AI and biology – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

AI and biology


This conference will take place at EMBL Heidelberg, with the option to attend virtually.

Symposium overview

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming virtually all areas of science, and the life sciences are no exception. AI-based methods are pushing the limits of what is possible in experimental design, data analysis, simulation, and modelling. The aim of this symposium is to catalyse synergistic interactions between AI researchers in different subfields of biology by exploring shared theoretical approaches, cross-domain experiments, and data integration, as well as shared topics in dissemination of tools and collaboration with experimental labs. Furthermore, we will look into the future and discuss how the concerted actions of AI and life science communities can enable both fields to exploit the full potential of the ongoing data deluge and find new application areas ripe for disruption by AI.

AI-based analytics is subject to active research in at least three major application areas: sequencing, imaging and structural biology. While all three domains are experiencing very fast growth, the development of AI-based analysis is largely happening independently. The aim of our symposium is to bring these communities together to discuss topics of mutual interest to make progress, including on the theoretical/methodological side and on the more strategic issues of identifying the next areas of high potential.

Session topics

  • Challenging the state of the art
  • Cross-domain, cross-modality learning
  • Explainable AI and its role in science
  • From algorithms to biology
  • Connections to the wider AI field
  • Generative modeling from drug design to synthetic images


Samuel Kaski

Aalto University and University of Helsinki


Jong Chul Ye

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)


Scientific organisers

Oliver Stegle

EMBL Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center

Conference organiser


Are you on social media? Post using #EESAIBio and don’t forget to tag @EMBLEvents.

  • Please note that the programme is subject to change. Some speakers may need to join virtually to give their talk.
  • For registered participants, recorded talks will be accessible on demand for 2 weeks after the end of the event, unless indicated otherwise.
Day 1 – Tuesday 12 March 2024
Timings (Europe/CET)Speaker
12:00 – 13:30Registration and light refreshments
13:45 – 17:15Session 1: Challenging the state of the art
Chairs: Anna Kreshuk and Mohammed AlQuraishi
13:30 – 13:45Opening remarks
13:45 – 14:15Question everything: A critical reflection of medical imaging AI
Lena Maier-Hein – German Cancer Research Center, Germany
14:15 – 14:30GROVER: Building a language model of the human genome
Melissa Sanabria – Dresden University of Technology, Germany
14:30 – 14:45Deep mutational scanning of entire human protein interaction domain families
Guillaume Diss (Virtual speaker) – Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Germany
14:45 – 15:15Coffee break and meet the speakers of day one
Lena Maier-Hein, Michael Bronstein, Mihaela van der Schaar
15:15 – 15:45To be presented on-site
Michael Bronstein – University of Oxford, UK
15:45 – 16:00Protein engineering using transformer-based energy landscape approximation
Evgenii Lobzaev – University of Edinburgh, UK
16:00 – 16:15AI-based biomarker identification and profiling in heterogeneous prostate tumors
Kathleen Marchal – Ghent University/IMEC, Belgium
16:15 – 16:45Beyond Causality: Discovering and Analyzing the Governing Equations of Medicine
Mihaela van der Schaar – University of Cambridge, UK
16:45 – 17:15Flash talks for poster session 1:
Anna Poetsch (41), Bernard Ciraulo (55), Ava Khamseh (87), Christian Kolter (93), Dan Liu (103), Niklas Schmacke (143), Ron Schwessinger (145), Konstantina Tzavella (157)
17:15 – 18:45Poster session 1 (odd numbers)
18:45 – 20:15Dinner in canteen
20:15 – 22:00After dinner drinks in the ATC Foyer
20:15Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
21:00Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
22:00Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
Day 2 – Wednesday 13 March 2024
Timings (Europe/CET)Speaker
08:45 – 9:00Arrival and coffee
09:00 – 12:00Session 2: cross-domain, cross-modality learning
Chairs: Jong Chul Ye and Uwe Ohler
09:00 – 09:30Learning a foundational representation of the cellular niche
Fabian Theis – Helmholtz Munich, Germany
09:30 – 09:45SpaceTree: Deciphering Tumor Microenvironments by joint modeling of cell states and genotype-phenotype relationships in spatial omics data
Olga Lazareva – EMBL/DKFZ, Germany
09:45 – 10:00Accurately predicting single-cell drug responses of progressed melanoma patients
Gabriele Gut – University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
10:00 – 10:30Coffee break and meet the Editors
Gemma K. Alderton, Deputy Editor, Insights, Science
George Caputa, Senior Editor, Nature Research
Rituparna Chakrabarti, Senior Scientific Editor, iScience
Qian Cheng, Associate Editor (Computational Biology), Nature Communications
Mike Fletcher, Senior Editor, Nature Genetics
Sara Osman, Associate Editor, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
Maria Polychronidou, Senior Editor, Molecular Systems Biology
Arunima Singh, Senior Editor, Nature Methods
10:30 – 11:00Machine learning for reconstructing protein structure and dynamics from cryo-EM images
Ellen Zhong – Princeton University, USA
11:00 – 11:15AI based protein stability prediction from sequences and structures and its application to the engineering of plastic-degrading enzymes
Ania Di Pede – Mattatelli, Institute of Marine Sciences – ICM-CSIC Barcelona, Spain
11:15 – 11:30Regression on latent spaces predicts multi-condition single-cell gene expression
Constantin Ahlmann-Eltze – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
11:30 – 12:00To be presented on-site
Sami Kaski – Aalto University and University of Helsinki, Finland
12:00 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 16:00Session 3: Explainable AI and its role in science
Chairs: Leopold Parts and Alex Rives
13:30 – 14:00Causal Representation Learning and Optimal Design of Interventions
Caroline Uhler – Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, USA
14:00 – 14:15Learning and visualizing the morphological differences between synapses of different types
Diane Adjavon – HHMI – Janelia, USA
14:15 – 14:30MoCHI: mechanistic AI models from deep mutational scanning data
Andre Faure – ALLOX, Spain
14:30 – 15:00Coffee break and meet the speakers of day two
Fabian Theis, Ellen Zhong, Sami Kaski, Caroline Uhler, Trey Ideker
15:00 – 15:30Assembling a Digital Tumor Cell
Trey Ideker – University of California, San Diego, USA
15:30 – 15:45Variational autoencoder for design of synthetic viral vector serotypes
Michael Garton (Virtual speaker) – University of Toronto, Canada
15:45 – 16:00Comprehensive characterization of human druggable pockets through novel binding site descriptors built upon inverse docking
Arnau Comajuncosa-Creus – IRB Barcelona, Spain
16:00 Free evening – downtown Heidelberg
16:15Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
Day 3 – Thursday 14 March 2024
Timings (Europe/CET)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Arrival and coffee
09:00 – 12:15Session 4: from algorithms to biology
Chairs: Ellen Zhong and Florian Jug
09:00 – 09:30The convergence of genomics, imaging and AI for understanding life
Ewan Birney – EMBL-EBI Hinxton, Cambridge UK
09:30 – 09:45Modeling regulatory networks with single cell expression data
Uwe Ohler – Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
09:45 – 10:00Pre-trained molecular representations can aid antimicrobial discovery
Roberto Olayo – Institute for Statistics, LMU München, Germany
10:00 – 10:30Coffee break
10:30 – 11:00Enabling discovery by in-cell structural biology: challenges in cryo-electron tomography data mining and integration
Julia Mahamid – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Not available on demand
11:00 – 11:15Integration of variant annotations using deep set networks boosts rare variant association genetics
Eva Holtkamp – Technical University of Munich, Germany
11:15 – 11:30Exploiting time to phenotype cell morphology
Julian Pietsch – Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany
11:30 – 12:15Panel discussion: From algorithms to biology
Moderator: Emma Lundberg
12:15 – 13:45Lunch
13:45 – 16:45Session 5: connections to the wider AI field
Chairs: Oliver Stegle and Samuel Kaski
13:45 – 14:15Towards a Complete Structural Map of the Human Proteome Using AlphaFold
Arne Elofsson – SciLifeLab, Sweden
14:15 – 14:30Towards transformer-based tracking in live-cell microscopy
Benjamin Galusser – EPFL, Switzerland
14:30 – 14:45Can AI predict how human cells interpret dinosaur DNA?
Leopold Parts – The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
14:45 – 15:15Coffee break and meet the speakers of day three
Ewan Birney, Julia Mahamid, Arne Elofsson, Alex Rives, Jong Chul Ye
15:15 – 15:45Language Modeling at the Scale of Evolution
Alex Rives – EvolutionaryScale, USA
Not available on demand
15:45 – 16:00BioCypher and BioChatter: open frameworks for AI-ready biomedical knowledge graphs and their integration with current Large Language Models
Sebastian Lobentanzer – Heidelberg University and Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
16:00 – 16:30Enlarging the Capability of Diffusion Models for Inverse Problems in Imaging
Jong Chul Ye – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea
16:30 – 16:45PeTriBERT : Augmenting BERT with tridimensional encoding for inverse protein folding and design
Baldwin Dumortier – CNRS, France
16:45 – 17:15Flash talks for poster session 2:
Cedric Allier (42). Noah Bruderer (52), Adele de Hoffer (58), Albert Dominguez Mantes (62), Lucas Farndale (64), Lucien Hinderling (76), Grzegorz Kudla (96), Xiaomei Li (100), Paulyna Magaña (106), Abdelrahman Mahmoud (108), Roman Bushuiev (138), Yuxin Shen (148)
17:15 – 18:45Poster session 2 (even numbers)
18:45 – 21:00Conference dinner
21:00 – 00:00Party with The Chaotics band
20:30Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
21:30Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
22:30Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
23:59Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
Day 4 – Friday 15 March 2024
Timings (Europe/CET)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Arrival and coffee
09:00 – 13:00Session 6: generative modeling from drug design to synthetic images
Chairs: Wolfgang Huber and Arne Eloffson
09:00 – 09:30From Content-Aware Denoising to Semantic Unmixing of Microscopy Data – how AI is and will transform scientific image data analysis in the life sciences
Florian Jug – Human Technopole, Italy
09:30 – 09:45Controllable generative modelling – lessons from protein design
Kieran Didi – University of Cambridge, UK
09:45 – 10:15Some thoughts on machine learning-based protein engineering
Jennifer Listgarten – University of California, Berkeley, USA
10:15 – 10:45Coffee Break and Meet the speakers of day four
Florian Jug, Jennifer Listgarten, Mohammed AlQuraishi
10:45 – 11:45Panel discussion: Industry vs Academia
Moderators: Wolfgang Huber and Oliver Stegle
11:45 – 12:00Seedling: a scoring and generation framework for protein-ligand co-folding
William McCorkindale – Charm Therapeutics, UK
12:00 – 12:30To be presented on-site
Mohammed AlQuraishi – Columbia University, USA
12:30 – 12:45Efficient and accurate sequence generation with small-scale protein language models
Yaiza Serrano – Nostrum Biodiscovery, Spain
12:45 – 13:00Closing Remarks and Poster Prize Announcements
13:00Packed lunch and departure
13:20Conference shuttle bus to all stops downtown including ISG
13:20Conference shuttle bus to Frankfurt Am Main International Airport

Practical information

Registration fees and abstract submission

On-site registration fees include admission, conference materials, 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 (live streamed and on-demand) and the facility to submit questions.

On-site Academia€725
On-site PhD Student€625
On-site Industry€925
On-site Journal Editors*€300
Virtual Academia€225
Virtual PhD Student€175
Virtual Industry€275

* Editors from scientific journals are allowed to attend at a reduced rate, but asked to contribute to the conference in return by taking part in ‘meet the editors’ sessions or other planned activities within the programme.

A letter to support your visa application will be issued, on request, once payment of the registration fee is confirmed. We recommend that you book your visa appointment as soon as possible, to avoid any delay with your visa application.

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for complimentary press registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Charlotte Courtney for more information. Please note that we do not offer complimentary registrations for editors of scientific journals.

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 participants registering to attend the on-site event are eligible to submit an abstract. Abstracts will not be accepted from virtual participants.

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:

Abstract body: The limit of 2000 characters refers to manually typed text and excludes spaces. If an error occurs try using a different web browser (preferably Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).

If you copy-paste the text into the form, hidden formatting might still be included which may cause the text to exceed the 2,000 character limit resulting in an error message. We recommend you clear all formatting before pasting in the text.

If you have special symbols in your text, make sure you are using Unicode characters, otherwise these will not be recognised.

Title: The title should not exceed 20 words. Only the first word of the title should start with a capital letter and the rest should be lowercase.

Authors and affiliations: Please fill in the author’s details as requested in the online form. The compulsory fields are: First Name, Last Name, Organisation Name (Affiliation or Company), Country and Email.

Kindly mark only one author in the role of First Author and please don’t forget to indicate who will be the Presenter.

Please enter your co-authors correctly via the system by adding accounts together with their organisation/institute. Do not copy-paste them into the body of the abstract text, as they will not be indexed in the abstract book.

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.

For detailed instructions on how to submit a conference abstract, follow the instructions provided in this video.

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 registration fee waiverstravel grants and childcare grants

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 to an on-site event (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 Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from within Europe.

–up to €1000 for participants travelling to an EMBL Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from outside Europe.

–up to €500 for any participant travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

–up to €1000 for any participant working in Chile, India, Singapore or Taiwan travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

–up to €700 for any participant working in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, and Turkey travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

*Registration fees are only covered for 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.

Childcare grant

There is the possibility to apply for a childcare grant to offset child care costs incurred by participants, speakers and organisers when attending a conference. Eligible costs include (but are not limited to) fees for a baby-sitter or child-care facility and travel costs for a caregiver. Please note that priority will be given to early stage researchers. In order to apply for this grant, you must be registered by the abstract submission deadline. There is a limited amount of funding available for the childcare grants and funds will be distributed amongst eligible applicants.


On-site participants

You may apply for financial assistance when submitting your abstract. 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.

Virtual participants

If you are attending virtually, you can apply for financial assistance in the submission portal by the abstract deadline. Read the instructions on how to apply for financial assistance. Only submissions for financial assistance will be accepted. Presentation abstracts cannot be submitted here and will be declined. 

In your application you will be asked to summarise your current work,  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 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 scientific merit, 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 travel

Accommodation is not included in the conference registration fee.

The hotels below have rooms on hold for participants until Monday 12th February 2024, in some cases at special rates. Please email the hotel directly, quoting the booking code EES24-01 to confirm the exact price of the room.

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 HotelMeininger HeidelbergHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Heidelberg
Hotel Holländer Hof Hotel Monpti

Travel information

For travel information, please see here.

If you are travelling to the conference within Germany then you are eligible for the Deutsche Bahn ‘Event Ticket’ (called the ‘Veranstaltungsticket’ in German). This will result in a lower ticket price if your travel distance to Heidelberg is more than 100 km. You need to provide proof of your event attendance when purchasing the ticket.

For more information in English see here or in German see here.

You can book your ticket here.

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.

Here is the conference shuttle bus timetable.

The bus stops for this conference are:

  • Staycity Aparthotel (Speyerer Str. 7)
  • Kurfürsten-Anlage (Opposite Main Train Station)
  • Premier Inn (Kurfürsten-Anlage 23)
  • Leonardo Hotel Heidelberg City Center (Bergheimer Str. 63)
  • Neckarmünzplatz (Heidelberg Tourist Information)
  • Peterskirche (Bus stop)
  • ISG Hotel (Im Eichwald 19)

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 more information about accommodation and travel, please refer to the FAQ page.

On-site 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

If you are interested in purchasing EMBL merchandise (products presented in the glass display in the registration area), please email the EMBL shop to place an order or get in contact with your Course Organiser.

Kindly note the EMBL shop is only open upon request and all purchases must be made in cash (Euros only).

Health and safety notes

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 on campus using the EMBL-Events network and the event specific password, which will be provided on site. The eduroam network (secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community) is also available.

Lost and found

‘’Lost and Found’’ items 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 photos. 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 to print your boarding pass/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, meditation, and yoga located on level E0 behind the Auditorium. Please be respectful of others using the room.


A variety of activities in Heidelberg can be found on the website of Heidelberg Marketing.

Travel to and from the venue

During the event, we provide conference shuttle buses 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 buses 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 (formal)
Tschüss (informal)
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good afternoonGuten Tag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Good nightGute Nacht
I’m sorryEs tut 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 heißen Sie? (formal)
Wie heißt du? (informal)
My name is..Ich 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 English.Ich brauche einen Arzt, der englisch spricht.
Virtual participation

What’s included?

  • Access to all the livestreamed talks
  • Video library of the recorded talks during the event and for two weeks afterwards. Please note: at the request of individual speakers, some talks are not recorded.
  • 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 on-site events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found in our COVID-19 FAQs.


Bronze sponsor

Event sponsor


Event supporters

Media partners

Disease Models & Mechanisms, The Company of Biologists Journal

FEBS Letters

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Medinformatics, a Bon View Publishing journal

Molecular Systems Biology, an EMBO Press Journal

Open Biology, a Royal Society journal

PLOS Biology, a PLOS journal

Royal Society of Chemistry

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 sponsorship@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.

Media kit

Want to let others know you’re attending this event? Take a look at our shareable media and feel free to use them in your social media channels or presentations.

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DB train strike information

Deutsche Bahn (DB), the national rail provider, has announced a last minute strike affecting all rail travel across Germany on Tuesday 12 March. Further details can be found here on the DB website. There is a version in English here. Currently DB state that long distance / intercity trains, regional and local trains will be severely disrupted. DB rail tickets booked on or before 10 March for travel on Tuesday 12 March can now be used flexibly and are valid on any train either today Monday 11 March (long distance trains only) or after 12 March.

We realise this could impact your journey to the EMBO|EMBL Symposium: AI and biology. The following information is to assist you in checking and adjusting travel plans to reach Heidelberg:

Arriving to Heidelberg – Tuesday, 12 March 2024

  •     By train

DB says that long distance, regional and local ‘S-Bahn’ train services in Germany will be severely disrupted on Tuesday. Only very few services will run. The timetable will be updated regularly on the DB website and app. If your accommodation arrangements can be changed, consider making use of the flexible ticket validity announced by DB to travel to Heidelberg tonight, before the strike. Alternatively you could look into bus route alternatives, driving or car sharing. The strike affects only travel on the first day of the four day symposium. Of course you will still be able to join if you arrive on day 2, as a last resort. 

  •     By air from Frankfurt Main Airport 

EMBL will provide 3 buses (free of charge) departing from Terminal 1 Bus stop P36 (bus parking lot) Frankfurt Main Airport at 9:00 (1 bus) and 11:30 (2 buses). Places are limited, on a first come first served basis. If you arrive before this time please wait at the airport until the buses depart. These buses will take you directly to EMBL Heidelberg.

The buses (Hoffman Reisen company) will be on the P36 bus lot and have a sign displaying “EMBL SHUTTLE” in the front window.

  •   By car / car sharing

Car parking is available at EMBL Heidelberg. We recommend connecting with other participants in advance is the ‘Discussion’ area in the virtual platform for the conference. Joining instructions for the virtual conference platform have been sent to you separately.

Important: Please check with your hotel if parking is available and if a reservation is required.


1.  Is the conference still running as scheduled? YES!

2. I cannot travel to EMBL Heidelberg to attend the conference onsite, due to the strike and none of the above options work for me.

All is not lost, as a second best, you can attend the conference as a virtual participant using the details previously sent. The strike only affects travel on the first day of the four day symposium. 

3   Can I get a refund if I cannot attend the conference?

Unfortunately not. However, you can still enjoy the conference as a virtual participant using the details previously sent.

4.   Will EMBL provide any other buses, outside of what has been arranged during the strikes?

No. However you can also make alternative transport arrangements by clicking on the useful links websites below.

5.   Do I need to reserve a seat on the EMBL airport bus on Tuesday 12 March?

No. Seats are on a first-come-first-served basis. However we have planned that capacity will not be exceeded.

6. Where do I find the buses at the Frankfurt airport?

From Terminal 1 you can reach the long-distance bus parking lot P36 via Arrival C. Then keep right. The long-distance bus parking lot is signposted.

7.Does the strike affect local buses and trams in Heidelberg?

No. Public buses and trams will continue to operate as planned.

8. Do I need to pay for the EMBL buses from Frankfurt Main to Heidelberg on Tuesday 12 March?

No. EMBL are providing this free of charge.  

9. How will I know which is the correct bus from the airport to Heidelberg/EMBL on Tuesday 12 March? 

At Frankfurt Main airport, buses will depart from Terminal 1 Bus stop P36 (parking lot).

Buses (Hoffman Reisen company) will have a sign displaying “EMBL SHUTTLE” in the front window of the bus.  

10. Will the conference shuttle buses from Heidelberg hotels to EMBL still run?

Yes, we are providing transport service as usual at specific times. Information can be found here. 

11. What if I miss the EMBL airport bus?

Alternative transport is available. Please see useful websites below.

12. Will the trains run on Friday, check-out day of the conference?

Yes. The strike is expected to end at 2am on Wednesday 13 March. We will keep participants updated if this changes. You can also follow on the DB website here

13. Can I get a taxi from the airport to Heidelberg?

Yes, official taxis which run on a meter basis are available outside the airports  but this is an expensive option at around 200 Euros for a normal passenger car from Frankfurt airport for example. 

Alternatively Personal Transfers Heidelberg are an option if you want to consider pre-booking a private individual or group car transfer from the airport.  

14. Where can I connect with other participants to discuss transport arrangements?

An option for connecting with other participants in advance is the virtual platform for the conference (under discussion menu). Joining instructions for the virtual conference platform have been sent to you separately. 

15. If arriving directly to EMBL, can I bring my luggage? 

Yes, 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.

Useful websites & information 

  • DB – Deutsche Bahn website containing useful strike and travel information.
  • TRN Airport Transfer  – airport transfer provider
  • Taxi Weinmann – taxi company close to Heidelberg offering airport transfers 
  • Flixbus – bus transfers across Germany. 
  • Busradar – long distance buses 
  • EMBL  – information for participants travelling to EMBL Heidelberg.

Taxis from the airports: official taxis which run on a meter basis are available outside the airports  but this is an expensive option at around 200 Euros for a normal passenger car from Frankfurt airport for example.

We hope you find the above helpful. However if you still have a question that is not answered above, please email us with any queries at events@embl.de.

Please note: Information is correct at the time of issue, 11 March 2024 15:00, and is subject to change.

Date: 12 - 15 Mar 2024

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration (On-site): Closed

Registration (Virtual): Closed


  • Mohammed AlQuraishi
    Columbia University, USA
    • Wolfgang Huber
      EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
      • Anna Kreshuk
        EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

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