

I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the invitation and the travel stipend, the National Academy of Engineering, GE aviation for hosting us, and all the organizers for putting together such a great meeting!

 

 

28 Mar

FOR2333 meeting and workshop

From March 13th-15th, the DFG Forschergruppe FOR2333 met at the EMBL in Heidelberg to discuss the latest scientific results. In parallel several workshops were offered that provided hands-on training on various exciting topics including: an introduction to structural biology (by Dierk Niessing and Fulvia Bono), an introduction to bioinformatics (by Kathi Zarnack and Markus Seiler), image analysis (Imre Gaspar), and preparation of scientific figures (by Helena Jambor).

‘During these two very exciting days I have learned a lot and had a great time being part of this wonderful meeting.’ (Rebecca Moschall)

 

picture courtsey of Dierk Niessing

3 Nov

Bioinformatics Course – A combination of excellent speakers and target-oriented hands-on training

A very well organized and extremely helpful course on RNA-Seq analysis featuring top-notch speakers and experts in the field

– that is how one of the participants summarized the recent bioinformatics course on ‘Analysis of NextGen RNA-Seq data for expression profiling and protein-binding RNAs’ that took place from October 10th to 14th at the University of Regensburg. The Graduate Research Academy RNA Biology hosted several renowned experts in the field that delivered fascinating, public lectures statement-franziaddressing state-of-the-art methods for gene expression profiling and RNP analysis. Afterwards 18 selected participants had the opportunity for some hands-on training on actual datasets. We are happy that so many interested students from seven different universities joined us. And apparently, according to the feedback we got, for the participants the course really did make a difference:

with the combination of excellent speakers and target-oriented hands-on training, this one-week course increased my knowledge on current NGS tools and enabled me to analyze my own datasets

bioinformatic-coursePhoto: courtsey of S. Buchhauser

During five intense days, a broad variety of topics was covered. These ranged from practical considerations for setting up sequencing experiments (Stefan Kirsch, Fraunhofer ITEM), Sequence alignment and quality assessment (Steve Hoffmann, Universität Leipzig and Nicholas Strieder, Universität Regensburg), pecularities of high-throughput data analysis (Rainer Spang, Universität Regensburg), differential gene expression and alternative transcript level analyses (Simon Anders, FIMM Helsinki, Charlotte Soneson, University of Zurich and Grischa Tödt, EMBL Heidelberg) to probing of RNPs (CLIP, Markus Hafner, NIH Bethesda) and translation (Ribosomal Profiling, Jan Medenbach, Universität Regensburg).

We are extremely grateful to the instructors and tutors and would like to thank all of them for their generous support! Their help, commitment, dedication, and willingness to share knowledge made a real difference and the course a big success!

19 Sep

2nd FOR2333 Meeting in Duesseldorf

The second meeting of the DFG funded Research Unit FOR2333 ‘Macromolecular Complexes in mRNA Localization’, took place from September 2nd to 5th in the wonderful city of Duesseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia. Exciting research was presented from all participating labs (Bethune, Bono, Ephrussi, Feldbrügge, Jansen, Kiebler, Niessing, and Zarnack – in alphabetical order) and the associated mentee Inga Lödige. I am very happy for the invitation to participate in this wonderful meeting and for being given the opportunity to present some of our recent progress in the nanos project. Michael Feldbrügge and his team were wonderful hosts, organizing additional social activities that stimulated scientific discussions – of course while enjoying the famous local ‘Alt’-beer.

FOR2333-Duesseldorf

(picture courtsey of Dierk Niessing)

4 Aug

Sino-German Symposium on RNA Biology

Rauischholzhausen-symposium

Jan's webpage

The ‘Sino-German Symposium on RNA Biology and human disease: from Molecular Mechanisms to Global Networks‘ took place from July 25-27 at the beautiful castle ‘Schloss Rauischholzhausen’ in the middle of Hessia. Albrecht Bindereif (Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany) and Zefeng Wang (CAS-MPG Partner  Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai, P.R. China) invited more than 30 participants from China and Germany to discuss the latest findings in RNA biology and to forge scientific sino-german collaborations. A great symposium and a great experience, meeting old and new colleagues from China and making new friends.

 

Many thanks to Jingyi Hui (IBCB Shanghai) for the translation into chinese! Picture courtsey of Silke Schreiner, University of Giessen

20 Jul

RNA 2016

RNA-Japan-LogoRNA 2016 – The 21st annual meeting of the RNA Society and the 18th annual meeting of the RNA Society of Japan took place in the lovely city of Kyoto from June 28th to July 2nd. It was a very exciting meeting in the former imperial capital of Japan. Brilliant keynote lectures and more than 20 sessions packed with exciting talks covered the entire field of RNA biology, providing the participants with a broad overview as well as exciting novel developments in RNA-based research. All this was complemented with tours to the cultural highlights of the surrounding city. A brilliant experience!

After this wonderful conference it is clear that I have to attend the next meeting of the RNA Society, too, which will take place in Prague from May 30th to June 3rd 2017. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Japan-Essen

 

 

7 Mar

Meeting of the DFG Research Unit 2333 ‘Macromolecular complexes in mRNA localization’ (FOR2333)

FOR2333LogoThe first meeting of the DFG Research Unit 2333 (FOR2333) took place on March 1st and 2nd in the beautiful town of Blaubeuren, famous for its resurgence the ‘Blautopf’ that feeds the Danube river.  FOR2333 receives funding from the DFG since beginning of 2016 to foster multidisciplinary research aiming to understand principles of gene regulation by directional mRNA transport and local translation. Unfortunately our application to become part of this exciting research team was not successful but nonetheless we were invited to participate in this wonderful meeting packed with talks about exciting research and novel findings. We are extremely happy for this opportunity and we are looking forward to continuing our collaborations with several groups of the consortium.

FOR Meeting(Photo courtsey of Dierk Niessing)