The 10th Horizons in Molecular Biology Symposium

Organizers of Horizons in Molecular Biology 2013
Organizers of Horizons in Molecular Biology 2013

In October 2013, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of “Horizons in Molecular Biology”! Students and renowned speakers from all over the world came together to share the experience with us. We were especially happy to welcome Ralf Jauch, alumnus of our IMPRS and Horizons organizer of the first hour, who shared his experiences and anecdotes from the first ever Horizons – a two day conference with ten speakers and a few dozen participants. Today, we are up to more than twenty speakers, more than 300 participants and a 4-5 day conference and are excited to see where the journey will take us in the future.


However much may have changed, the main goals of Horizons remained the same throughout the years: bringing students into contact with excellence science and the equally excellent scientists who are behind it. For this reason, we promote direct contact of participants to the speakers throughout the conference, be it during intensive Speed Dating sessions, in the more relaxed atmosphere of our “Wine & Cheese” poster session, casually between lectures – or on the dance floor during the Conference Party.


Diversity is another feature that has always defined Horizons – this year we had the opportunity to experience talks on such diverse topics as using the body’s own cellular adhesion molecules for targeted cancer therapy (Erkki Ruoslahti), glycobiology in vaccine development against malaria and other diseases (Peter Seeberger), chaperonins and how they can literally shape a life in science (Arthur Horwich) or the evolutionary fight between our immune system and viruses (Kartik Chandran). Again, we also had the great opportunity to hear about potentially groundbreaking unpublished research – e.g. a novel cellular secondary messanger (Dinshaw Patel) or the exo-/endocytosis dynamics of synaptic vesicles in vivo (Erik Jorgensen).


But while looking back on the awesome anniversary, we are already planning the next conference! Next year, the 11th instalment of Horizons will see an even bigger focus on the students, for example with the opportunity to present your research in blitztalks as a primer for the poster sessions, among other new features. We are happy to announce that we have already two Nobel laureates confirmed as guest speakers – Christiane NüssleinVolhard, the Grande Dame of Drosophila developmental genetics, and Ada Yonath from the Weizmann Institute, our long standing Israeli partner, who made seminal contributions to solving the structure of the ribosome. The 2014 symposium will take place September 15th-18th at the MPI-bpc – so mark your calendars! 

Sven Truckenbrodt

from Molecular Biology Newsletter, Issue 5 (Jan 2014)


Speakers 2013

From Genes to Function

Edith Heard, Arthur Horwich,  Susan Gottesman, Kartik Chandran , Jill Barber

Building Blocks of Life

Peter Seeberger, Karissa Sanbonmatsu, Andreas Plückthun, Janet Thornton 

Cellular Communication

Anthony Hunter, Erkki Ruoslahti, Erik Jorgensen, Nina Tandon, Erin Schuman, Doreen Cantrell, Kartik Chandran, Hollis Cline

From Techniques to Discovery

John Rubinstein, Dinshaw Patel, Albert Heck, Angela Gronenborn, Maria Garcia Parajo