Defining and defeating metastasis – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

Defining and defeating metastasis


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.

Late on-site registration is still possible. For information please contact Maria Bacadare

Symposium overview

This symposium will bring together researchers from diverse fields to enhance our understanding of the dissemination and metastatic colonisation of tumour cells. It will provide a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange on current approaches and future collaborations on metastasis and its therapeutic challenges.

Session topics

  • Metastasis initiating cells, circulating tumour cells
  • Motility and invasion
  • Transcriptional and epigenetic control of metastasis
  • Metastasis heterogeneity, EMT and plasticity
  • Metastasis signalling and latency
  • Metastasis imaging, tumour microenvironment and immune evasion


Keynote speakers


Thomas Brabletz

Thomas Brabletz

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Anna Obenauf

Anna Obenauf

Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)


Scientific organisers

Conference officers


Got something to say? Tweet it! #EESMetastasis

  • 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.

Please find the poster listing here.

Day 1 – Sunday 19 June
12:00 – 13:30Registration and Lunch
13:30 – 13:45Opening remarks by scientific organisers
13:45 – 14:30Keynote lecture: Microenvironmental Regulation of Metastasis
Johanna Joyce – University of Lausanne, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Switzerland
Session 1
Chair: Eduard Batlle – Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Spain
14:30 – 15:00Dormancy and outbreak of metastasis initiating cells
Joan Massagué – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
15:00 – 15:15Zeb1 expression in CAFs promotes distant metastasis in PDAC
Isabell Armstark – Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
15:15 – 15:30Identification of regulators of CRC metastasis via in vitro and in vivo CRISPR screens in an organoid-based CRC mouse model
M. Andres Blanco – University of Pennsylvania, USA
15:30 – 16:15Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
16:15 – 16:45Biology and Vulnerabilities of Circulating Tumor Cells
Nicola Aceto – ETH Zürich, Switzerland
16:45 – 17:00Eosinophils and adaptive immune cells cooperate to enhance response to immune checkpoint blockade in breast cancer
Olga Blomberg – Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands
17:00 – 17:15Cell viscoelasticity orchestrates intravascular and early steps of metastasis
Valentin Gensbittel – INSERM U1109, CRBS, Tumor Biomechanics, Université de Strasbourg, France
17:15 – 17:45Modelling metastasis in the lungs and liver
Erik Sahai – The Francis Crick Institute, UK
17:45 – 18:15Pre-dinner drinks
18:15 – 19:45Dinner in Canteen
19:45 – 21:00Social event: Science Pub Quiz
19:45- 21:30After Dinner Drinks in the ATC Foyer
Day 2 – Monday 20 June
Session 2
Chair: Erik Sahai – The Francis Crick Institute, UK
09:00 – 09:30Characterizing the metastatic seeding clone in lung cancer evolution
Nicholas McGranahan – University College London, UK
09:30 – 09:45Quiescence-inducing 3D-engineered matrix uncovers drug protective signaling pathway of dormant cancer cells
Amaia Cipitria – Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Spain
09:45 – 10:00Reactivation of embryonic programs in tissue damage and cancer
Hassan Fazilaty – University of Zurich, Switzerland
10:00 – 10:15The NALCN channel regulates metastasis and non-malignant cell dissemination
Eric Rahrmann – University of Cambridge, UK
10:15 – 10:45Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
10:45 – 11:00Mitochondrial RNA modifications: from metabolism to metastasis
Sylvain Delaunay – German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
11:00 – 11:15PAK2 dependency of mesenchymal colorectal cancer cells can be exploited to prevent tumour growth and metastasis
Patricia Gomez Barila – Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands
11:15 – 11:45Cellular strategies and molecular mechanisms driving breast cancer metastasis
Andrew Ewald – Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA
11:45 – 12:00Flash talks (2 minutes / 1 slide per talk)
#51 Natasja Costermans – #59 Kathrin Fuchs – #73 Maria Peiris Pages – #81 Saba Sameri
12:00 – 13:30Lunch
12:30 – 13:30Panel discussion session: Publishing science – new challenges, new opportunities
Andrew Ewald – Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA
Daniel Klimmeck – The EMBO Journal, Germany
Joan Massagué – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
Lise Roth – EMBO Molecular Medicine, Germany
13:30 – 15:00Poster Session 1 (odd numbers)
15:00 – 15:45Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
Session 3
Chair: Adrienne Boire – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
15:45 – 16:15Tumor-environment interactions during pancreatic cancer metastasis
Scott Lowe – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
16:15 – 16:45Cell migration and invasion in the pancreatic cancer microenvironment
Laura Machesky – Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, UK
16:45 – 17:00Vascular aging limits metastasis
Ashik Ahmed Abdul Pari – German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
17:00 – 17:30Role of Air Pollution in Lung Cancer Initiation: Revisiting Tumour Promoters
Charles Swanton – The Francis Crick Institute, UK
17:30Free evening

Day 3 – Tuesday 21 June
Session 4
Chair: Thomas Brabletz – Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
09:00 – 09:30NoStem cells, immune evasion and metastasis
in colorectal cancer
Eduard Batlle – Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Spain
09:30 – 09:45Liver colonization by colorectal cancer metastases requires YAP-controlled plasticity at the micrometastatic stage
Maria C. Heinz – University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
09:45 – 10:00Atrx loss induces a hybrid-EMT phenotype, tumour invasion and metastasis
Kevin Myant – Edinburgh University, United Kingdom
10:00 – 10:30Towards rational combination therapies: Understanding tumor evolution during therapy response and resistance
Anna Obenauf – Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Austria
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
11:00 – 11:15The Curated Cancer Cell Atlas enables a comprehensive characterisation of the transcriptomic processes underlying metastasis
Michael Tyler – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
11:15 – 11:30The expression of L1CAM in metastasis-initiating cells of lung adenocarcinoma
Park Jin Suk – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States of America
11:30 – 12:00Rewiring brain response to metastasis into a source of therapeutic resistance
Manuel Valiente – Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO)
12:00 – 13:30Lunch
Session 5
Chair: Frederic J. de Sauvage – Genentech, USA
13:30 – 14:00Chromosomal instability as a driver of cancer metastasis
Samuel F Bakhoum – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
14:00 – 14:15Metastatic niche-derived angiocrine Wnt ligands exploit susceptible methylation states to instruct tumour dormancy
Moritz Jakab – German Cancer Research Center, Germany
14:15 – 14:30Distinct Contributions of Partial and Full EMT to Breast Cancer Malignancy
Nami Sugiyama (Matsuda) – University of Basel, Switzerland
14:30 – 15:00Genetic and spatial properties of metastasising populations
Samra Turajlic – The Francis Crick Institute, UK
15:00 – 15:45Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
15:45 – 16:00Transcription factor NKX2-1 drives serine/glycine synthesis addiction in cancer
Elien Heylen – KU Leuven, Belgium
16:00 – 16:15Impairing flow-mediated endothelial remodeling reduces extravasation of tumor cells
Naël Osmani – INSERM U1109, CRBS, Tumor Biomechanics, Université de Strasbourg, France
16:15 – 16:30Recording metastatic lineage histories at single-cell resolution
Kamen Simeonov – University of Pennsylvania, United States of America
16:30 – 17:00Cellular plasticity in cancer: driving force and therapeutic target
Thomas Brabletz – Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
17:00 – 17:15Flash talks (2 minutes / 1 slide per talk)
#42 Petr Benes – #46 Amani Bouzidi – #48 Michael Brügger –
#56 Louise Dutton – #82 Michela Serresi
17:15 – 19:15Poster Session 2 (even numbers)
19:15 – 21:45BBQ & Live Music (Lazy Fur)
Day 4 – Wednesday 22 June
Session 6
Chair: Laura Machesky – Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, UK
09:00 – 09:30Metastatic cancer cells outcompete for scarce metabolic resources in the leptomeninges
Adrienne Boire – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
09:30 – 09:45The H3K36 demethylase KDM2A is a multifunctional regulator of non-small cell lung cancer metastasis
Carolyn Kravitz – Yale University, USA
09:45 – 10:00Novel metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer metastasis
Alpaslan Tasdogan – University Hospital Essen, Germany
10:00 – 10:15Stromal Oncostatin M cytokine signalling promotes breast cancer progression and metastasis by reprogramming the tumour microenvironment
María Muñoz Caffarel – Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Spain
10:15 – 10:45Coffee break and meet the speakers in ATC Foyer
10:45 – 11:15Insights into cancer metastasis from the PEACE study
Mariam Jamal Hanjani – UCL London, UK
11:15 – 12:00Keynote lecture: Targeting stem cells and the Wnt pathway in colorectal cancer
Frederic J. de Sauvage – Genentech, USA
12:00 – 12:15Closing remarks and Poster prize
12:15 – 12:45 Packed 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€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 Maria Bacadare 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 favourable cancellation conditions.

The hotels below have rooms on hold for participants until Wednesday 18 May 2022, in some cases at special rates. Please quote the booking code EES22-07 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 HouseHotel MonptiHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Heidelberg
Hotel Holländer Hof 

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:

Download the bus schedule

  • StayCity Hotel (close to B&B Hotel and Main Train Station)
  • Heidelberg HBF (EMBL bus stop)
  • Premier, Kurfürsten-Anlage 23
  • Leonardo Hotel (Bergheimer Str.)
  • Neckarmünzplatz
  • Peterskirche
  • 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.

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 terms and conditions for 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 printing your boarding passes/train ticket. 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 geht’s?
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 youDanke schön
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.


  • 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 onsite events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found in our COVID-19 FAQs.


Bronze sponsors


Event sponsors


Media partners

Disease Models & Mechanisms, The Company of Biologists Journal

EMBO Molecular Medicine, an EMBO Press journal

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Molecular Oncology, a FEBSPRESS journal

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.

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: 19 - 22 Jun 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration (On-site): Closed

Registration (Virtual): Closed


  • Johanna Joyce
    University of Lausanne, Switzerland
    • Daniel Klimmeck
      The EMBO Journal, Germany
      • Joan Massagué
        Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
        • Charles Swanton
          The Francis Crick Institute and University College London, UK

        Contact: Maria Bacadare

        Download event poster