24th EMBL PhD Symposium

7-9th December, 2022

European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Heidelberg, Germany

The Spectra of Life

Dimensional breadth in biological research

Biological research can be visualised as happening across scales; from single molecules to planetary ecosystems, from single-celled organisms to highly specialised, multicellular systems, from extremely quick enzyme catalysis to the slow, steady march of evolution, and from temperate environments to the extreme to the inhospitable lava vents at the bottom of our oceans and even the cold, silent void of space. To truly understand biological phenomena, it is essential to understand the interactions and coordination between the separate but inextricably interlinked spatial, temporal, systematic, and environmental contexts within which the phenomena occur. To achieve this, the cooperation between experts from across different disciplines is imperative. We are committed to organising a Symposium which will assemble and unite a diverse array of scientists. We hope to trigger many fruitful discussions and exciting collaborations across disciplines to progress towards the lofty goal of advancing a holistic perspective on investigating biological systems.

7-9th December, 2022

EMBL, Heidelberg

Info on Accomodation, COVID restrictions and travel

Abstract submission deadline: 14th Sep, 2022

Registration deadline: 26th Oct, 2022

We are pleased to invite you to join our symposium on-site!

*offer for travel grants will depend on the obtained funding.
Alternative funding sources
On-site registration
Bachelor and Master students: 200 € Doctoral students: 280 € Academia: 320 € Industry: 350 €

Remote attendance? No problem!

We also offer the possibility to follow the talks online. However, you will not able to submit your abstract or poster, and the workshops will not be available.

Virtual registration
All categories (virtual): 80 €


The symposium will be organised in 4 sessions - each with a focus on a broad category of biological scales:



From hostile desert conditions to ice cold waters - life can go to extreme measures to survive. How resilient are ecosystems? While we can pick and choose the environment in the lab, this only begins to explore the landscape of possible habitats that nature thrives in.



The genetic code forms the basis of all the life we know. While the individual building blocks might seem simple to understand, putting them together at a large scale leads to a level of complexity that we are only starting to comprehend. With all interesting patterns of behavior emergent from the many routes of evolution and degrees of genetic variation, life shows complexity at every scale



Whether investigating quantum effects in biology or impact of unicellular organisms on whole ecosystems, how we describe living systems can scale from particles to biomes. Every layer of magnitude reveals new insights. Our understanding at all sizes matters.



Biological processes take place from fast molecular reactions to slow evolutionary steps. From the formation of biomolecular condensates, transgenerational epigenetics, to the fitness landscapes over evolution – every time scale, is of the essence.


Here are the speakers who confirmed their participation to date (the list is continuously updated).

  • Clarice D. Aiello
    UCLA Samueli School of Engineering
  • Denis Walsh
    University of Toronto
  • Edoardo Calizza
    Sapienza University, Rome
  • Elizabeth Murchison
    University of Cambridge
  • Fyodor Kondrashov
    Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
  • Ikram Blilou
    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  • Jan Philipp Junker
    Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine
  • Jean Fan
    Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University
  • Paul Guichard
    Université de Genève
  • Prisca Liberali
    Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research
  • Sandra Smit
    Wageningen University
  • Saskia Brix
    DZMB, Epifauna Team
  • Tanmay Bharat
  • Tobias Erb
    Max-Plank Institute for terrestrial microbiology
  • Vittorio Sebastiano
    Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

The EMBL PhD Symposium is organized by EMBL PhD students to serve as a gathering that connects young researchers and high-profile scientists alike. This year, our Symposium centers on the theme “The Spectra of Life: Dimensional Breadth in Biological Research.”

The symposium is scheduled to take place from the 7th to the 9th of December 2022.

The symposium will be at EMBL Heidelberg, and the address is: Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. If however, one cannot attend in person, virtual participation is also possible!

While the symposium is mainly aimed toward PhD students, everyone is invited to attend!

Please feel free to contact info.phdsymposium@embl.de

Yes! All registrants intending to attend the symposium in person are welcome to submit their abstracts. They can indicate if they want to give a talk or a poster presentation. The flash talks will be selected by the organizing committee after the submission deadline.

Only registered applicants can submit abstracts. You can find the link for abstract submission in the confirmation email.

While we encourage abstract submissions, we don’t require abstracts to participate in the symposium.

The deadline for registration is 14th September, 2022.

Please find additional information including FAQs, terms and conditions, COVID-19 safety policy, finding accommodation in Heidelberg and travelling to EMBL on the Information for Participants page

Contact us for any queries