Alumni Relations

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Coffee with EMBL

Coffee with EMBL is an informal online space for members of the global EMBL community to connect, share and debate topical issues. We offer regular access to outstanding scientists and thought leaders, helping you to stay informed and connected, wherever you are.

It is hosted by EMBL and moderated by Angus Lamond (Professor of Biochemistry, University of Dundee and former EMBL Group Leader and Senior Scientist), who co-organises the series alongside Thomas Vaccari (Associate Professor, University of Milan and former EMBL Predoc) and the EMBL Alumni Relations team.

Opinions expressed by speakers are their own and are not necessarily representative of the views of EMBL. Please see below for full disclaimer.

This page serves as an archive of previous events and a space to access views and information. See below to watch previous sessions and access chat transcripts and resources.

Have an idea for a future topic or guest speaker? All feedback is appreciated. Get in touch.

Upcoming events

DateTopic and guests
Friday 26 April5 decades of EMBL – The 1970s & 1980s
Guests: Matthias Hentze, Mary Holmes, Andrew Miller, Brigitte Jockusch, Daniela Marazziti, Maria Papanikolaou, Karin Römisch, Brian Sproat, David States, Heinrich Stuhrmann, Graham Tebb
Friday 14 June 5 decades of EMBL – The 1990s
Friday 20 September5 decades of EMBL – The 2000s
Friday 13 December5 decades of EMBL – The 2010s and beyond



Friday 15 December: Alumni Authors
Guests: Anna Bartosik, Alvis Brazma, Russ Hodge
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 29 September: Sustainability in Life Sciences and LEAF
Guests: Raul Alvarez Tenor, Martin Farley, Dunja Ferring-Appel, Elisa Garcia-Wilson, Marta Rodriguez Martinez
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 16 June: AI beyond ChatGPT
Guests: Lucia von Bredow, Boyan Garvalov, Benjamin Lang and alumni
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 28 April: AI chatbots and language processing tools – Chat GPT
Guests: Alex Bateman, Alvis Brazma, Anastasios Koutsos, Thomas Lemberger, and alumni
Watch | Chat Transcript


Friday 16 December: A Chat with Leaders
Guests: Fiona Watt, Kristina Djinovic Carugo, Remco Loos
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 14 October: “In Science We Trust”
Guests: Lucia von Bredow, Kelly McNagny, Andreas Prokop, Agnes Szmolenszky, Lara Urban
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 8 April 2022: Translating Discovery into Impact
Guests: Gábor Lamm, Gitte Neubauer, Lars Steinmetz
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 11 February 2022: EMBL’s new strategic programme: Molecules to Ecosystems
Guests: Edith Heard, Jessica Vamathevan, Nassos Typas, Rainer Pepperkok
Watch | Chat transcript and slides


Friday 10 December 2021: Glühwein with EMBL – a festive get-together! 🎄
Festive recipes and traditions shared in the chat
*Please note that, due to the informal nature of this session, a recording will not be made available to watch back.
Friday 19 November 2021: The Future of AI in Life Sciences (Part 3)
Guests: Matthias Mann, Jennifer McDowall, Alexander Stark, Oliver Stegle
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 15 October 2021: The Future of AI in Life Sciences (Part 2)
Guests: Alvis Brazma, Søren Brunak, Uwe Dengler, Chris Sander
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 17 September 2021: DeepMind and the Future of AI in Life Sciences (Part 1)
Guests: Sameer Velankar, Anna Kreshuk, Andrew Miller, Chris Sander and Dame Janet Thornton
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 18 June 2021: Climate and the environment
Guests: Jacques Dubochet, Matthias Hentze, Melissa Graewert, Brendan Rouse, Michael Zimmerman
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 14 May 2021: Coronavirus – global and local perspectives
Guests: Ari Helenius, Giorgio Gilestro, Peter Rottier, Thomas Vaccari
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 16 April 2021: One year on…
Guests: Akhil Ennamsetty, Carla Polycarpo, Michael Levitt, Gregor Reither
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 12 March 2021: What is allyship, and how can you be an ally?
Guests: Eileen Furlong, Roshni Mooneeram, Diana Mendes Freire, Kristina Havas-Cavalletti, Nassos Typas, Maria Garcia, Christophe Lanric and Virginie Uhlmann
Watch* | Chat transcript
*Please note that, due to technical issues, Eileen and Roshni’s contributions were unfortunately not recorded. Please see the resources document for links to learn more about their work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at EMBL.
Friday 12 February 2021: The value of basic research (part 2)
Guests: Dame Janet Thornton, Marion Boland, Isabel Palacios and Mariana Rama Pedro Alves
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 22 January 2021: The value of basic research (part 1)
Guests: Maria Leptin, Sigrid Reinsch, Kai Simons
Watch | Chat transcript


Friday 11 December 2020: Cooperation vs. competition in science
Guests: Eileen Furlong, Iain Mattaj, Katharina Ribbeck
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 13 November 2020: The second wave
Guests: Christine Blaumueller, Arnaud Krebs, Marja Makarow
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 16 October 2020: Infection biology
Guests: Maria Bernabeu, Raffaele de Francesco,Freddy Frischknecht, Jan Kosinski
Watch | Chat transcript
Friday 18 September 2020: Science and society
Guests: Freddy Frischknecht, Giorgia Guglielmi, Lucia von Bredow
Friday 19 June 2020
Guests: Patricia Kahn, Olivia Steele-Mortimer, Nassos Typas, Matthias Wilmanns
Friday 5 June 2020
Guests: Ennio De Gregorio, Ishaan Gupta, Michael Levitt
Friday 22 May 2020
Guests: Stephen Cusack, Carmen Fernández Alonso, Peter Rottier, Graham Tebb
Friday 8 May 2020
Guests: Rolf Apweiler, Wei-Hua Chen, Mariano Maffei, Vicent Pelechano, Angelo Raggioli, Xiushan Yin
*Oops – we spilt our coffee this time! (no video available due to technical issues)
Friday 24 April 2020
Guests: Fátima Gebauer, Cornelius Gross, Matthias Hentze, James Sharpe


What is Coffee with EMBL?

  • Coffee with EMBL is an informal online space hosted by EMBL for its global community to regularly connect.
  • Each one-hour session will feature special guests, giving you access to outstanding scientists and thought leaders.
  • Gain an insight into the latest developments at EMBL and raise suggestions and comments.
  • Build networks and seek supporters and collaborators easily, effectively and enjoyably.

Coffee with EMBL has been very helpful in showing us the potential of EMBL and its community, the diversity of people’s profiles and expertise, as well as their strong commitment to come together to face crisis situations.”
Carmen Fernández Alonso, Postdoc, Center for Biological Research, Spanish National Research Council (CIB-CSIC), Spain


Coffee with EMBL contributors are members of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) community. The opinions expressed are their own and are not necessarily representative of the views of EMBL or any other party. Contributions are not edited or moderated in advance by anyone but the individual speakers. The mere appearance of video content on the EMBL website does not constitute an endorsement by EMBL.

Using Zoom

  • Once in the meeting, you may switch between ‘speaker view’ and ‘gallery view’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Gallery view enables you to see up to 40 participants at once, and is our suggested viewing mode.
  • Click on ‘participants’ on the toolbar at the foot of the window to see a list of meeting participants in the menu on the right-hand-side. Here, you can edit the way your name appears. We encourage you to add your organisation in brackets after your name (by hovering over your name, and selecting ‘more’ – ‘rename’).
  • If you would like to contribute to the discussion, please click ‘Raise Hand’ in the menu on the right-hand-side (at the foot of the participants list). The moderator will introduce you and unmute you, time permitting.
  • To see and partake in the text chat alongside the meeting, click on ‘chat’ at the foot of the window. Chat will appear in the menu on the right-hand-side. This is optional as it can be distracting. 
  • There will often be an opportunity to vote in the meeting. To take part, click ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (at the foot of the participants list).
  • You can add or change your virtual background in advance of the meeting. Within Zoom preferences, click ‘Virtual Background’. We encourage you to be creative! (e.g. a local landscape, your organisation or an old EMBL photo).

Thank you

Coffee with EMBL is made possible due to the tremendous efforts of an array of EMBL community members. Special thanks goes to Angus Lamond (moderator and co-organiser) and Thomas Vaccari (co-organiser) for their continued effort, enthusiasm and support.

Thank you, too, to everyone who has previously joined us at Coffee with EMBL as a guest speaker or participant, or who has offered advice and or suggestions behind the scenes.

If you would like to suggest a topic for a future sessions or be a speaker, please email alumni [at] embl.org.

Highlights of Coffee with EMBL…