Innate immunity in host-pathogen interactions – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

Innate immunity in host-pathogen interactions


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

Symposium Overview

This symposium provides a discussion platform for all scientists interested in the biology of infection. Cell biologists, microbiologists and immunologists will discuss in joint sessions recent progress in our understanding of host-pathogen interactions. Talks will focus on common processes, rather than particular infectious agents or host cell types, and the strategies of all major types of pathogens in their interaction with plants and animals will be covered. A better understanding of infectious diseases will come from the simultaneous analysis of microbial and host variables, which may open new avenues for treatment and prevention strategies.

Session Topics

  • Sensing pathogens
  • The cell biology of infection
  • Fungus-host interactions
  • Cell-autonomous immunity
  • Pathological consequences of infection and inflammation
  • Microbiota and pathogen control

What Past Participants Say about the Symposium

“This was my first conference at EMBL. It was well organised and I loved it! The topics covered under the umbrella of innate immune response were diverse. As a beginner in the field of immunology, this conference has cleared up lots of concepts.” – Sadaf Sulman, University of Leicester, UK

“The meeting had a great balance of breadth and depth, presenting the most current work in host-pathogen interactions.” – Elizabeth Hartland, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia

“EMBL conferences are always of exceptional quality. It was no different this time. I had an amazing experience and was able to network effectively.” – Sudeep Bhushal, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany


Keynote Speakers


Jijie Chai

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research


Cara Haney

The University of British Columbia


Bruno Lemaitre



Ruth Ley

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology


Alan Sher

National Institutes of Health


Scientific Organisers

Bernhard Hube

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute


Feng Shao

National Institute of Biological Sciences


Conference Organiser

Maryann Heck

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 – Sunday 17 July 2022
11:30 – 13:15 Registration and Lunch
13:15 – 13:30Opening remarks
13:30 – 14:30Judy Lieberman
14:30 – 17:30Session 1: Sensing pathogens
14:30 – 15:00Feng Shao – National Institute of Biological Sciences, China
15:00 – 15:30Bruno Lemaitre – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
15:30 – 16:00Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
16:00 – 16:30 Origin of innate immunity mechanisms in bacterial defense against phages
Rotem Sorek – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
16:30 – 16:45Selected talk
16:45 – 17:00Selected talk
17:00 – 17:30Jijie Chai – Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Germany
17:30 – 18:30Speed Networking
18:30 – 20:00Welcome Reception
Day 2 – Monday 18 July 2022
08:15 – 09:00 Meet the journal editors session
09:00 – 12:00Session 2: The cell biology of infection
09:00 – 09:30Targeting PANoptosis for the treatment of inflammatory and infectious diseases
Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA
09:30 – 10:00Felix Randow – MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
10:00 – 10:30Wendy Barclay – Imperial College London, UK
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
11:00 – 11:15Selected talk
11:15 – 11:30Selected talk
11:30 – 12:00Cyril Zipfel – University of Zurich, Switzerland
12:00 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 16:30Session 3: Fungus-host interactions
13:30 – 14:00 Fungi on the Brain: Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions during Fungal Meningitis
Rebecca Drummond – University of Birmingham, UK
14:00 – 14:30Iliyan Iliev – Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
14:30 – 15:00Immune Evasion by a Lethal Fungal Pathogen
Robin May – University of Birmingham, UK
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
15:30 – 15:45Selected talk
15:45 – 16:00Selected talk
16:00 – 16:30Gordon Brown – University of Aberdeen, UK
16:30 – 17:00Flash talks
17:00 – 19:00Poster Session 1 (odd) with beer and snacks
Free evening
Day 3 – Tuesday 19 July 2022
08:15 – 09:00Career Workshop
09:00 – 12:00Session 4: Cell-autonomous immunity
09:00 – 09:30Thierry Soldati – University of Geneva, Switzerland
09:30 – 10:00 John Brumell – The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada
10:00 – 10:30Trude Helen Flo – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
11:00 – 11:15Selected talk
11:15 – 11:30Selected talk
11:30 – 12:00Nick Talbot – The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK
12:00 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 16:30Session 5: Pathological consequences of infection and inflammation
13:30 – 14:00Ed Miao – Duke University, USA
14:00 – 14:30Melanie Brinkmann – Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany
14:30 – 15:00Concerted action of different immune pathways limits viral evolution
Carla Saleh – Institut Pasteur, France
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
15:30 – 15:45Selected talk
15:45 – 16:00Selected talk
16:00 – 16:30 Role of myeloid compartment remodeling in acquired resistance to bacterial and viral infection
Alan Sher – National Institutes of Health, USA
16:30 – 17:00Flash talks
17:00 – 19:00Poster Session 2 (even) with beer and snacks
19:00 – 21:00Dinner
21:00 – 24:00Conference social
Day 4 – Wednesday 20 July 2022
09:00 – 13:15Session 6: Microbiota and pathogen control
09:00 – 09:30Ruth Ley – Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany
09:30 – 10:00Cara Haney – University of British Columbia, Canada
10:00 – 10:30Julie Pfeiffer – University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break and Meet the speakers
11:00 – 11:30 The ups and downs of mucosal NLRC4 defences against Salmonella gut infections
Wolf-Dietrich Hardt – ETH Zürich, Switzerland
11:30 – 11:45Selected talk
11:45 – 12:00Selected talk
12:00 – 12:15Selected talk
12:15 – 13:15Goblet cell mucus provide the first line of defense
Gunnar Hansson – University of Gothenburg, Sweden
13:15 – 13:30Closing Remarks and Poster Prize
13:30 – 13:45Packed 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 complimentary registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Maryann Heck 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

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 Thursday 16 June 2022, in some cases at special rates. Please quote the booking code EES22-08 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
Hotel Holländer Hof Hotel MonptiHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Heidelberg

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:

  • StayCity Hotel (close to B&B Hotel and Main Train Station)
  • Kurfürsten-Anlage (close to Main Train Station)
  • 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.

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.


Media Partners

EMBO Molecular Medicine, an EMBO Press 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: 17 - 20 Jul 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: 24 Apr 2022

Registration (On-site): 15 May 2022

Registration (Virtual): 10 Jul 2022


  • Bernhard Hube
    Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute, Germany
    • Julie Pfeiffer
      University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA
      • Felix Randow
        MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK

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

Founder partners

Corporate partners

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