Chemical biology 2022 – Course and Conference Office

EMBO Workshop

Chemical biology 2022


This conference will take place at EMBL Heidelberg, with the option to attend virtually. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recovery is required for on-site attendance. Please see EMBL’s COVID-19 terms and conditions.

Conference overview

The conference sets the stage for the dissemination and exchange of new developments in diverse, hot fields within chemical biology. It is the largest and longest standing conference in the field, being a platform for inspiration, collaboration and networking for researchers in academia and industry. We aim to provide the possibility for every chemical biologist to meet and discuss with peers on topics ranging from tool development to biological applications, from computational drug design to synthetic chemistry.

Session topics

  • Drug and target discovery
  • Genetically-encoded biosensors
  • Structure-function relations in chemical biology
  • Chemical tools for biological imaging
  • Metabolism and natural products
  • Synthetic biology and protein design

What past participants say about this conference

“The conference was very well organised with an amazing programme, great speakers and it has proved a valuable source of information! A very challenging and worthwhile experience!” Rosalba Sortino, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia

“The EMBO Chemical Biology Workshop 2020 was super! Inspiring talks and very well organised! I had the opportunity to give a short-presentation and got interesting feedback and discussion!” Dr. Ma. Florencia Sanchez, Institute for Biochemistry, University of Frankfurt


Keynote speakers


Tobias Dick

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)


Scientific organisers

Yimon Aye



Claire Deo

EMBL Heidelberg


Kai Johnsson

Max Planck Institute for Medical Research


Edward Lemke

JGU & IMB Mainz


Conference organiser

Lea Hohmann

EMBL Heidelberg


Preliminary programme

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  • Recorded talks will be accessible on demand for 2 weeks after the end of the event.
  • All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe/Berlin.
Day 1 – Monday 5 September 2022
11:00 – 13:00Registration and Lunch
13:00 – 13:10Opening remarks
13:10 – 16:45Session 1: Drug and target discovery
13:10 – 13:45Quantitative Chemical Imaging in Immune Cells
Yamuna Krishnan – University of Chicago, USA
13:45 – 14:20Programming Cellular Function with Light
Olalla Vázquez – Marburg University, Germany
14:20 – 14:35Selected talk #1
14:35 – 15:05Coffee Break
15:05 – 15:40Talk title to be announced
Nir London – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
15:40 – 15:55Selected talk #2
15:55 – 16:10Selected talk #3
16:10 – 16:4515 Flash talks (2 min/1 slide) selected from abstracts
16:45 – 18:30Poster session 1
18:30 – 19:30Keynote Session
Dorothee Kern – Brandeis University, USA
19:30 – 20:30Get together tbc
Day 2 – Tuesday 6 September 2022
09:00 – 12:15Session 2: Genetically encoded biosensors
09:00 – 09:35Fluorescent chemogenetic reporters to spy on cells
Arnaud Gautier – Sorbonne University, France
09:35 – 10:10Discovery of a druggable copper signaling pathway that regulates cell plasticity
Raphael Rodriguez – Institut Curie, France
10:10 – 10:25Selected talk #4
10:25 – 10:40Selected talk #5
10:40 – 11:10Coffee break
11:10 – 11:45Mechanisms of thiol based redox signaling
Tobias Dick – DKFZ, Germany
11:45 – 12:00Selected talk #6
12:00 – 12:15Selected talk #7
12:15-12:30Selected talk #8
Session 3: Structure-function in chemical biology
14:00-14:35Chemical biology to understand and harness the innate immune STING pathway
Lingyin Li – Stanford University, USA
14:35-15:10Study of the TEAD transcriptions factors and of their regulators
Patrick Chene – Novartis, Switzerland
15:10-15:25Selected talk #9
15:25-15:40Selected talk #10
15:40-16:10Coffee break
16:10-16:45Structural basis of FANCD2 deubiquitination by USP1-UAF1
Helen Walden – University of Glasgow, UK
16:45-17:00Selected talk #11
17:00-17:208 Flash talks (2 min/1 slide) selected from abstracts
17:20-18:00Meet the speakers session
18:00-19:45Dinner in EMBL Canteen
19:45-21:30Poster session 2
Day 3 – Wednesday 7 September 2022
09:00 – 10:00Keynote lecture: Playing with the molecules of life
Peter Schultz – The Scripps Research Institute, USA
Session 4: Chemical tools for biological imaging
10:00 – 10:35Computational design of enzyme repertoires
Sarel Fleishman – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
10:35 – 10:50Selected talk #12
10:50 – 11:20Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
11:20 – 11:55Stressor-to-phenotype relationships in disease through the lens of chemical biology – insights from mechanisms to treatment
Gabriela Chiosis – Sloan Kettering Institute, USA
11:55 – 12:10Selected talk #13
12:10 – 12:25 Selected talk #14
12:25 – 13:00Chemical medicine: New cancer medical technology based on live fluorescence imaging of each patient
Yasuteru Urano – University of Tokyo, Japan
13:00 – 14:30Lunch
14:30 – 15:00Meet the editors
Session 5: Metabolism and natural products
15:00 – 15:35Ulrike Eggert – King’s College, UK
15:35 – 16:10Deciphering the human microbiome with chemistry
Emily Balskus – Harvard University, USA
16:10 – 16:25Selected talk #15
16:25 – 16:40Selected talk #16
16:40 – 17:008 Flash talks (2 min/1 slide) selected from abstracts
17:00 – 17:30Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
17:30 – 19:00Poster session 3
19:00 – 22:30Dinner and social event tbc
Day 4 – Thursday 8 September 2022
09:00 – 12:30Session 6: Synthetic biology and protein design
09:00 – 09:35Expanding the genetic code – From synthetic amino acids to biochemistry in the living cell
Simon Elsässer – Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
09:35 – 10:10Chemical tools to study redox biology
Pablo Rivera-Fuentes – University of Zurich, Switzerland
10:10 – 10:25Selected talk #17
10:25 – 10:40Selected talk #18
10:40 – 11:10Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
11:10 – 11:25Selected talk #19
11:25 – 11:40Selected talk #20
11:40 – 12:15Single-molecule chemistry in a protein nanoreactor
Hagan Bayley – University of Oxford, UK
12:15 – 12:30Closing Remarks and Poster Prize
12:30 – 13:00Packed Lunch and departure

Practical information

Registration fees and abstract submission

On-site registration fees include admission, conference materials, COVID-19 safety measures, meals and coffee breaks. Participants are expected to book and pay their own accommodation and travel expenses.

Virtual registration fees include access to all of the talks (livestreamed and on demand) and facility to submit questions.

On-site Academia€ 450
On-site PhD Student€ 350
On-site Industry€ 700
Virtual Academia€ 175
Virtual PhD Student€ 125
Virtual Industry€ 225

NO visa support letters will be issued until payment of the registration fee is confirmed.

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for complimentary press registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Lea Hohmann for more information. Please note that we do not offer complimentary registrations for editors of scientific journals.

Confirmation and payment

Registration will be on a first-come first-served basis. Your place can only be confirmed after payment of the registration fee. If you are added to our waiting list, please consider taking advantage of our offerings to participate virtually.

On-site participants: Types of payments accepted are international bank transfers and credit card payments.

Virtual participants: We are only able to accept card payments. In exceptional cases we can accept bank transfers. Please contact events@embl.de for details.

Abstract submission

Only registered participants attending the on-site event are eligible to submit an abstract. Abstracts will not be accepted from virtual participants.

After you have logged in and successfully registered, you will receive an email asking you to submit your abstract.  Click on the link provided and enter your abstract in the text box provided. Alternatively you can submit your abstract by clicking on the link on the confirmation page directly after registering. The same login credentials are used for both processes.

Please note:

Title: The title should not exceed 20 words. Only the first word of the title should start with a capital letter and the rest of the title should be in lowercase.

Authors and affiliations: Please fill in the author’s details as requested in the online form. The compulsory details are: First Name, Last Name, Organisation Name (Affiliation or Company), Country and Email. Mark only one author as the role of First author and please don’t forget to indicate who will be presenting. The order of the authors will be listed as follows: First Author, Co-First Author (alphabetically if multiple), co-author(s) (in the order added by the submitter).

Optional: if you would like to upload an image in conjunction with your abstract please note:

  • We only accept one image per abstract
  • We only accept png or jpeg formats
  • The image should have a printable resolution of minimum 300 dpi
  • The maximum size of the image is 10 cm (1180 px) wide by 8 cm (945 px) high
    (Any images exceeding these dimensions will be automatically excluded)
  • The image will be placed beneath your abstract text which needs to be limited to approximately 1200 characters; so that both image and text fit on one page of the abstract book.

Presentation types: When submitting your abstract, you can apply for an oral or poster presentation. A selection process will take place with the results announced 2-3 weeks after the abstract submission deadline.

Please check our FAQs pages for further information on how to submit an abstract.

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.


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.


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.


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

Further details

View 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.

Accommodation and shuttles

Accommodation is not included in the conference registration fee.

As further changes in our events are possible due to COVID-19, you should book flights, trains and hotels with flexible options and favourable cancellation conditions.

The hotels below have rooms on hold for participants until 4 August 2022, in some cases at special rates. Please quote the booking code CHB22-01 and confirm the exact price of the room with the hotel directly.

Hotel AnlageHotel ibis HeidelbergPremier Inn Heidelberg City
Hotel Bayrischer Hof ISG Hotel Staycity Aparthotel Heidelberg
B&B HotelLeonardo Hotel Heidelberg City CentreSteffi’s Hostel Heidelberg
Exzellenz Hotel & Boarding HouseMeininger HeidelbergHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Heidelberg
Hotel Holländer Hof Hotel Monpti

Conference shuttle buses

Conference shuttle buses are free of charge for participants, and depart from designated bus stops near the hotels to EMBL and back, mornings and evenings.

The bus stops for this conference are:

  • Star Inn Hotel (close to B&B Hotel and Main Train Station)
  • Kurfürsten-Anlage (close to Main Train Station)
  • Leonardo Hotel City Centre (Bergheimer Strasse)
  • Neckarmünzplatz
  • Peterskirche
  • Crowne Plaza
  • ISG Hotel

View Conference shuttle bus stops and hotels in a larger map. Please note that not every bus stop will be used for every event.

Further details

Address: EMBL, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. For further information on getting to EMBL Heidelberg visit Public Transportation to the Venue. For information about accommodation and local transportation please refer to the FAQ page.

Virtual participation

What’s included?

  • Access to all the livestreamed talks
  • Video library of the recorded talks during and after the event
  • Facility to submit questions

Please note that only on-site participants are able to submit abstracts and participate in the poster sessions.

Event platform

We are using an event platform for this conference. More information about the platform will be shared ahead of the conference.


  • Do not broadcast the conference to unregistered participants.
  • You are encouraged to tweet and post about the event. Tweet unless the speaker specifically says otherwise, but be mindful of unpublished data. 
  • Please do not capture, transmit or redistribute data presented at the meeting.

Additional information can be found in our Code of Conduct.

Health and well-being

It is important to stay healthy and move around, especially when you are attending an event virtually. We have put together a few coffee break stretches and yoga videos in the conference platform for you to enjoy during the event.

How to ask questions

Please use the Q&A function in the event platform.

If you have any other questions, you can go to the Help Desk in the event platform. Click on ‘more’ on the top menu and click Help Desk. 

Time zone

The programme is planned based on the Europe/Berlin time zone, unless otherwise stated. Please take your time zone into consideration when planning your attendance.

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.


Bronze sponsor


Media partners

Angewandte Chemie, a Wiley journal

ChemBioChem, a Wiley journal

EMBO reports, an EMBO Press journal

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Open Biology, a Royal Society journal

RSC Chemical Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry


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 conferences, 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: 5 - 8 Sep 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration (On-site): 6 Jul 2022

Registration (Virtual): 29 Aug 2022


  • Yimon Aye
    Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
    • Claire Deo
      EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

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

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