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Structural characterisation of macromolecular complexes – Course and Conference Office

EMBO Practical Course

Structural characterisation of macromolecular complexes

Overview

Course overview

Recent developments in cryo-EM/ET, super-resolution microscopy, and protein structure prediction — coupled with increasingly sophisticated methods of sample preparation — have revolutionised structural biology. Educating the next generation of researchers on how to strategically combine these disparate tools is critical for addressing the most challenging structural biology problems of the future.

Course participants will receive a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art structural methods, with a focus on sample preparation, characterisation, and data integration strategies. Key aspects covered by lectures and practicals include multi-subunit protein expression in bacteria, insect, and mammalian cells; isolation of native complexes and in-vitro reconstitution of protein and protein-nucleic acid complexes; biochemical and biophysical characterization to assess stoichiometry and sample homogeneity; 3D structure determination of macromolecular assemblies at different resolution regimes; and the integration of data from multiple experimental sources (X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, SAXS, NMR, mass spectrometry, smFRET, and super-resolution light microscopy). The current edition of this long-standing course refreshes the portfolio of speakers and topics, including a new module on the strategic exploitation of the latest protein structure prediction methods.

Audience

Advanced PhD students and postdocs, currently working on challenging projects in structural biology that would benefit form hybrid approaches

Modules

  • Protein expression and purification
  • Biophysical characterisation of macromolecular complexes
  • Introduction to electron microscopy
  • X-ray crystallography, Small Angle X-ray Scattering and serial crystallography using synchrotron radiation
  • Application of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in structural biology
  • Mass spectrometry in protein-protein interaction studies
  • Single-molecule methods and super-resolution light microscopy
  • AI-based structure prediction methods

Learning outcomes

The primary goal of this course is to furnish participants with a comprehensive understanding of cutting-edge methods employed in the structural characterization of macromolecular complexes. Through over 20 thematic lectures, participants will gain a solid theoretical foundation in the covered methods. The course integrates hands-on experience through experimental and computational practicals, allowing participants to actively engage with a diverse range of methodologies discussed in the lectures. The course will also feature several case studies presented by leading scientists within their respective fields to showcase applications of the methods covered in the course employed in diverse scientific contexts. Ultimately, participants will emerge from the course equipped with the strategic expertise to effectively integrate various tools, enabling them to address the challenging structural biology problems of the future.

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This course is jointly organised by EMBL Grenoble, ESRF and IBS and practical sessions will take place at all three institutes located on the EPN Campus in Grenoble.

Speakers and trainers

Mark Bates

Institut für Nanophotonik Göttingen

Germany

Janusz Bujnicki

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw

Poland

Elena Conti

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

Germany

Luca Costa

Centre de Biologie Structurale

France

Sigrid Milles

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)

Germany

Mark Tully

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

France

Christophe Romier

Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire

France

Andrea Sinz

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Germany

Scientific organisers

Course organisers

Irena Provaznikova

EMBL Heidelberg

Germany

Nathalie Sneider

EMBL Heidelberg

Germany

Angelika Thomasson

EMBL Grenoble

France

Preliminary programme

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

Some pre-course work (such as watching pre-recordings, protocol reading and computational exercises) with estimated time 0-10 hours may be required and will be shared in advance of the course.

Some speakers may need to join virtually to give their lecture or Q&A, and the programme is subject to change.

Day 1 – Saturday 1 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
12:00 – 12:30Arrival and registration
12:30 – 13:30Buffet lunch
13:30 – 14:00Opening and course overview
14:00 – 15:30Student presentations – Part 1
15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 17:30Student presentations – Part 2
17:30 – 18:00Break
18:00 – 18:45Lecture 1: Structural studies of
nucleosome binding complexes

Song Tan – The Pennsylvania State University, USA
19:00 – 20:00Dinner at the EPN campus
Day 2 – Sunday 2 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Eva Kowlinski – EMBL Grenoble, France
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 2: Introduction to protein expression in E. coli
Christophe Romier – Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire, France
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 3: Eukaryotic expression systems
Kim Remans – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:45 – 11:45Talk – Speaker TBC
11:45 – 12:30Lecture 5: Mass spectrometry in structural biology
Andrea Sinz – Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
12:30 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 19:00Social event: visit to Vizille Castle
19:00 – 21:00Group dinner
Day 3 – Monday 3 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Carlo Petosa – Institut de Biologie Structurale, France
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 6: Introduction to super-resolution microscopy
Mark Bates – Institut für Nanophotonik Göttingen, Germany
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 7: Single molecule FRET in studying proteins interactions and dynamics
Sigrid Milles – Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP), Germany
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45Lecture 8: Introduction to small angle x-ray scattering
Mark Tully – European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France
11:45 – 13:15Poster session 1
13:15 – 14:15Lunch and networking
14:15 – 16:15Parallel practical session 1
Practicals A, B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
A: EM intro (P1)
B: Biophysics (P9)
C: XL-MS (P8)
D: MS(P7)
16:15 – 16:45Coffee break
16:45 – 18:45Parallel practical session 2
Practicals A, B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
B: EM intro (P1)
A: EM analysis (P2)
C: Biophysics (P9)
D: XL-MS (P8)
18:45 – 19:45Dinner
Day 4 – Tuesday 4 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Montserrat Soler Lopez – European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 9: Introduction to automated synchrotron crystallography
Matthew Bowler – EMBL Grenoble, France
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 10: Serial X-ray crystallography
Jörg Standfuss – Paul Scherrer Institut, USA
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45Lecture 11: Structure prediction and modeling of RNA
Janusz Bujnicki

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, Poland
11:45 – 12:30Lecture 12: Integrative structural biology of RNA-protein
complexes
Teresa Carlomagno – University of Birmingham, UK
12:30 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 15:30Parallel practical session 3
Practicals A, B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
D: Biophysics (P9)
C: EM intro (P1)
B: EM analysis (P2)
A: XL-MS (P8)
15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 18:00Parallel practical session 4
Practicals A, B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
A: Biophysics (P9)
D: EM intro (P1)
C: EM analysis (P2)
B: MS(P7)
18:00 – 22:00Get together with PSB scientists
Networking event with local PSB scientists with buffet dinner and drinks
Day 5 – Wednesday 5 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Wojciech Galej – EMBL Grenoble, France
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 13: Introduction to cryo-EM
Ana Casañal – Human Technopole, Italy
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 14: Cryo-electron tomography
Julia Mahamid – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 12:30Poster session 2
13:30 – 15:30Parallel practical session 5
Practicals A+B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
A+B:NMR (P3)
C: MS(P7)
D: EM analysis (P2)
15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 18:00Parallel practical session 6
Practicals C+D, A, B
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
C+D:NMR (P3)
A: MS(P7)
B: XL-MS (P8)
18:00Free evening
Day 6 – Thursday 6 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Ana Casañal – Human Technopole, Italy
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 15: Atomic Force Microscopy
Luca Costa – Centre de Biologie Structurale, France
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 16: Introduction to NMR spectroscopy
Cameron Mackereth – University of Bordeaux, France
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45Lecture 4: Biophysical characterisation of protein complexes
Carolina Mas – Institut de Biologie Structurale, France
11:45 – 12:30Lecture 17: Talk title TBC
Martin Steinegger – Seoul National University, South Korea
12:30 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 15:30Parallel practical session 7
Practicals A+B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
A+B: Serial prep (P5)
C: SAXS (P4)
D: AF(P10)
15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 18:00Parallel practical session 8
Practicals A+B, C, D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
A+B: Serial-MX(P6)
D: SAXS (P4)
C: AF(P10)
18:00Dinner
Day 7 – Friday 7 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Wojciech Galej – EMBL Grenoble, France
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 18: iNEXT-discovery and and large infrastructures for
structural biology
Anastassis (Tassos) Perrakis – Netherlands Cancer Institut, The Netherlands
09:45 – 10:30Lecture 19: Opportunities and challenges of AI methods in structural
biology

Randy Read – University of Cambridge, UK
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45Lecture 20: Mechanistic studies of the
RNA surveillance pathways
Elena Conti – Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany
11:45 – 12:30Panel discussion of responsible conduct of research
12:30 – 13:30Lunch
13:30 – 15:30Parallel practical session 9
Practicals A, B, C+D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
C+D: Serial prep (P5)
A: SAXS (P4)
B: AF(P10)
15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 18:00Parallel practical session 10
Practicals A, B, C+D
Participants divided into groups of 4
attend one of the practical sessions
C+D: Serial-MX(P6)
B: SAXS (P4)
A: AF(P10)
18:00 – 18:30Break
18:30 – 19:15Lecture 21: Structural data
visualisation
Janet Iwasa – University of Utah, USA
19:15 – 21:00Gala dinner
Day 8 – Saturday 8 June 2024
Time (Europe/Grenoble)Speaker
08:45 – 09:00Overview of the day
Ana Casañal – Human Technopole, Italy
09:00 – 09:45Lecture 22: X-ray imaging in structural biology
Alexandra Pacureanu – European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France
09:45 – 10:30Talk – speaker TBC
10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45Lecture 23: Structural studies of RNA protein complexes; Wojtek Galej, EMBL Grenoble, France
11:45 – 12:30Course evaluation
12:30 – 13:30Lunch
13:30Departure

Practical information

Registration fees and motivation letter

The course is limited to 20 participants. For selection purposes, please note that your application will not be considered without a letter of motivation.

Registration

Registration fees include accommodation (location to be confirmed), all meals throughout the duration of the course, admission and course materials. Travel expenses are NOT covered with the registration fee.

Academia€500
PhD Student€500
Industry€1000

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.

Confirmation and payment

The registration fee should be paid only after acceptance to the course. The results will be announced approximately 2-3 weeks after the application deadline.

Motivation letter submission

After you have logged in and successfully registered, you will receive an email asking you to submit your motivation letter. Click on the link provided and enter your motivation letter in the text box provided. Alternatively you can submit your motivation letter by clicking on the link on the confirmation page directly after registering.

Instructions

  1. Include your relevant skills, experience and qualifications showing why you would be suitable for the course.
  2. Explain why you would like to attend, including what you can contribute and how you think you will benefit from the course.

Please note:

  • 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.

For detailed instructions, please watch our video on how to submit a course motivation letter.

Further details

For further information about registration and motivation letter submission please refer to the FAQ page.

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 waivers, travel 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.

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 within Europe.

– up to €1000 for participants travelling to an EMBL Course from outside Europe.

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

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

– 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 Practical Course.

*Registration fees are only covered for EMBO Practical Courses

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, trainers and organisers when attending a course. Eligible costs include (but are not limited to) fees for a babysitter or child-care facility and travel costs for a caregiver. Please note that priority will be given to early-stage researchers. There is a limited amount of funding available for the childcare grants and funds will be distributed amongst eligible applicants.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds travel grant

Applies to selected courses only. Availability will be indicated during the motivation letter submission process.

This grant covers costs related to your attendance at the course (registration, travel and accommodation costs). The grant is restricted to PhD students and postdocs who conduct basic biomedical research.

Whether you are eligible to apply for a travel grant, depends on when you received your university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur, A-Levels, High School Diploma, Final State Examination):

– for PhD and MD students, as well as graduates, the university entrance qualification must not have been obtained more than 11 years ago at the time of the envisaged course

– for postdocs, the university entrance qualification must not have been obtained more than 13 years ago at the time of the envisaged course

Application

You may apply for financial assistance when submitting your motivation letter for courses. 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.

Selection

The scientific organisers will select the recipients of registration fee waivers and travel grants 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 for registration fee waivers and travel grants 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.

Childcare grants will be allocated in the same timeframe (6-8 weeks before the event start date). Please note that priority will be given to early-stage researchers.

Reimbursement

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 for further information about financial assistance please refer to the FAQ page.

Accommodation and travel

Hotel

Reservations have been made for course participants at accommodation near the EMBL Grenoble site. More details will be available soon. Note, accommodation is included in the registration fee. 

Local transport

Shuttle buses will go from the hotel to EMBL campus and back, mornings and evenings. A bus schedule and location of the bus stops will be made available prior to the meeting.

Further details

Address: EMBL Grenoble, 71 Av. des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France

From Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport take the airport shuttle bus Lyon-Saint Exupéry–Grenoble counter (Satobus) inside the airport or in the bus. A single ticket costs 22€, a return ticket 33€.The stop “Place de la Résistance” is within easy walking distance of the EMBL site.

From Grenoble take Tram B towards “Resistance roundabout” and exit at “Grenoble Presquile”. The site entry is 350m away from the stop.

For further information on getting to EMBL Grenoble visit our Travel Information page.

Technical requirements and event software

Technical requirements

Information will be provided ahead of the course about installing any software required.

Event software

The EMBL eCampus learning platform will be used to collaborate, communicate and network with all of the course participants. All participants will receive information on how to join shortly before the course. We recommend using Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox browsers for eCampus. 

COVID-19 related questions

Updated information will be provided closer to the time as required.

Sponsors

Event sponsor


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 events, 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.

Warning

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.

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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Date: 1 - 8 Jun 2024

Location: EMBL Grenoble

Venue: EPN Campus, Grenoble


Deadline(s):

Application: 10 Mar 2024


Organisers:

  • Ana Casañal
    Human Technopole, Italy
    • Wojciech Galej
      EMBL Grenoble, France
      • Eva Kowalinski
        EMBL Grenoble, France

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