Metabolism meets epigenetics – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

Metabolism meets epigenetics


EMBL is committed to sharing research advances and sustaining scientific interaction throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We are delighted to announce that this conference is going virtual and invite you to join us online.

Abstract submissions for oral presentations are no longer possible.

For late registrations without submission please use this link.

Symposium Overview

Metabolism and epigenetics are intricately linked, playing a key role in development, cancer, immune signalling and ageing. This symposium brings together world-leading researchers and young scientists to explore this nexus with a particular focus on how metabolites and metabolic networks impact gene regulation, on recently discovered roles of metabolites in disease and how this opens novel therapeutic avenues.

We will highlight enabling molecular and computational tools enabling detection of metabolites in time and space, shedding light on metabolism, and linking metabolism with the regulation of chromatin structure, gene activity and epigenetic inheritance. We will explore recent discoveries at the frontiers of metabolism and epigenetics — focusing at the intersection of these topics — achieved in vitro, in model organisms, inhuman, and in the environment. The goal of our interdisciplinary symposium is to strengthen the emerging connection between metabolism and epigenetics, inspire transformational ideas and help establish collaborations at this frontier of modern biology.

Session Topics

  • Metabolism
  • Epigenetics
  • Immunometabolism
  • Tools and systems analyses
  • Disease
  • Chromatin

What Past Participants Say about the Symposium

I was delighted to discover new approaches in metabolism from the epigenetic and metabolomic perspective. This conference boosted my view about the potential of my research.” Dr. Manuel A. Fernandez-Rojo, Head of the Hepatic Regenerative Medicine Group, IMDEA-Food Institute, Spain

The conference brought together great speakers and many open-minded young scientists from various fields. It sparked many fruitful discussions, helped to come up with new ideas and enabled me to look at my own PhD project from a different perspective.” Anna Nieborak, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany

An outstanding conference on a timely subject. I learned from the experts how metabolic changes and epigenome influence each other.” Anand Swaroop, National Eye Institute, NIH, Bethesda, USA


Keynote Speakers


Asifa Akhtar

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany

Andreas Bergthaler

Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

Hongbo Chi

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Ian Maze

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Scientific Organisers

Conference Organisers

Inna Bösselmann

EMBL Heidelberg


Raili Pall

EMBL Heidelberg



Got something to say? Tweet it #EESMetabolism

  • All talks will be live-streamed, with Q&A panel sessions at the end of each session.
  • Information on the live stream and access to the discussion platform and digital posters will be provided shortly before the start of the event.
  • Access to the recorded talks will be available for 2 weeks after the start of the event.

All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris).

To find out the equivalent time zone in your location, enter Berlin, the programme time and date along with your city into the Time Zone Converter.

Day 1 – Wednesday, 17 November 2021
13:00 – 13:25 Opening remarks by Scientific Organisers
13:25 – 14:25Krebs Cycle and macrophages
Keynote: Luke O’Neill – Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
14:25 – 17:50Session 1: Metabolism
Chairs: Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Theodore Alexandrov
14:30 – 14:55Sex differences in inter-organ metabolic crosstalk
Irene Miguel-Aliaga – Imperial College London, UK
14:55 – 15:20Alexander Aulehla – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
15:20 – 15:45Mitochondria as signalling organelles
Navdeep Chandel – Northwestern University, USA
15:50 – 16:05Break
16:05 – 16:20Short talk 1: Age-selective inheritance of organelles regulates stem cell fate through metabolism
Pekka Katajisto – University of Helsinki, Finland
16:20 – 16:35 Short talk 2: Metabolic enhancement of mammalian developmental pausing
Vera van der Weijden – Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Germany
16:35 – 16:50Short talk 3: Mitochondrial ADP-ribosylation controls nuclear PARP1-induced PARylation and PARP inhibitor efficiency
Michael Hottiger – University of Zurich, Switzerland
16:50 – 17:15Asifa Akhtar – Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany
17:15 – 17:20Transition
17:20 – 17:50Panel discussion 1
Chairs: Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Theodore Alexandrov
17:50 – 18:20Meet the editors – panel discussion
18:20 – 18:50Meet the speakers
18:50 – 19:20Social programme: speed networking
End of day 1 – Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms
Day 2 – Thursday, 18 November 2021
13:00 – 15:50 Session 2: Chromatin
Chairs: Yad Ghavi-Helm, Ian Maze
13:05 – 13:30Deconstructing the Relationship between Chromatin, Metabolism and Gene Expression
Jane Mellor – University of Oxford, UK
13:30 – 13:55Regulating gene expression in 3D during embryonic development
Yad Ghavi-Helm – Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon, France
13:55 – 14:10Short talk 4: Evolution of a histone variant involved in compartmental regulation of NAD metabolism
Iva Guberovic – Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, Spain
14:15 – 14:30Break
14:30 – 14:45Short talk 5: Swi-Snf & Cys on the sulfur seesaw: Maintaining metabolic balance and oxidative stress tolerance through chromatin remodelling
Michael Church – Stowers Institute for Medical Research, USA
14:45 – 15:00Short talk 6: IDH mutations reveal the effects of PARP inhibition on replication of heterochromatin
Juan Manuel Schvartzman – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
15:00 -15:15Short talk 7: Ageing-related changes in liver metabolic zonation are accompanied by spatial shifts in transcription and chromatin accessibility
Peter Tessarz – Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Germany
15:20 – 15:50Panel discussion 2
Chairs: Yad Ghavi-Helm, Ian Maze
15:50 – 16:50Break and digital poster session
(live chats and video calls with poster presenters)
16:50 – 20:00Session 3: Tools and systems analyses
Chairs: Jan Jakub Żylicz, Erika Pearce
16:55 – 17:20Joshua Rabinowitz – Joshua Rabinowitz Princeton University, USA
17:20 – 17:45 Exploiting dynamic enhancer landscapes to decode macrophage phenotypes in health and disease
Christopher Glass – University of California, San Diego, USA
17:45 – 18:10Hongbo Chi – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA
18:10-18:35Spatial single-cell metabolomics reveals metabolic cell states
Theodore Alexandrov – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
18:40 – 18:55Break
18:55 – 19:10Short talk 8: Single embryo metabolome and transcriptome analysis uncovers dynamic events during early Drosophila development
Heidi Lempradl – Van Andel Institute, USA
19:10 – 19:25Short talk 9: Impacts of nutritional histories in juvenile stages on the adult lifespan of Drosophila
Tadashi Uemura – Kyoto University, Japan
19:25 – 19:30Transition
19:30 – 20:00Panel discussion 3
Chairs: Jan Jakub Żylicz, Erika Pearce
20:00 – 20:30Meet the speakers
20:30 – 21:00 Social programme: virtual bar mixer
End of day 2 – Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms
Day 3 – Friday, 19 November 2021
13:00 – 16:25 Session 4: Immunometabolism
Chairs: Andreas Bergthaler, Matt Sweet
13:05 – 13:30Lydia Lynch – Harvard Medical School, USA
13:30 – 13:55Philippe Pierre – Centre d’Immunologie Marseille-Luminy, France
13:55 – 14:20Histone deacetylases as molecular switches controlling mitochondrial fission and host defence pathways in macrophages
Matt Sweet – University of Queensland, Australia
14:20 – 14:45Mitochondrial Shape-Shifting in T Cells
Erika Pearce – Johns Hopkins University, USA
14:50 – 15:05Break
15:05 – 15:20Short talk 10: Myeloid transglutaminase-2 governs anti-helminth immunity by regulating succinate and arginine metabolism
Fiona Henkel – Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany
15:20- 15:35Short talk 11: A non-classical retinoic acid signalling axis regulates hematopoietic stem cell identity
Katharina Schönberger – Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany
15:35- 15:50Short talk 12: Investigating the epigenetic regulation of intra-tumour metabolic heterogeneity in triple-negative breast cancer
Marina Fukano – University of Montréal, McGill University, Canada
15:50 – 15:55Transition
15:55 – 16:25Panel discussion 4
Chairs: Andreas Bergthaler, Matt Sweet
16:25- 17:25Break and digital poster session
(live chats and video calls with poster presenters)
17:25 – 20:30 Session 5: Disease
Chairs: Anne Brunet, Philipp Pierre
17:30 – 17:55Metabolism at the interface of infection-induced inflammation and pathophysiology
Andreas Bergthaler – Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
17:55 – 18:20Histone monoaminylation in brain: novel mechanisms of neural development, plasticity and disease
Ian Maze – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
18:20- 18:35Short talk 13: Visualizing metabolic and epigenetic transitions during stem cell differentiation in intestinal cancer
Maria Rodriguez Colman – University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
18:55 – 19:10Short talk 14: When pyruvate metabolism meets the epitranscriptome: importance for Leigh Syndrome
Laurent Le Cam – INSERM Montpellier, France
19:10 – 19:25Short talk 15: Methyl group management in adaptation to mitochondrial disease
Anastasiia Marmyleva – University of Helsinki, Finland
19:25 – 19:40Short talk 16: Metastasizing breast cancer cells (CSCs) rely on acetyl-coa for colonization of the lung
Megan Young – Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
19:40- 19:55Short talk 17: The pyruvate-lactate axis modulates cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure
Ahmad Cluntun – The University of Utah, USA
19:55- 20:00Transition
20:00 – 20:30Panel discussion 5
Chairs: Anne Brunet, Philipp Pierre
20:30 – 21:00Meet the editors and meet the speakers
End of day 3 – Continued access to digital posters, networking and discussion platforms

Day 4 – Saturday, 20 November 2021
13:00 – 17:20Session 6: Epigenetics
Chairs: Jane Mellor, Andreas Ladurner
13:05 – 13:30 Lactate‐mediated Histone Lysine Lactylation: Chemistry, Proteome and Biochemistry
Yingmin Zhao – University of Chicago, USA
13:30 – 13:55Transcriptional, epigenetic and metabolic regulatory pathways in the first days of development
Jan Jakub Żylicz – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
13:55 – 14:20Andreas Ladurner – Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
14:25 – 14:40Break
14:40 – 14:55Short talk 18: Metabolic-epigenetic regulation of taste sensation by diet
Monica Dus – University of Michigan, USA
14:55 – 15:10Short talk 19: Intergenerational hormesis is regulated by heritable 18S rRNA methylation
Eric Greer – Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, USA
15:10 – 15:25Short talk 20: Reprogramming of early embryos: the first meeting between metabolism and epigenetics
Jessica Ispada – UFABC, Brazil
15:25 – 15:40 Short talk 21: Targeting acetyl-CoA metabolism attenuates the formation of fear memories through reduced activity-dependent histone acetylation
Desi Alexander – University of Pennsylvania, USA
15:40 – 16:40Epigenetic and metabolic regulation of stem cell ageing
Keynote: Anne Brunet -Stanford University School of Medicine, USA
16:40 – 16:50Transition
16:50 – 17:20Panel discussion 6
Chairs: Jane Mellor, Andreas Ladurner
17:20 – 17:35Break
17:35 – 18:05Meet the speakers
18:05 – 18:35Award and closing remarks

Practical Information

Registration Fees and Abstract Submission

Registration Fees (include access to all of the talks, digital poster sessions and online group discussions, and help us cover our costs to run the event. For further information please refer to the FAQ page):

Academia190 Euro
PhD Student140 Euro
Industry240 Euro
EMBL StaffIntranet access

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for complimentary registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Inna Bösselmann for more information.

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.
Types of payments accepted are international bank transfers and credit card payments.

Abstract submission

Only registered participants are eligible to submit an abstract. We only accept online abstract submissions. 

After registration you can submit your abstract via a separate link that will be provided in the email confirmation. Alternatively, you can access 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).

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

Registration Fee Waivers

All academic and student registrants are invited to apply for a registration fee waiver, provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme and EMBO. The registration fee waiver covers the registration sum that you have paid to attend the meeting. Conference participants are not required to pre-pay the registration fee to be selected for a fee waiver for a virtual meeting. If you have already paid the registration fee and are awarded a fee waiver, it will be reimbursed after the meeting. Course participants are required to pay the course fee in advance, which will then be reimbursed after the course to the fee waiver recipients.

Childcare Grants
For participants and speakers with childcare responsibilities, there is the possibility to apply for a grant, provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme, to offset childcare costs incurred when participating in a virtual event. Eligible costs include fees for a babysitter or childcare facility or travel costs for a caregiver. Please note that priority will be given to early-stage researchers. Costs will be reimbursed after the meeting only once a reimbursement form and original receipts have been received. Attendance at the event is required in order to be eligible to receive the reimbursement. In order to apply for this grant, you must be registered by the abstract submission deadline.


Registration Fee Waivers

You may apply for financial assistance when submitting your abstract for this conference. In your application you will be asked to answer questions regarding your motivation for applying, reasons 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.

Childcare Grants

Participants registered by the abstract deadline will be emailed information about the childcare grants. You should apply for the grant by the deadline specified in the email.


The scientific organisers will select the recipients of registration fee waivers during the abstract selection process. Results will be announced approximately 3 – 4 weeks before the event start date. Selection results do not impact your admission to the meeting. Registration fee waiver selection is based on your current work or study location, your motivation for applying, the reasons for needing financial support and the impact this event will have on your career. Childcare grants are allocated based on career stage, with priority given to early stage researchers.

Further details

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

Virtual Participation Guidelines


Please do:

  • Use the event-specific hashtag as communicated during the event for any related tweets
  • Tweet unless the speaker specifically says otherwise
  • Be mindful of unpublished data
  • Be respectful in tone and content

Please don’t:

  • Share Slack, live stream or poster session links with others
  • Broadcast the conference to unregistered participants
  • Capture, transmit or redistribute data presented at the meeting unless presenter gives explicit consent
  • Use offensive language in your posts
  • Engage in rudeness or personal attacks

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. You can find these under ‘resources’ on the conference platform.

How to ask questions

Please use the Q&A function. It is possible to send a direct message to participants, poster presenters, and speakers within the conference platform.

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

Time zone

The programme is planned based on Central European Time (CET) or Central European Summer Time (CEST) unless otherwise stated. As many virtual participants are attending from around the world, we do our best to accommodate as many timezones as possible when creating the programme. Please take your time zone into consideration when planning your attendance. Remember to set your time zone in your account. 

Virtual event platforms

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


Event Sponsors

Active Motif


Media Partnership

Open Biology, a Royal Society journal

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

EMBO Journal, an EMBO Press journal

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.


EMBL wishes to warn sponsors of EMBL conferences and courses of fraudulent schemes purporting to offer sponsorship opportunities on behalf of EMBL or affiliated with EMBL officials. One current scam campaign of which we are aware is conducted using the name ‘Judy Eastman’ (judy@gopcontact.a2hosted.com) and entails approaches to sponsors offering sponsorship opportunities on EMBL’s behalf. Please be kindly advised that all relevant communication regarding sponsorship of EMBL conferences, symposia and courses is handled by EMBL directly and is sent from an official EMBL account. EMBL does not work with any external providers on sponsorship acquisition.

Please also note that:

  • EMBL never provides attendee lists for purchase. Any offers of such are fraudulent.
  • EMBL will never call or email you to ask for your credit card details or to request a payment.
  • All payments are on invoice.

Suspicious communications purportedly from, for or on behalf of EMBL should be reported to EMBL at the following email address sponsoring@embl.de.

Date: 17 - 20 Nov 2021

Location: Virtual


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration: Closed


  • Theodore Alexandrov
    EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
    • Andreas Ladurner
      Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany

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