The new cardiobiology – Course and Conference Office

EMBO Workshop

The new cardiobiology


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

Conference overview

The cardiovascular system is a multicellular and disseminated organ consisting of the heart, a network of vessels and circulating blood, thereby forming an intricately interdependent system, whose dysfunction is the leading cause of human mortality. Despite translational progress with impactful new interventional and pharmacological therapies, cardiovascular dysfunction continues to plague mankind.

The current therapeutic approaches are either organ-centric or tackle the consequences of end-stage cardiovascular disease (CVD). New basic research approaches are focused on a deeper understanding of the causes and early development of CVD to identify mechanisms close to the root of the disease, providing the promise to prevent, halt, and reverse the disease process. In parallel, new tissue engineering and mechanobiology approaches are revolutionizing cardiovascular discovery research and disease modeling by more closely mimicking the human situation. However, these are largely separated research communities, with yet little crosstalk or exchange between the two. This new EMBO Workshop aims to transform the established organ-centric view on single cardiovascular organs into a systems biomedicine approach by tearing down the walls between disciplines and moving on to discussion of the cardiovascular system with an inter-, trans-, and cross-disciplinary approach. 

Session topics

  • Where developmental biology meets cardiovascular engineering
  • Where engineering meets cardiovascular regeneration
  • Where cardiomyocyte biology meets immunology
  • Where cardiomyocyte biology meets vascular biology
  • Where cardiovascular biology meets mechanobiology
  • Molecular circuits of heart disease


Keynote speakers


Sasha Mendjan

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Vienna


Enzo Porrello

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne


Cecilia Sahlgren

Åbo Akademi University and Eindhoven University of Technology


Scientific organisers

Enzo Porrello

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne


Conference organiser

Preliminary programme

  • 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 20 February 2024
11:30 – 13:15Registration and lunch
13:15 – 13:30Opening remarks
13:30 – 14:30Keynote: Cardiovascular models based on human pluripotent stem cell “come of age”
Christine Mummery – Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
14:30 – 17:00Session 1: Where developmental biology meets cardiovascular engineering
(Chair Kristina Haase)
14:30 – 15:00Genome editing to understand and engineer heart development
Alessandro Bertero – University of Turin, Italy
16:00 – 16:15Selected #1
16:15 – 16:30Selected #2
15:00 – 15:30Cellular trajectories and regulatory control of human heart development
Eileen Furlong – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
15:30 – 16:00Coffee Break
16:30 – 16:45Selected #3
16:45 – 17:00Selected #4
17:00 – 17:30Self organization and functional maturation of the heart
Sasha Mendjan – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Vienna, Austria
17:00 – 18:30Speed networking
18:30 – 20:00Dinner in Canteen
20:00 – 21:30After dinner drinks in ATC Rooftop Lounge
Day 2 – Wednesday 21 February 2024
09:00 – 12:00Session 2: Where engineering meets cardiovascular regeneration
(Chair Jennifer Davis)
09:00 – 09:30Vascularization strategies for regenerative medicine
Sara Nunes Vasconcelos – Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, Canada
09:30 – 10:00Targeting arrhythmia in hiPSC-CMs and fibrosis in cardiac tissue culture
Jose E. Krieger – University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil
10:00 – 10:15Selected #5
10:15 – 10:30Selected #6
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:30Bioprinting cardiac tissue in vitro and in vivo: Where are we at?
Daniela Duarte Campos – Heidelberg University, Germany
11:30 – 12:00Cardiac maturation and regeneration: two sides of the same coin
Enzo Porrello – Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne, Australia
12:00 – 13:30Lunch and meet the speakers
13:30-16:00Session 3: Where cardiomyocyte biology meets immunology (Chair Johannes Backs)
13:30 – 14:00Genetic engineering for cardiac fibrosis
Jennifer Davis – University of Washington Seattle, US
14:00 – 14:15Selected #7
14:15 – 14:30Selected #8
14:30 – 15:00Adaptive immunity in heart disease
Pilar Alcaide – Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break
15:30 – 15:45Selected #9
15:45 – 16:00Selected #10
16:00 – 16:30Epigenetic therapies for diastolic dysfunction
Timothy McKinsey – University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA
16:30 – 17:00Flash talks
17:00 – 18:30Poster Session 1 (odd numbers) with beer and snacks
Free evening
Day 3 – Thursday 22 February 2024
09:00 – 11:30Session 4: Where cardiomyocyte biology meets vascular biology
(Chair Pilar Alcaide)
09:00 – 09:30How blood flow regulates vascular networks
Holger Gerhardt – Max Delbrück Center, Germany
09:30 – 09:45Selected #11
09:45 – 10:00Selected #12
10:00 – 10:303D vascularised in vitro tissues for disease modelling
Kristina Haase – EMBL Barcelona, Spain
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:15Selected #13
11:15 – 11:30Selected #14
11:30 – 12:00Vascular control of short and long distance communication
Hellmut Augustin – Heidelberg University & DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany
12:00 – 13:30Lunch and meet the speakers
13:30-16:30Session 5: Where cardiovascular biology meets mechanobiology
(Chair Enzo Porrello)
13:30 – 14:00Notch signaling in mechanotransduction
Cecilia Sahlgren – Åbo Akademi University and Eindhoven University of Technology, Finland
14:00 – 14:15Selected #15
14:15 – 14:30Selected #16
14:30 – 15:00Cell-cell junctions as sensors and transducers of mechanical forces
Stephan Huveneers- Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands
15:00 – 15:15Selected #17
15:15 – 15:30Selected #18
15:30 – 16:00Coffee Break
16:00 – 16:30Perfusable on-chip vascular network for mechanobiology and developmental biology
Ryuji Yokokowa – Kyoto University, Japan
16:30 – 17:00Flash talks
17:00 – 18:30Poster Session 2 (even numbers) with beer and snacks
18:30 – 19:00Networking pre-dinner drinks
19:00 – 21:00Conference dinner
21:00 – 00:30Party – ATC Foyer
Day 4 – Friday 23 February 2024
09:00 – 13:00Session 6: Molecular Circuits of Heart Disease
(Chair Norbert Frey)
09:00 – 09:30Spatial transcriptomics guides new concepts to treat arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy
Eva van Rooij – Hubrecht Institute, The Netherlands
09:30 – 10:00Epitrancriptomic targets in heart disease
Federica Accornero – Brown University, USA
10:00 – 10:15Selected #19
10:15 – 10:30Selected #20
10:30 – 10:45Selected #21
10:45 – 11:15Coffee Break
11:15 – 11:45Regulation of splicing in cardiomyopathies
Lars Steinmetz – EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
11:45 – 12:45Keynote: From cardiac biology to new cardiac therapies
Eric N. Olson – UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA
12:45 – 13:00Closing Remarks and Poster Prize Announcements
13:00 – 13:15Packed Lunch and departure

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 (livestreamed and on demand) and facility to submit questions.

On-site Academia€350
On-site PhD Student€250
On-site Industry€750
On-site Journal Editors*€200
Virtual Academia€150
Virtual PhD Student€100
Virtual Industry€250

* 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 Catherine Casas-Saavedra 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, EMBO, and DFG in the form of both registration fee waivers and travel grants. These are available for on-site participants at EMBL Conferences and EMBO|EMBL Symposia, and for on-site and virtual participants at EMBO Workshops. We are currently working on securing funding for all virtual participants, and ask that you please apply for financial assistance for both on-site and virtual participation. 

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

For DFG Grants, participants must travel in economy class, no business’ travel will be covered, and the hotel accommodation should not exceed 95 EUR per night.

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.

Childcare grant (EMBO Workshops only)

For EMBO Workshop participants with children, there is the possibility to apply for a childcare grant to offset child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at a conference. Eligible costs include fees for a baby-sitter or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please note that priority will be given to early stage researchers. A maximum amount of €500 can be awarded per participant applying for an EMBO childcare grant. In order to apply for this grant for EMBO Workshops, you must be registered by the abstract submission deadline.


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.

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 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 safety policy for on-site 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 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 EnglishIch brauche 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 on-site events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found in our COVID-19 FAQs.


Event sponsors

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 on sponsoring possibilities.

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.

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: 20 - 23 Feb 2024

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: 28 Nov 2023

Registration (On-site): 9 Jan 2024

Registration (Virtual): 13 Feb 2024


  • Pilar Alcaide
    Tufts University School of Medicine, USA

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