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Protein quality control for downstream processes – Course and Conference Office

EMBL Course

Protein quality control for downstream processes

Overview

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recovery is required to attend this on-site course. Please see EMBL’s COVID-19 safety policy for on-site events.

Course overview

Purified proteins are used in various types of scientific experiments and fields. For example, in structural biology insights into the functional mechanisms can be obtained by elucidating the 3D molecular structure of proteins and protein complexes using technologies such as X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM and NMR. In biochemistry and biophysics, interactions with other proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules can be studied by determining affinities and specificities. Proteins can function as antigens to generate specific antibodies or as reagents in cell biology experiments. Furthermore, recombinant proteins can be used as tool molecules in genomics, chemical biology and microscopy assays. In order for these experiments to produce reliable and biologically relevant results, they must be performed using high-quality proteins that are active, properly folded, in the right oligomeric state and contain correctly inserted co-factors. Ensuring that these parameters are fulfilled requires quality control.

In this course, we want to help the participants to become acquainted with the concept of protein quality control and provide them with an overview of the specific protein requirements for various downstream applications. Different techniques that can be applied for this purpose will be introduced and participants will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with these technologies.

Audience

This course is aimed at life-science researchers of all levels, who are using or plan to use purified proteins in their wet-lab experiments, but who do not necessarily have a strong background in protein production and characterisation methods. We will focus on introducing protein quality control methodologies in order to improve the reliability and reproducibility of data obtained from experiments that make use of purified proteins. After this course, participants should be familiar with the biochemical and biophysical techniques that can be applied to ensure that they are working with high-quality protein samples suitable for the planned downstream experiments.

Modules/resources

  • Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
  • Nano-Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (nano-DSF) and MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST)
  • Size Exclusion Chromatography coupled to Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Dynamic Light Scattering (SEC-MALS-DLS) and Mass Photometry
  • Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)

Learning outcomes

During the course, specialists from both academia and industry will work closely together to introduce technologies frequently used in protein quality control. Some of these methodologies can be utilized both to assess protein quality and as stand-alone biophysical characterization techniques.

One of the highlights of the course that we are very excited about is the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) practical. Cryo-EM has undergone a revolution in recent years and is becoming increasingly popular in many interdisciplinary projects. However, in order to attain high-resolution data, the protein samples need to fulfil quite stringent conditions.

Our main goals are:

  • Teach the participants how to perform proper protein quality control checks
  • Introduce the participants to various biophysical techniques used for protein characterization, such as SEC-MALS, DLS, mass photometry, nano-DSF, spectroscopy and mass spectrometry
  • Show participants how to characterize protein interactions using ITC and MST
  • Provide participants with a basic background on cryo-EM and show the effects sample quality has on the acquired data
  • Where possible, allow participants to apply these technologies onto their own protein samples in the practicals
  • Overall, increase the success rate, reliability and reproducibility of downstream experiments in which purified proteins are used

Speakers

Speakers, trainers, and staff

Inessa De

BASF

Germany

Agatha Rosenthal

Malvern Panalytical

Germany

Scientific organisers

Course organisers

Preliminary programme

Got something to say? Tweet it with #EMBLProteinQC

  • Some speakers may need to join virtually to give their lecture or Q&A, and the programme is subject to change.
  • All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe/Berlin.
Day 1 – Tuesday 29 November 2022
TimeSessionLocation
08:30 – 09:00Bus from hotel to EMBL ATC EntranceISG Hotel
09:00 – 09:45Welcome and house notes and course overviewFlex Lab A & B
09:45 – 10:45Flash talks (5min, Introduction round and “Challenges and Expectations”)Flex Lab A & B
10:45 – 11:15Coffee BreakFlex Lab A & B
11:15 – 12:15Flash talks (5min, Introduction round and “Challenges and Expectations”) cont.Flex Lab A & B
12:15 – 13:30LunchCanteen
13:30 – 14:15Lecture: An overview of protein expression and purification methods for obtaining high-quality protein samples
Kim Remans – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
14:15 – 15:00Lecture
Bertrand Raynal – Institut Pasteur, France
Flex Lab A & B
15:00 – 15:30Coffee BreakFlex Lab A & B
15:30 – 18:304 practicals in parallel
Practical 1: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
Agatha Rosenthal – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany
Bernd Tartsch – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany

Practical 2: Nano-Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (nano-DSF) and MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST)
Jan Schnatwinkel – NanoTemper, Germany

Practical 3: Size Exclusion Chromatography coupled to Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Dynamic Light Scattering (SEC-MALS-DLS) and Mass Photometry
Christian Sieg – Wyatt, Germany
Anna Leczkowska – Refeyn, UK
Colin Grant  Refeyn, UK

Practical 4: Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)
Felix Weis – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Training Lab B
18:30 – 20:00Dinner 
20:00Departure to HotelATC Entrance
Day 2 – Wednesday 30 November 2022
TimeSessionLocation
09:00 – 09:10Overview of the dayFlex Lab A & B
09:10 – 12:104 practicals in parallel
Practical 1: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)

Agatha Rosenthal – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany
Bernd Tartsch – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany

Practical 2: Nano-Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (nano-DSF) and MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST)
Jan Schnatwinkel – NanoTemper, Germany

Practical 3: Size Exclusion Chromatography coupled to Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Dynamic Light Scattering (SEC-MALS-DLS) and Mass Photometry
Christian Sieg – Wyatt, Germany
Anna Leczkowska – Refeyn, UK
Colin Grant  Refeyn, UK

Practical 4: Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)
Felix Weis – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Training Lab B
12:10 – 13:15LunchCanteen
13:15 – 14:00Lecture
Maria Garcia-Alai – EMBL Hamburg, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
14:00 – 14:45Lecture
Melanie McDowell – Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
14:45 – 15:15Coffee breakFlex Lab A & B
15:15 – 18:154 practicals in parallel
Practical 1: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
Agatha Rosenthal – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany
Bernd Tartsch – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany

Practical 2: Nano-Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (nano-DSF) and MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST)
Jan Schnatwinkel – NanoTemper, Germany

Practical 3: Size Exclusion Chromatography coupled to Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Dynamic Light Scattering (SEC-MALS-DLS) and Mass Photometry
Christian Sieg – Wyatt, Germany
Anna Leczkowska – Refeyn, UK
Colin Grant  Refeyn, UK

Practical 4: Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)
Felix Weis – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Training Lab B
18:15Dinner downtown 
Day 3 – Thursday 1 December 2022
TimeSessionLocation
09:00 – 09:10Overview of the dayFlex Lab A & B  
09:10 – 09:55Lecture
André Matagne – Université de Liège, Belgium
Flex Lab A & B
09:55 – 10:40Lecture
Mandy Rettel – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
10:40 – 11:10Coffee breakFlex Lab A & B
11:10 – 12:00Lecture
Inessa De – BASF, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
12:00 – 13:00LunchCanteen
13:00 – 13:45Lecture
Sebastian Eustermann – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
13:45 – 14:30Lecture
Pravin Kumar Ankush Jagtap – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Flex Lab A & B
14:30 – 15:00Coffee breakFlex Lab A & B
15:00 – 18:004 practicals in parallel
Practical 1: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
Agatha Rosenthal – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany
Bernd Tartsch – Malvern Pananalytical, Germany

Practical 2: Nano-Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (nano-DSF) and MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST)
Jan Schnatwinkel – NanoTemper, Germany

Practical 3: Size Exclusion Chromatography coupled to Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Dynamic Light Scattering (SEC-MALS-DLS) and Mass Photometry
Christian Sieg – Wyatt, Germany
Anna Leczkowska – Refeyn, UK
Colin Grant  Refeyn, UK

Practical 4: Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)
Felix Weis – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Training Lab B
18:00 – 18:30Tips & Tricks 
18:30 – 19:00Dinner 
Departure to Hotel
Day 4 – Friday 2 December 2022
TimeSessionlocation
09:30 – 11:00Round table with speakers, instructors and all participantsFlex Lab A & B
11:00 – 11:30Coffee breakFlex Lab A & B
11:30 – 12:00Feedback and closing remarksFlex Lab A & B
12:00Departure and packed lunch 

Practical information

Registration fees and motivation letter

The course is limited to 16 participants. For selection purposes, please note that your application will not be considered without a letter of motivation.

Registration

Registration fees include admission, course materials, COVID-19 safety measures, meals and coffee breaks.

Participants are expected to book and pay their own accommodation and travel expenses. 

Academia€600
PhD Student€600
Industry€1100

Confirmation and payment

The registration fee should be paid only after acceptance to the course. The results will be announced approximately 2-3 weeks after the application deadline.

Motivation letter submission

After you have logged in and successfully registered, you will receive an email asking you to submit your motivation letter. Click on the link provided and enter your motivation letter in the text box provided. Alternatively you can submit your motivation letter by clicking on the link on the confirmation page directly after registering.

Instructions

  1. Include your relevant skills, experience and qualifications showing why you would be suitable for the course.
  2. Explain why you would like to attend, including what you can contribute and how you think you will benefit from the course.

Please note:

  • The limit of 2000 characters refers to manually typed text and excludes spaces. If an error occurs try using a different web browser (preferably Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).
  • If you copy-paste the text into the form, hidden formatting might still be included which may cause the text to exceed the 2,000 character limit resulting in an error message. We recommend you clear all formatting before pasting in the text.
  • If you have special symbols in your text, make sure you are using Unicode characters, otherwise these will not be recognised.

For more detailed information, follow the instructions provided in our video on how to submit a course motivation letter.

Further details

For further information about registration and motivation letter submission please refer to the FAQ page.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance

Limited financial assistance is provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme and EMBO in the form of both registration fee waivers and travel grants. Availability is limited to participants attending on-site events in Heidelberg and will be indicated during the abstract or motivation letter submission process.

Your place in the meeting is only confirmed by paying the registration fee, which is mandatory even when receiving a fee waiver.

Registration fee waiver

The fee waiver will cover the registration sum that you have paid to attend the course or conference.

Travel grant

The travel grant will cover the cost of travel (airfare, train, bus, taxi, accommodation, visa, and/or registration fees*) and is provided up to specified caps which are normally as follows:

– up to €400 for participants travelling to an EMBL Course, EMBL Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from within Europe.
– up to €1000 for participants travelling to an EMBL Course, EMBL Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from outside Europe.
– up to €500 for any participant travelling to an EMBO Practical Course or EMBO Workshop.
– up to €1000 for any participant working in Chile, India, Singapore or Taiwan travelling to an EMBO Practical Course or EMBO Workshop.

*Registration fees are only covered for EMBO Practical Courses or EMBO Workshops

The organisers may reduce the grant cap to accommodate more participants. Recipients will be notified of their travel cap amount when they are informed of the outcome of their application. Original receipts must be provided with your signature for all costs incurred within two months of completion of travel. Scanned copies cannot be accepted.

Boehringer ingelheim fonds travel grant

Applies to selected courses only. Availability will be indicated during the abstract or motivation letter submission process.

This grant covers costs related to your attendance at the course (registration, travel and accommodation costs). The grant is restricted to PhD students and postdocs who conduct basic biomedical research.
Whether you are eligible to apply for a travel grant, depends on when you received your university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur, A-Levels, High School Diploma, Final State Examination):

– for PhD and MD students, as well as graduates, the university entrance qualification must not have been obtained more than 11 years ago at the time of the envisaged course
– for postdocs, the university entrance qualification must not have been obtained more than 13 years ago at the time of the envisaged course

Application

You may apply for financial assistance when submitting your motivation letter for courses, and abstract for conferences. In your application, you will be asked to answer questions regarding why your lab cannot fund your attendance and how your attendance will make a difference to your career. Application for financial support will not affect the outcome of your registration application.

For the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Travel Grant, there is a pre-application question during the motivation letter submission process, and if selected you will be requested to complete a standard form and documentation consisting of your travel expense estimation.

Selection

The scientific organisers will select the recipients of all financial assistance during the motivation letter or abstract selection process. Results will be announced approximately 6-8 weeks before the event start date, however for some events this may be delayed. Selection results do not impact your admission to the meeting. Selection is based on your current work or study location, the reasons for needing financial support and the impact this event will have on your career.

Reimbursement

Costs will be reimbursed after the meeting only once a reimbursement form and original receipts (from travel costs) have been received.

Further details

See our list of external funding opportunities and information on attending a conference as an event reporter.

For further information about financial assistance please refer to the FAQ page.

Additional information

Please find additional information including FAQs, terms and conditions, COVID-19 safety policy and travelling to EMBL on our Information for Participants page.

COVID-19 related questions

COVID-19 information for on-site events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found in our COVID-19 FAQs.

Accommodation and shuttles

Hotel

Single rooms have been reserved for 4 nights (28 November – 02 December 2022) at the ISG Hotel. After the selection process, selected participants should contact the hotel directly to make a booking (booking code PQC22-01). We recommend that all course participants stay at the ISG Hotel which is the dedicated hotel for the course.

Local transport

Shuttle buses will go from the ISG Hotel to EMBL and back, mornings and evenings. A bus schedule and location of the bus stops will be made available prior to the meeting.

Further details

Address: EMBL Heidelberg, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

For further information on getting to EMBL Heidelberg visit our Travel Information page.

For enquiries about accommodation and local transportation please refer to the FAQ page.

Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities

We offer a variety of event sponsoring possibilities, with the flexibility to select a set sponsorship package or combine individual sponsorship options to suit your event budget. Discounts are available for companies sponsoring multiple events at EMBL Heidelberg. View other events, or contact sponsorship@embl.de for further information.

If you are interested in becoming a media partner of this event, please visit our media partnerships webpage.

Date: 29 Nov - 2 Dec 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Deadline(s):

Application: 6 Sep 2022


Organisers:


EMBL Courses and Conferences are kindly supported by our Corporate Partnership Programme

Founder partners

Corporate partners

Associate partners

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