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Mannheim meeting concludes The EMBO Meeting series



27 September 2016Between 10 and 13 September, more than 600 life scientists from across the world came together in Mannheim at The EMBO Meeting 2016. In addition to sharing and discussing their latest research, they had the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary approaches and network with the international life science community.


The conference chairs Jannie Borst of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Brian Charlesworth of the University of Edinburgh, and Jan Ellenberg of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) put together a varied scientific programme with more than 70 speakers and nearly 300 poster presentations.


"We wanted to highlight common biological mechanisms operating in all living organisms," explained Jannie Borst. "That meant starting at the molecular level and increasing complexity to whole organisms and even populations. It was fantastic too see how all the high-quality research presented contributes to our common goal of trying to understand how Mother Nature works.”


The scientific programme was rounded off by award ceremonies for the Louis-Jeantet Prize and the EMBO Gold Medal. EMBO Director Maria Leptin explained: “Through our work, we aim to support researchers at different stages of their careers, and by awarding the EMBO Gold Medal we recognise and celebrate young scientists’ outstanding contributions to the life sciences in Europe.”


In addition to receiving their hand-crafted medals, the recipients, Richard Benton from the University of Lausanne and Ben Lehner from the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, shared with the audience some of their latest research.


Looking ahead to new initiatives


The seventh meeting in series was also the last. “Speaking with life scientists at all career stages, we found that the trend is moving away from conferences with a broad scope, and towards meetings with a more specific focus,“ explained Maria Leptin.


“It is our aim to stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and we will look to invest in the best ways to support, serve and connect our community. This could be through additional scientific meetings or workshops, but it could also be entirely different ways of connecting researchers with each other and with scientific knowledge. We will continue to look for the best ways of bringing top science to the widest possible audiences.”


One such new initiative is SourceData. This suite of tools makes it possible to search the very core of published scientific evidence – the experimental data. Together with publisher Wiley, EMBO launched one application of SourceData – the SmartFigures Lab – just ahead of The EMBO Meeting. Attendees had the chance to find out how they can use it to not only search data published as figures and illustrations in the scientific literature, but to find related data with a simple mouse click.


Impressions from Mannheim


For more impressions from The EMBO Meeting 2016, take a look at our Storify.


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Tilmann KiesslingTilmann Kiessling
Head, Communications
T. + 49 160 9019 3839