Save the date: 4-5 July 2024!

EMBL announces scientific symposium to mark its 50th anniversary, celebrating research opportunities made possible from the organisation’s history of world-class science.

EMBL logo amended to note its upcoming 50th anniversary

EMBL is gearing up for its 50th anniversary, with plans to recognise the milestone via a two-day exciting scientific symposium. This colloquium, ‘From atoms to ecosystems – a new era in life sciences’, will be held both virtually and in-person at Heidelberg on 4-5 July 2024. The event celebrates the foresight 10 member nations had when they ratified a proposal to bring a world-class life sciences laboratory to Europe, resulting in the creation of EMBL.

The symposium will explore the foundational science and technology EMBL has fostered and is helping to advance. 

“EMBL’s staff and alumni can be proud of their contributions that have improved human and planetary health over the past 49 years. But we never stand still, and the best way to honour this landmark moment is to look forward to the next 50 years of achievement in research, services, and training,” said Edith Heard, EMBL’s Director General. “The anniversary provides an opportunity to celebrate the EMBL spirit – past, present, and future.”

Black and white photo of 7 men in front of country flags
Representatives from EMBL’s first 10 member nations ratified the Laboratory proposal at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1973. Credit: EMBL Archives
Council members at front of meeting room converse with one another.
49 years later in 2023. From the dais at EMBL’s June 2023 Council of Delegates meeting, representatives from current and prospective member states discuss EMBL’s future plans. Credit: Stuart Ingham/EMBL

Each symposium session will include presentations from a former EMBL group leader, a former EMBL PhD student or postdoctoral fellow, and a current EMBL group leader. 

The first day’s sessions will look at research from cells to tissues, genome biology, developmental biology, and protein structures and complexes. On the second day, the focus will turn to sessions on bioinformatics, the expansive scope of EMBL’s research programme ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’, and technological advances past and present. The day will conclude with a panel discussion.

“This inspiring two-day symposium will showcase EMBL’s pioneering scientific contributions over the last 50 years and highlight how these continue to evolve to address topics of global importance,” said Jürgen Deka, Head of EMBL External Scientific Training. “Many impactful scientific careers have started at EMBL and the symposium will highlight EMBL’s strong collaborations with many life science institutes worldwide through alumni.”

The event will also include presentations of EMBL’s two alumni awards in 2024: the John Kendrew Award and the Lennart Philipson Award, as well as a tribute to EMBL’s alumni. 

Further details are forthcoming, including how to register for this event. Additionally, over the next 12 months, EMBL will highlight key moments from its history through articles in its web newsfeed, as well as on an upcoming, new section of the EMBL website that will reflect the many voices that continue to make EMBL a world-class research institution.

Tags: anniversary, conference, embl50, event, history, training, virtual event


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