Biological oscillators: design, mechanism, function – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

Biological oscillators: design, mechanism, function


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 safety policy for on-site events. 

Conference Overview

Are you interested in oscillatory phenomena and biological dynamics? At this symposium, multiple disciplines will come together in order to discuss common mechanisms underlying the generation of oscillations.

This meeting provides a unique platform for the emerging new community working at the interface between quantitative biology, complex oscillatory systems, and physics.

Oscillations are abundant – from hormonal oscillations with periods of days and months, to genetic fluctuations in the range of hours (circadian clock, embryonic oscillators), and metabolic and biochemical oscillations in the order of minutes (glycolytic oscillations) and seconds (Calcium-dynamics) – oscillations are central to biology across different temporal and spatial scales.

Meeting Themes

  • Oscillation mechanisms across different scales: from circadian clock to embryonic oscillators to biochemical (metabolic) oscillations
  • Oscillation function: besides their role as intrinsic clocks, other emerging concepts of oscillator function, for instance in embryonic development, stem cells, physiology and disease
  • Synchronisation of coupled oscillators, across different contexts and scales
  • Structure and Function of Brain Oscillators
  • Mathematical modelling and computational approaches to oscillatory dynamics
  • Quantitative/imaging approaches in order to study oscillatory dynamics
  • Pre-symposium ‘Oscillator Theory for Biologists” workshop (optional, sign-up during registration)


Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation, some speakers may need to join virtually to give their talk, and the programme is subject to change.

Keynote Speakers

Leon Glass

McGill University


(Virtual Speaker)


Laura Colgin

The University of Texas at Austin


(Virtual Speaker)

Felix Naef

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne



Marta Del Olmo

Institute for Theoretical Biology – Humboldt University Berlin


Hanspeter Herzel

Institute for Theoretical Biology – Humboldt University Berlin


Christoph Schmal

Institute for Theoretical Biology – Humboldt University Berlin


Scientific Organisers

Hanspeter Herzel

Institute for Theoretical Biology – Humboldt University Berlin


Conference Organisers


Got something to say? Tweet it! #EESBioOsc

  • Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation, some speakers may need to join virtually to give their talk, and the programme is subject to change.
  • 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.
  • Pre-symposium ‘Oscillator Theory for Biologists’ workshop is taking place on Sunday 6 March 2022 from 13h00 – 15h30 for onsite participants only. The workshop will introduce the basic terms of oscillator theory using simple examples. It will discuss damped, self-sustained and coupled oscillators and the role of non-linearities and feedback loops. The conceptual board-lecture will be complemented by hands-on computer simulations in groups. Participation is optional, sign-up during registration.
Day 1 – Sunday 6 March 2022
11:15 – 13:00
Registration & light lunch
13:00 – 14:00Pre-symposium ‘Oscillator Theory for Biologists’ Workshop
(on-site participants only)
Board lecture by Hanspeter Herzel – Institute for
Theoretical Biology – Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
14:00 – 14:30Break and change of groups
14:30 – 15:30Pre-symposium ‘Oscillator Theory for Biologists’
Workshop hands-on part (on-site participants only)
Bharath Ananthasubramaniam – Institute for Theoretical
Biology –Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Christoph Schmal – Institute for Theoretical Biology –
Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Marta Del Olmo – Institute for Theoretical
Biology – Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Hanspeter Herzel – Institute for Theoretical Biology
– Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
15:30 – 16:00Coffee Break
15:15 – 16:00Registration (participants not attending the
pre-symposium workshop)
16:00 – 16:15Opening Remarks
Alexander Aulehla – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Session 1
Chair: Alexander Aulehla – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
16:15- 17:00Keynote lecture
Degenerate mechanisms in oscillator dynamics
Eve Marder – Brandeis University, USA (Virtual Speaker)
17:00 – 17:30Rhythms in a changing world
Noga Kronfeld-Schor – Tel Aviv University, Israel
(Virtual Speaker)
17:30 – 17:45Waves and patterns in the frog egg cytoplasm
Lendert Gelens – KU Leuven, Belgium
17:45 – 17:50Technical buffer
17:50 – 18:35Coffee Break
18:35 – 18:50But, what are the cells doing? – Image analysis pipeline to
follow single cells during somitogenesis in zebrafish embryo
Arianne Bercowsky Rama – Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology Lausanne, Switzerland
18:50 – 19:20Data modeling on periodic manifolds: applications to
circadian rhythms
Felix Naef – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Lausanne, Switzerland
19:20 – 21:00Dinner in Canteen
21:00 – 22:00Welcome drinks
Day 2 – Monday 7 March 2022
08:30 – 09:45
Registration & Coffee
Session 2
Chair: Ueli Schibler – University of Geneva, Switzerland
09:45 – 10:15Molecular basis of vertebrate infradian rhythms
Takashi Yoshimura – Nagoya University, Japan (Virtual Speaker)
10:15 – 10:45Circadian clock organization in flies stemming from
different latitudes. Are weaker clocks the better clocks?
Charlotte Förster – University of Würzburg, Germany
10:45 – 11:00A transcriptional oscillator to time skin regeneration
Helge Grosshans – Friedrich Miescher Institute for
Biomedical Research, Switzerland
11:00 – 11:05Technical buffer
11:05 – 11:45Coffee Break
11:45 – 12:15Synchronization of the cell cycle and the circadian clock
through bidirectional coupling
Albert Goldbeter – Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
(Virtual Speaker)
12:15 – 12:30Noisy circadian clocks gate cell division in Anabaena
Rinat Arbel-Goren – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
12:30 – 12:45Nanostructures instability driven by the
reaction-diffusion mechanism
Mikhail Kryuchkov – University of Geneva, Switzerland
12:45 – 14:15Lunch break
Session 3
Chair: Hanspeter Herzel – Institute for Theoretical
Biology – Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
14:15 – 14:45Merging biological and mathematical network
oscillation generation mechanisms
Frances K. Skinner – University Health Network, Canada
(Virtual Speaker)
14:45- 15:00The Origin and Regulation of Segmentation Clock
Oscillation Dynamics in the Mouse Embryo
Tomita Takehito – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
15:00 – 15:15Multiscale, dynamic and spatially-periodic coordination of
gene expression in spinal cord progenitor cells
Veronica Biga – The University of Manchester, UK
15:15 – 15:20Technical buffer
15:20 – 16:05Coffee Break
16:05 – 16:35The pacemaker of the cell cycle oscillator
James E. Ferrell – Stanford University School of Medicine,
USA (Virtual Speaker)
16:35 – 16:50Xenopus embryo injury initiates calcium waves that
travel both within and between embryos via ATP signaling
Megan Sperry – Wyss Institute at Harvard University, USA
(Virtual Speaker)
16:50 – 17:20Circadian rhythms of gene expression in vivo and in vitro
Susan S. Golden – University of California San Diego, USA
17:20 – 17:25Technical buffer
17:25 – 19:25Poster Session 1 (odd numbers) with snacks
19:25 – 21:00Dinner in Canteen
21:00 – 22:00Networking drinks
Day 3 – Tuesday 8 March 2022
08:30 – 09:45
Registration & Coffee
Session 4
Chair: Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
09:45 – 10:15Roles of Hes1 oscillations in neural stem cells
Ryoichiro Kageyama – RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Japan (Virtual Speaker)
10:15 – 10:45Measuring human circadian rhythms for
precision chronomedicine
Francis Albert Lévi – Faculty of Medicine, Paris-Saclay
University, France
10:45 – 11:00Cytoskeletal oscillator produces complex wave
patterns on the surface of rewired frog oocytes
Andrew Goryachev – The University of Edinburgh, UK
11:00 – 11:05Technical buffer
11:05 – 11:45Coffee Break
11:45 – 12:00Emergent calcium dynamics in an astrocyte-neuronal
network coupled via nitric oxide molecule
Bhanu Sharma – South Campus Delhi University, India
(Virtual Speaker)
12:00 – 12:15A series of individual transcriptional pulses produces a
periodic pattern of Atonal in the Drosophila eye
Francois Schweisguth – Institut Pasteur, France
12:15 – 12:30lin-4 functions as a temporal morphogen
Christopher Hammell – Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA
12:30 – 12:35Technical buffer
12:35 – 14:00Lunch break
Session 5
Chair: Ueli Schibler – University of Geneva, Switzerland
14:00 – 14:30Deconstructing the segmentation clock in vitro
Olivier Pourquié – Harvard University, USA
14:30 – 14:45p53 oscillatory dynamics optimizes DNA repair efficiency
by regulating foci formation
Mathias Luidor Heltberg – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
14:45 – 15:00Direct, real time in vivo measurement of distinct
circadian clocks in Drosophila
Deniz Top – Dalhousie University, Canada
15:00 – 15:15Group photo
15:15 – 16:00Coffee Break
16:00 – 16:30Decoding Network Dynamics in Coupled Oscillators
István Z. Kiss – Saint Louis University, USA
(Virtual Speaker)
16:30 – 17:00Oscillatory dynamics and hippocampal memory operations
Laura Colgin – The University of Texas at Austin, USA
(Virtual Speaker)
17:00 – 17:15On the robustness of the cyanobacterial circadian clock
Sophie de Buyl – Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
17:15 – 17:20Technical buffer
17:20 – 19:15Poster Session 2 (even) with snacks
19:15 – 20:45Dinner in Canteen
20:45 – 21:45Networking drinks
Day 4 – Wednesday 9 March 2022
08:30 – 09:45
Registration & Coffee
Session 6
Chair: Hanspeter Herzel – Institute for Theoretical
Biology – Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
09:45 – 10:15Differential phase register of Hes1 oscillations with mitoses
in breast cancer cells underlies their cell cycle heterogeneity
Nancy Papalopolou – University of Manchester, UK
10:15 – 10:30Modelling gene regulation oscillatory dynamics during the
cell cycle in single cells
Nacho Molina – Institute of Genetics and Molecular and
Cellular Biology, France
10:30 – 11:00Oscillations as organizers in bacterial populations
Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo – Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
11:00 – 11:05Technical buffer
11:05 – 11:45Coffee Break
11:45 – 12:00Functional analysis of multiscale oscillations in insect
olfactory receptor neurons
Monika Stengl – University of Kassel, Germany
12:00 – 12:15Signalling centre vortices control periodic activation waves
and coordinate Dictyostelium morphogenesis
Hugh Ford – University College London, UK
12:15 – 12:30Stress discrimination by body-wide, stochastic
DAF-16/FoxO nuclear translocation pulses
Burak Demirbas – AMOLF, The Netherlands
12:30 – 13:15Keynote lecture
Mechanism for the self-termination of paroxysmal rhythms
Leon Glass – McGill University, Canada (Virtual Speaker)
13:15 – 13:30Closing Remarks and Poster Prize
13:30 – 14:00Packed Lunch

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€700
On-site PhD Student€600
On-site Industry€900
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 a reduced press rate or in some cases for complimentary registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Raili Pall 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. 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).

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

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 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.


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

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.

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 favorable cancellation conditions.

The hotels below have rooms on hold for participants until Saturday 5 February 2022, in some cases at special rates. Please quote the booking code EES22-01 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 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.

Download the bus schedule

The bus stops for this conference are:

  • Kurfürsten-Anlage (Opposite Train Station)
  • Hotel Premier, Kurfürsten-Anlage 23
  • Leonardo Hotel (Bergheimer Str.)
  • Neckarmuenzplatz
  • Peterskirche
  • ISG Hotel

View Conference shuttle bus stops and hotels for this conference on a larger map.

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.

Onsite Information


All meals and coffee breaks are included in the registration fee. Our catering staff will prepare a wide variety of vegetarian meals, meat and fish dishes, soups, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of desserts.

Please wear your badge at all times when serving yourself.

No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium.

Charging lockers

There are lockers available next to the stairs leading down into the Auditorium. You will find some of those equipped with sockets to charge your smartphone/tablet etc.

Electricity and charging station

In most places the electricity is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). An adaptor and a plug that fits the German socket may be needed for your appliances/laptop (i.e. American, Japanese, etc.). A USB charging station for electronic devices is available at the registration desk.

EMBL merchandise

EMBL Merchandise is available on Mon – Thu (9 am – 12 pm). If you are interested in purchasing an EMBL souvenir (products presented in the glass display in the registration area), please ask at the registration desk for more information.

Health and safety notes

Please read EMBL’s COVID-19 safety policy for on-site events.
Do not smoke in any EMBL building.
Eating and drinking is prohibited in the Auditorium and all laboratories.
Do not enter any restricted areas or the laboratories unless instructed to do so.

If first aid is required …

  • The first aid room is located next to the ATC Registration Desk (room 10- 205).
  • Dial the Emergency number 222 from any EMBL internal phone only.
  • Where is the accident? What happened? How many injured?
  • Emergency number 06221-387 7821 from mobile phones.
  • Please report all accidents to the conference officer at the registration desk.

In case of fire …

  • Press the nearest fire alarm button or the Emergency number 222 from any internal phone.
  • A loud fire alarm will go off if an evacuation is required. On hearing the alarm leave the building immediately following the escape route and fire wardens and head to one of the meeting points
  • Do not use the lifts.

Beyond first aid…

Please remember to bring your own medication, if needed, to the conference. Note that the next pharmacy is a 4-minute drive from the EMBL, but for many medications you will be required to see a doctor to get a prescription.

Ensure in advance that your medical insurance will cover you during your visit in the event that you do need to see a doctor while in Heidelberg. In any case, the EMBL Course and Conference Office will assist you to get to the pharmacy and a doctor of your choice if necessary.


Wi-Fi is available everywhere on the premises (no password required), just log on to ATC-Guest. The eduroam network (secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community) is also available.

Lost and found

‘’Lost and Found’’ are kept at the registration desk until the end of the conference.


There are lockers available on-site to store your luggage, which require a 2 EURO coin to operate. There is another luggage room on level E0, which is free to use but remains unlocked during the conference.

Nursing room

There is a nursing room available in the ATC Rooftop Lounge on level A29.


During the conference an EMBL Photographer may be taking photographs. If you would not like to appear in these, please inform the photographer or a member of the Course and Conference Office.


We can help print your boarding passes/train tickets. Please send it to events@embl.de and collect your print-outs at the registration desk.

Room for prayer, yoga and meditation

There is a room for prayer, mediation and yoga located on level E0 behind the Auditorium. Please be respectful of other participants using the room.


A variety of activities in Heidelberg can be found on this website: www.heidelberg-marketing.com

Travel to and from the venue

During the event we provide conference shuttle busses to and from EMBL. In addition, there is the public bus 39A that serves the EMBL campus and taxis can be easily booked at any time. Information on the conference shuttle busses can be found on the individual event website and more detailed information on travelling to EMBL can be found on our Travel Information page.

Useful German expressions

GoodbyeAuf Wiedersehen
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good afternoonGuten Tag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Good nightGute Nacht
I’m sorryTut mir leid
Excuse me…Entschuldigen Sie
How are you?Wie gehts?
I’m fine thanks. And you?Mir geht es gut , danke, und dir/Ihnen?
What is your nameWie heisst du? Wie heissen Sie?
My name isIch heisse
Do you speak EnglishSprechen Sie Englisch?
I don’t understandIch verstehe nicht
Please speak more slowlyKönnen Sie bitte langsamer sprechen
Thank youDankeschön
Where is the toilet?Wo ist die Toilette?
Please call me a taxiBitte rufen Sie mir ein Taxi
How do I get to….?Wie komme ich zum/zur…..?
A beer/two beers pleaseEin Bier/zwei Bier bitte
A glass of red/white wine pleaseEin Glas Rot/Weisswein bitte
The menu, pleaseDie Speisekarte, bitte
Is there a local speciality?Gibt es eine Spezialität aus dieser Gegend?
I’m VegetarianIch bin Vegetarier
It was deliciousEs war hervorragend
The bill, pleaseDie Rechnung, bitte
I have a headacheIch habe Kopfschmerzen
I have a sore throatIch habe Halsschmerzen
My stomach hurtsIch habe Magenschmerzen
I’m allergic toIch bin allergisch gegen
I need a doctor who speaks EnglishGibt es einen Arzt, der Englisch spricht?
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.


  • 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.
  • Do not broadcast the conference to unregistered participants.

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.

COVID-19 Related Questions
COVID-19 related questions
What do I need to bring in order to access the event?
  • Negative antigen / PCR COVID-19 test, not older than 24 h for antigen and 48 h for PCR tests (only on day 1)
  • Valid proof of vaccination / recovery and an ID document ready when coming to the event venue. 
  • FFP2 mask
Do I need to show a negative test for every day of the event?

No, you will need to have a valid negative test upon arrival on your first day of attendance only. Antigen tests are valid for 24 h and PCR tests are valid for 48 h. Please see FAQ on testing in Heidelberg for more information on finding a test centre.

What kind of masks are allowed onsite?

Only FFP2 masks are allowed for indoors use and must be worn during the whole event (except while eating or drinking during the breaks).

What counts as proof of vaccination?
  1. Your proof of vaccination must show that you are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. To be considered fully vaccinated, you need to have received one or more of the vaccines specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute. Furthermore, it is necessary that
  • either the vaccine/s you received were administered in the number of doses required for full protection, as specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute above, and 14 days have elapsed since the last required dose of the vaccine was administered,
  • or, if you have recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection, you have received one dose of vaccine. In this case, in order to prove you are fully protected, you must show proof that you were infected with COVID-19 prior to being vaccinated. For this purpose, you need to show a positive result of a PCR test. 
  1. Your proof of vaccination must include the following information:
  • your personal details (at least your given name and family name and date of birth, and the number of the passport or other official photo-ID document to be presented at passport control) 
  • the date/s of vaccination and number of vaccination doses
  • the name/s of the vaccine/s
  • the name of the disease against which you were vaccinated
  • distinctive features which show the identity of the person or institution responsible for administering the vaccination or issuing the certificate (e.g. an official logo or name of the issuer).
  1. Your proof of vaccination must be written in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Proof is accepted in paper or digital form, provided it meets the criteria listed under points 1, 2 and 3. Photographs of paper documents do not count as valid digital proof for the purposes of checks by the transport company or by the police authorities conducting border controls. Digital documentation needs to have been issued electronically by the authorised issuer and transmitted electronically to the authorised holder.

Please note that these are general requirements pursuant to the Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung. For a digital COVID certificate in line with the EU Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, additional requirements may have to be met. Further information can be found on the Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Which Covid-19 vaccines are recognised in Germany?

Regardless if you are coming from an EU country, please check the Paul Ehrlich Institute website for recognised vaccines to see if your vaccination status is considered valid in Germany. You will find information such as which vaccines (and combinations) are approved, the number of doses required for a complete vaccination protection and the length of time that must pass after vaccination.

What counts as proof of recovery?

The test to prove the previous infection must have been carried out by laboratory diagnostics using nucleic acid detection (PCR, PoC-PCR or other methods of nucleic acid amplification technology). At least 28 days must have passed since getting a positive test. Information on recovery can be found (in German) on the Robert Koch Institute website.

How long is the proof of vaccination valid in Germany?

As of 1 February 2022, the validity of vaccination certificates in Germany is 270 days (roughly 9 months), if no booster vaccination has been administered after a completed basic immunisation.

How long is the proof of recovery valid in Germany?

The validity of proof of recovery in Germany is 90 days (roughly 3 months). At least 28 days must have passed since getting a positive test. 

Do I need to register and quarantine?

If you are arriving from a high-risk area, yes, you have to register at the travel portal (www.einreiseanmeldung.de) before entering the country. You must carry the confirmation with you, but you do not need to quarantine. It is important that you upload your proof of vaccination or recovery at the same time, otherwise you would need to quarantine on arrival.The list of countries marked as a high-risk area are regularly updated on the Robert Koch Institute website. You can find additional information on the obligation to register and exemptions in the FAQs on Digital Registration on Entry, the obligation to furnish proof and quarantine on entry.

I am not a EU resident, will my proof of vaccination / recovery be accepted?

Participants travelling from a non-EU country, who therefore have no access to a European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC), will be granted access upon providing the same written proof they used to enter Germany, which should be a verifiable proof of vaccination / recovery that meets the validity requirements in Germany (please see previous questions).

Please see the list of non-EU countries (and territories) that have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system

Please note that Baden-Württemberg state accepts only digitally verifiable proof for the 2G rule such as a QR code. The primary means of verifying COVID vaccination status in Germany is through the “EU Digital Covid Certificate”. This can be obtained from the local pharmacies by showing them your vaccination papers together with an ID document. The pharmacy will give you the printouts which you can then enter into a mobile application ( Corona-Warn-App).

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Heidelberg?

It is not possible to get a COVID-19 test while on site at EMBL. Professional testing stations are readily accessible at many convenient locations throughout Heidelberg. Additionally, many testing tents are available throughout the city.  

These testing stations offer lateral flow antigen tests that are free of charge, and on a ‘walk-up’ or appointment basis for all, including visitors. Results and certificate are sent by email, within approximately 20 minutes. Please note, some testing stations offer PCR tests as well, however these require a fee and is to be paid by the participant. 

If you are staying at the ISG Hotel, the closest testing station is located on the parking lot in front of the hotel. Another one can be found at Louise-Ebert-Zentrum (just 2 minutes walk or 150m from the ISG Hotel).

What are the current local restrictions (e.g. public transport, restaurants or cafes)?

Local restrictions change depending on the current pandemic situation. Before entering a building, you should be able to see signs with admittance rules that will mention 2G or 3G.

  • 2G rule means that only vaccinated or recovered people are allowed to enter
  • 3G rule includes fully vaccinated, recovered or tested

A negative rapid antigen test not older than 24 h or PCR test not older than 48 h is required as a test. Please bring your CovidPass and ID wherever you go and make sure to have enough FFP2 masks. Additionally please find here the current local Public transportation requirements (in German).

Where can I find more information?

Information on the COVID measures and travel restrictions in place in European countries can be found on the following websites: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/coronavirus/2317268 and https://reopen.europa.eu/en. These websites also contain information on what personal information and documents you will need to have with you to travel.

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.


Bronze sponsor


Media partners

Development, a The Company of Biologists journal

EMBO Journal, an EMBO Press journal

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Open Biology, a Royal Society 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 on sponsoring possibilities.

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.


EMBO | EMBL Symposia promote scientific communication and collaboration in the European research area. They provide scientists with a platform to discuss and exchange ideas on forward-looking topics and new developments in the life sciences.

Topics emphasise upcoming developments and the interdisciplinary nature of related fields. Jointly funded and organised by EMBO and EMBL – and complementary to their respective courses, workshops, and conference programmes – the symposia promote scientific communication and collaboration.

All symposia are held in the EMBL Advanced Training Centre (ATC) in Heidelberg, Germany, or virtually.

Date: 6 - 9 Mar 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration (On-site): Closed

Registration (Virtual): Closed


  • Alexander Aulehla
    EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
    • Hanspeter Herzel
      ITB, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany