EMBO NEWS Distinctive design, persuasive content, clear statements – this was Suzanne Beveridge’s formula to strengthen EMBO positioning among scientists and the general public. Suzanne closely collaborated with EMBO staff and the community to ensure that media, policy-makers and other institutes take notice of what the organization has to say. She helped develop a new ‘look and feel’ for EMBO, mirrored in a wide palette of publications such as flyers, posters, banners and the new website. Suzanne, an experienced project leader, significantly improved the visibility of the organization by increasing the coverage of EMBO in the news media. EMBO Director Maria Leptin: “EMBO is run by scientists, and we focus on tackling and solving problems rather than communicating what we do. Some of us are even suspicious of public relations. I have learned from Suzanne how profes- sional communications can help get across the importance of our research to diverse audiences. Every scientist would benefit from having someone like her on board.” The EMBO Meeting was her pet project. Suzanne guid- ed its launch in 2009. Since then, the meeting has steadily evolved to become one of the biggest European life science events. “It was and is a great achievement,” stated Deputy Director Gerlind Wallon. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock”. This saying by Thomas Jefferson was Suzanne’s favourite quote and decorated her door on the top floor of the EMBO building. She made it clear that what you say is just as important as how you state things. Her professional curiosity and alertness were a guarantee that EMBO communications stayed on top of new developments and technologies. In future, the passionate traveller wants to concentrate on coaching others in communications skills – but not before crossing the oceans to visit family and friends in her home- town Brisbane. After a welcome address by EMBO Director Maria Leptin and Chief Editor Stefanie Dimmeler, speakers participating in the Cardiovascular Disease session examined the role of signaling molecules like VEGF and chemokines, and also the contribution of endothelial metabolism to cell cycle and angiogenesis. Philippe Sansonetti (Institut Pasteur, France), who talked about microbial infections and mucosal host immune responses, gave the first keynote lecture highlighting the growing interest in microbiota and the role of metabolism. Edison Liu (Jackson Laboratory, USA), another keynote lecturer, presented his systems biology and integrative genomics approaches to understand the transcriptional regulation of breast cancer by nuclear hormone receptors. The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine and the role of brain tumor stem cells in this malignancy were discussed in another stimulating session, after which innate and adaptive immunity as well as inflammation were reviewed. The genetic and epigenetic basis and consequences of a variety of human conditions ranging from trisomy 21 to dyslexia and aging were also addressed and complemented with a discus- sion of genome-wide mutation analysis after gene therapy. The final session was dedicated to the promising future of miRNAs, with examples ranging from iron homeostasis, Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss to therapeutic applications. From bench to bedside – and back In December 2011, EMBO MOLECULAR MEDICINE held its first conference Molecular Insights for Innovative Therapies in Heidelberg. The conference was combined with an editorial board meeting to mark the significant progress of the journal since it was first launched in 2009. T T Th n ress in molecular medicine, h ng were to ghlight key areas of innovation e t i h g i g h d p o an a field dp o i h r e n d o i h t e e o n u a i e t a a n m n d b t a a o c a n d c ous exp m i i e t e o e x n tio h tions, and to ange of informa- h e ourage t a d a n c h he aims of the me h i i a a h e different research r g w r g w d us prospects t b ee c Editors, EMBO Molecular Medicine n t CÉLINE CARRET & ANNEKE FUNK t h e n between t e h s n i i t t t m t t c o r t Suzanne Beveridge says good-bye In November 2011, SUZANNE BEVERIDGE, Head of Public Relations and Communications at EMBO, left the organization after four years of service. A native Australian, Suzanne decided to leave Heidelberg and head for her new home country Italy. e n h n t m x c r area t c ibute to the field. erence targeted mainly e students and postdoctoral scientists offering them a chance to s tha o n t c d o e t u i r The three-day EMBO Molecular Medicine conference included 22 presentations on the following topics ➔ Cancer ➔ Cardiovascular diseases ➔ Genetics and epigenetics of human diseases ➔ Host – pathogen interactions ➔ Immunology ➔ Small RNAs ➔ Stem cells e o f Th c o f d learn more about this emerging discipline. Participants at the meeting en- joyed a stimulating poster session and discussions with world-class speak- ers and editorial board members in the striking architectural setting of the EMBL Advanced Training Centre. g a d r u g a a u t 10 EMBOencounters | Winter 2011|2012 | communications@embo.org ©2012 EMBO r e c t d u c e a a n n ©Rainer Mirau Photography, Austria ©EMBL PhotoLab | Marietta Schupp