Cellular mechanisms driven by phase separation – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

Cellular mechanisms driven by phase separation


Symposium Overview

Phase separation is emerging as a common biophysical basis underlying many important cellular functions. This conference will bring together scientists from soft matter, polymer physics, molecular biology, structural biology, and cell and developmental biology to study condensates in biology and disease. Goals are

  • to increase the awareness how important phase separation is for our understanding of many biological processes
  • to explore the large repertoire of new tools generated by other disciplines that are ripe to be applied to complex problems related to phase separation
  • to close the gap in transdisciplinary training to tackle the role of phase separation in biology

Session Topics

  • Phase-separated compartments in the cell
  • Molecular mechanisms of phase separation
  • Phase separation, a polymer physics perspective
  • Phase separation in developmental biology and non-linear signalling
  • The pathological face of phase separation
  • Protein structure in the condensed state
  • Phase separation in neurobiology

What past participants say about the conference:

“I have never been to a conference where every single talk was relevant, exciting, and well done. This is particularly phenomenal given the interdisciplinary nature of this field.” – Carlos Castaneda, Syracuse University, USA

“Although Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Phase Separation have been around for a number of years, this meeting felt like the kick-off for a novel area in molecular biology.” – Roland Dosch, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany

“This was the best conference I have attended in years, bringing together biophysicists and biologists in an exciting and challenging format. I learnt a lot and have made great contacts for new collaborations.” – Sarah Mizielinska, Kings College London, UK


Keynote Speakers


Dirk Görlich

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry


Jochen Guck

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light


Cong Liu

Chinese Academy of Sciences


Dora Tang

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics


Conference Organiser

Lea Hohmann

EMBL Heidelberg



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.


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: 9 - 12 May 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg


  • Simon Alberti
    TU Dresden and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany
    • Dorothee Dormann
      IMB & JGU Mainz, Germany

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