<interact> 2012 took place at the Ludgwig Maximilians Universität, Munchen. The symposium hosted 400 registered participants and over 100 scientific contributions.
Over the last five years the <interact> symposium has established a platform for young scientists to present their scientific work and to extend their network. The 2012 symposium was subdivided into parallel sessions framed by short methodological sessions and poster presentations. The highlights of the symposium included keynote lectures by Ada Yonath, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for solving the ribosome structure, and by Gero Miesenböck who did pioneering work in the new field of optogenetics.
To celebrate the 5th year of <interact>, for the first time, a special pre-event was held in the relaxing atmosphere of the Old City Hall. The pre-event speaker, Herbert Jäckle, Vice-President of the Max Planck Society, gave an inspiring outlook towards “Science in the 2050,” and was followed by a reception.
<interact> 2012 ended with the traditional symposium party which gave young scientists the opportunity to foster communication and discussion about their scientific work, exchange ideas and get valuable input.
<speakers > 2012
Dr Herbert Jäckle is the Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysicak Chemistry (Goettingen, Germany) and Vice President of the Max Planck Society. He studies Chemistry and Bioloy (University of Freiburg) and spent his postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin (USA). He held positions as staff scientist at the EMBL (Heidelberg), as a research group leader (Max Planck Institute für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen) and as professor for genetics (Ludwig Maximilains Universität, München).
Dr. Jäckle is a member of EMBO, the Academia Europaea, and the German Academies of Science(Leopoldina and Göttingen). He obtained several scientific awards (including Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz Prize, the Otto Bayer Prize and the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine), serves on Advisory Boards both in academia and industry (e.g. EMBL, Biocenter of the University of Basel, boehringer Ingelheim Foundation, DeveloGen AG).
Vice President of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen.
Lab homepage: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/57986.html
Using the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, Dr. Jäckle’s research is focused on molecular mechanisms (biochemical pathways and regulatory netwroks) involved in embryonic pattern formation (segmental body organization, formation of organs). More recent work (“molecular physiology”) aims to understand the genetic and molecular basis of cellular and organismal energy homeostasis. Herbert Jäckle is the author of more than 200 scientific publications.
Gero Miesenböck is a Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior at the University of Oxford. A native of Austria, he received a medical degree from the University of Innsbruck in 1993 and then moved to the United States of America as a postdoctoral fellow with James Rothman. Before coming to Oxford in 2007, he held faculty appointments at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York and Yale University.
Research – Lighting Up the Brain
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford,
Lab homepage: http://www.dpag.ox.ac.uk/academic_staff/gero_miesenboeck
An emerging set of methods enables an experimental dialogue with biological systems composed of many interacting cell types – in particular, with neural circuits in the brain. These methods are sometimes called “optogenetic” because they employ light-responsive proteins (“opto-“) encoded in DNA (“-genetic”). Optogenetic devices can be introduced into tissues or whole organisms by genetic manipulation and be expressed in anatomically or functionally defined groups of cells. Two kinds of devices perform complementary functions: light-driven actuators control electrochemical signals; light-emitting sensors report them. Actuators pose questions by delivering targeting perturbations; sensors (and other measurements) signal answers. Optogenetic approaches are beginning to yield previously unattainable insight into the organization of neural circuits, the regulation of their collective dynamics, and the causal relationships between cellular activity patterns and behavior.
Prof. Ada Yonath studied at the Hebrew Univeristy, earned a Ph.D degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) and completed her postdoctoral studies at Carnegie Mellon and MIT, USA. In the seventies she established the first laboratory for protein crystallography in Israel, which was the only laboratory of this kind in the country for almost a decade. Currently she is the Kimmel Professor of structural biology at WIS, and the Director of the Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Strucutre and Assembly. In 1986-2004 she also headed the Max-Planck Research Unit for Ribosome Structure in Hamburg, Germany.
She is a member of the US National Academy of Science (NAS); the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; the European Academy of Sciences and Art; the European Molecular Biology Organization; the Korean Academy for Science and Technology, and the International Academy for Astronautics. She holds honorary doctorates from Oxford University in UK, New York University in USA, Oslo University in Norway, Fujou University in China and the Hebrew, Open, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion and Bar Ilan Universities in Israel and is an honorary supreme Prof. of KEK, Japan.
Her awards include the 1st European Crystallography Prize; the Israel Prize; the Paul Karrer Gold Medal; the Israel Prime Minister EMET award; the Rothschild Prize; the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize; the Paul Ehrlich-Ludwig Medal; the Linus Pauling Gold Medal; the Anfinsen Prize; the Wolf Prize; the Massry Award and medal; the UNESCO Award for Women in Science; the Albert Einstein World Award for Excellence; the Erice Prize for Peace; the DESY pin; the Eminent Scientists Award of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science; Honorary Supreme Prof of KEK, Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan; the Exner Medal, Austrai; the Indian Prime Minister Gold Medal; the President of Panama medal; the WISH Award, Lausanne; the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Medal, Poland; the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Yonath is using X-ray crystallography supported by molecular biology, mutagenesis and biophysical methods to investigate protein biosynthesis. She is focusing on the ribosome, the cellular particle translating the genetic code into proteins, on its origin and on its inhibition by antibiotics.
Research – The spectacular ribosome architecture clues about its origin
Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel,
Lab homepage: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/sb/faculty_pages/Yonath/
Ribosomes are the universal cellular machines with stunning intricate architecture accompanies by inherent mobility, which facilitate their smooth performance as polymerases that translate the genetic code into proteins. The site for peptide bond formation, which is composed solely of RNA moieties, is located within a universal internal semi-symmetrical region connecting all of the remote ribosomal features involved in its functions. The elaborate architecture of this region positions ribosome substrates in appropriate stereochemistry for peptide bond formation, for substrate-mediated catalysis, and for substrate translocation and for nascent chain elongation. The high conservation of the symmetrical region implies its existence irrespective of environmental conditions and indicates that it may represent a prebiotic RNA bonding machine, which is still functioning in the contemporary ribosome.
<awards > 2012
We congratulate the ‘Best speakers’ and ‘Best posters’ prize winners of <interact> 2012.
Shahaf Peleg (IV)
XZ-1 digital camera, Olympus
Anselm Geiger (XV)
150€ Hugendubel voucher
Marco Hein (XXIII)
100€ Hugendubel voucher
Iurii Sushko (17)
SZ-30MR digital camera, Olympus
Eva Keilhauer (8)
150€ Hugendubel voucher
Ulrike Lischke (59)
100€ Hugendubel voucher