NEWS FROM THE EMBO COMMUNITY Prime Minister of Rhineland Palatinate, Kurt Beck, and Minister of Science, Doris Ahnen, get a quick lesson in DNA isolation from Dr. Bernhard Korn (left), Director of Scientific Core Facilities and Technology, at the IMB opening ceremony in March. IMB–anew center for life science research While the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) – the cutting-edge basic research centre in Mainz, Germany, led by EMBO Member CHRISTOF NIEHRS – only opened in March 2011, it has wasted no time getting down to the business of science. The IMB focuses on research in the fields of developmental biology, epi- genetics and DNA repair as well as related biomedical areas. Its groups include leading biochemists, geneticists, cell and developmental biologists, bioinformaticians and applied physicists. By the end of 2012, the institute, which receives core funding of 100 million euros over 10 years from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation, aims to have around 150 employees and more than ten research groups. It offers an International PhD Programme, giving talented PhD students fully funded fellowships and the opportunity to undertake research on the cutting-edge of modern biology. The IMB plans a series of symposia and conferences for 2012. The first, a symposium called Frontiers in Epigenetics and DNA Repair, features an array of distinguished speakers, including EMBO Associate Members Frederick Alt and Rudolf Jaenisch, and EMBO Members Ingrid Grummt, John Gurdon, Stefan Jentsch, Josef Jiricny, Renato Paro and Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker. It takes place on 16 March and registration is free. The IMB conference, DNA Demethylation, DNA Repair and Beyond, will take place from 18 to 21 October 2012 and includes speakers such as EMBO Members Geneviève Almouzni, Jean-Marc Egly, Jan Hoeijmakers, Azim Surani and Wolf Reik. For more information on the conferences, PhD programme and research details, see Seminars and meetings are part of the lively scientific atmosphere at the IMB. 14 EMBOencounters | Winter 2011|2012 | ©2012 EMBO ©2011 | Thomas Hartmann ©2011 | Thomas Hartmann