EMBL in Spain: Molecules to Ecosystems

The one-day event provided an opportunity to strengthen the connections between EMBL, CIC bioGUNE, and the wider life science community in Spain

EMBL in Spain was held in Bilbao at the Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE). Credit: Jana Sendra/CIC bioGUNE

EMBL in Spain 2023 was held in Bilbao on Friday 9 October, hosted at the Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE).

More than 100 scientists attended the event, which was hosted and co-organised by EMBL alumni Rosa Barrio, Maria dM Vivanco, Robert Kypta, and James Sutherland. Researchers from EMBL and the Spanish life science community presented their latest work, with a focus on the theme ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’.

The event was an opportunity to strengthen the connections between EMBL, CIC bioGUNE, and the wider life science community in Spain, as noted by James Sharpe, Head of EMBL Barcelona, who said: “EMBL is a European organisation both from, and for, the whole research community. I am therefore very excited that we continue to expand our engagement and collaborations with outstanding Spanish scientists across the country.”

As part of his welcome presentation, Sharpe engaged attending scientists with stunning images and emphasised EMBL’s role in bringing molecular biology tools to communities studying ecosystems, climate change, and biodiversity. His work highlighted the interplay between imaging, engineering, and mathematical models in understanding complex systems. “Biology is a system that builds, and engineering plays a key role,” he emphasised. 

During the second session, James Sutherland, group leader at CIC bioGUNE,  shared wisdom from his EMBL experience that helped him in his career: “Do things fundamentally right, and work in a team.” He also presented his work in CIC bioGUNE focused around catching post-translational modifications using in vivo biotinylation. 

In the closing panel, attendees had the opportunity to hear and see how the Traversing European Coastlines (TREC) expedition is changing the way we do biology. The panel also explored the critical and exciting role of marine biology and marine stations and discussed the efforts of the SYNTERRA project in sampling molecular ecosystems and creating strategies against climate change. Peer Bork (TREC), Ibon Cancio (EMBRC), and Nuria Conde Pueyo (SYNTERRA) highlighted discoveries and the experience of working with young students in their recent projects, and stressed the critical role of time, governments, and funding in finding solutions.

With the ‘EMBL in…’ events, EMBL seeks to open up valuable dialogue, ensuring that as many members of the European life sciences community as possible have awareness of and access to the opportunities provided by EMBL, as well as its alumni and partners. 

About CIC bioGUNE

The Centre for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE), member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance (BRTA), located in Derio at the Bizkaia Technology Park, is a biomedical research organisation conducting cutting-edge research at the interface between structural, molecular and cell biology, with a particular focus on generating knowledge on the molecular bases of disease, for use in the development of new diagnostic methods and advanced therapies.

Tags: alumni, barcelona, spain


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