2023 EMBL in Spain: Molecules to Ecosystems – Alumni relations

EMBL Conference

2023 EMBL in Spain: Molecules to Ecosystems


Life scientists in Spain, EMBL staff, alumni, their colleagues and members of their networks met at CIC bioGUNE in Derio, Bilbao for the 2023 EMBL in Spain event.

See Photo Gallery below

EMBL in Spain participants
CICbioGUNE building
James Sharpe, Maria dM Vivanco, Jesús Jiménez-Barbero, Rosa Barrio, James Sutherland
EMBL in Spain audience
James Sharpe presenting EMBL Barcelona
Aitziber Cortajarena
Oscar Millet
Robert Kypta
Maria dM Vivanco
Jerome Solon
Kristina Haase
Rosa Barrio
Lola Ledesma, Robert Kypta
Puri Fortes
Mariana Astiz
James Sharpe asking question
Participants at lunch
Virginia Arechavala, Lola Ledesma, Rosa Barrio, Puri Fortes
Participants at break
Alvaro Rada-Iglesias, Lola Ledesma, Mariana Astiz
Maria dM Vivanco, Mehrnoosh Rayner, Peer Bork, Robert Kypta
Participants at break
James Sharpe
Nuria Conde Pueyo
Peer Bork
Ibon Cancio
Nuria Conde Pueyo, Ibon Cancio, Peer Bork
Nuria Conde Pueyo, Ibon Cancio, Peer Bork, James Sharpe
Bilbao at night


Virginia Arechavala

Group Leader, Biocruces Health Research Institute, Barakaldo

Mariana Astiz

Group Leader, Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Leioa

Peer Bork

Director, EMBL Heidelberg

Ibon Cancio

Full Professor, Plentzia Marine Station in the University of the Basque Country (PiE-UPV/EHU) and Director of EMBRC-Spain, Plentzia

Aitziber Cortajarena

Group Leader, CIC biomaGUNE, San Sebastian

Puri Fortes

Group Leader, CIMA, Pamplona

Kristina Haase

Group Leader, EMBL Barcelona

Jesús Jiménez-Barbero

Scientific Director, CIC bioGUNE, Derio

Lola Ledesma

Group Leader, CBMSO, Madrid

Oscar Millet

Group Leader, Atlas Molecular Pharma, Derio

Nuria Conde Pueyo

Postdoc, EMBL Barcelona

Álvaro Rada-Iglesias

Group Leader, IBBTEC, Santander

James Sharpe

Head of EMBL Barcelona

Jerome Solon

Research Professor and Group Leader, Biofisika Institute, CSIC-UPV/EHU, Leioa

James D Sutherland

Group Leader, CIC bioGUNE, Derio


Chair: Rosa Barrio
James Sharpe, EMBL Barcelona
10:20-11:40Session I: Molecular Level
Chair: James D Sutherland
Aitziber Cortajarena: “Molecular Engineering of Protein-Based Hybrid Structures: A New Frontier for Biomedical Tools”
Puri Fortes: “Coding non-coding RNAs”
Álvaro Rada-Iglesias: “Enhancer-gene compatibility in development and congenital disease”
Oscar Millet: “A molecular definition of metabolic syndrome as investigated by NMR metabolomics”
11:40-12:10Coffee break and group photo
12:10–13:10Session II: Cellular Level
Chair: Robert Kypta
Lola Ledesma: “Pathological crosstalk between neurons and glia cells in lipid storage disorders”
Mariana Astiz: “The central circadian clock sensitivity to glucocorticoids: a cell-specific developmental timeline”
James D Sutherland: “Building a better mousetrap: catching post-translational modifications using in vivo biotinylation”
13:10-14:40Lunch & parallel session networking with students (13:00-14:00)
Tour of NMR Installations (13:30-14:30hrs)
14:45-16:00Session III: Organ and System Levels
Chair: María dM Vivanco
Jesús Jiménez-Barbero, CIC bioGUNE, Derio
Kristina Haase: “Collective behaviors of endothelial cells and microvessels explored via MPS (micro-physiologic systems)
Jerome Solon: “On the control of tissue mechanics during morphogenesis: How to seal epithelial gaps”
Virginia Arechavala: “Nucleic Acid Therapeutics for Rare Diseases: broadening our expectations”
16:00-16:30Coffee break
16:30-18:15Session IV: Ecosystems
From molecular sampling of ecosystems to strategies for climate change. Join us in this discussion and learn more about TREC, EMBRC and SYNTERRA
Chair: James Sharpe
Peer Bork. TREC
Ibon Cancio: EMBRC
Nuria Conde Pueyo: SYNTERRA

Followed by round table discussion on grand challenges and opportunities for the future.
18:15-19:30Drinks reception

Learn about TREC activities taking place in Bilbao in October 2023

Information for participants

Click here for directions, transportation and useful information.

Hotel suggestions

In Bilbao

Hotel Abando ****

Hotel Ibis*

In Derio – the Bizkaia Technology park, walking distance to CIC bioGUNE

Hotel Aretxarte***

Hotel The Park***

Hotel Artea Errota**


EMBL invites members of the life sciences community in and around Spain, including its own alumni and staff, to EMBL in Spain 2023: Molecules to Ecosystems, held on Monday 9 October 2023. 

This is an excellent opportunity to connect with life scientists working in Spanish research centers in Northern Spain, to learn, share and inspire across the whole spectrum of molecular biology from molecules to ecosystems. It’s also an excellent opportunity to meet the EMBL TREC team, who will be in Bilbao for the first half of October, and to hear and see the latest discoveries along the European coastlines. The event also aims to strengthen ties and highlight resources as well as collaboration opportunities between EMBL, CIC bioGUNE, and the wider life science community in Spain.

The programme includes a tour of the NMR installations at CIC bioGUNE (building 800), refreshment breaks and networking. 

This free event is open to all and includes coffee breaks and finger food. If you would like to attend in-person, please register as early as possible to secure a spot. We encourage you to spread awareness and extend the invitation to your own network.

Who Should Attend:

EMBL in… events are open to all life scientists. The aim is to share what’s happening at EMBL with life sciences communities in Europe, as well as learn about new and innovative life sciences research and resources available in EMBL member and associate member states. With these events, we seek to open up valuable dialogue, ensuring that as many people as possible have access to the opportunities provided by both EMBL and its alumni and partners.


Image: Jorge Fernández Salas

Date: 9 Oct 2023

Location: Bilbao, Spain

Time: 09:30

Venue: CIC bioGUNE, Technology Park of Bizkaia (near airport) Building 800/801


  • Rosa Barrio
    Group Leader, CIC bioGUNE, Derio
    • María dM Vivanco
      Group Leader, CIC bioGUNE, Derio
      • Robert Kypta
        Group Leader, CIC bioGUNE, Derio
        • James Sharpe
          Head of EMBL Barcelona