DutchBiophysics 2015



NH Koningshof in Veldhoven. Address: Locht 117, 5504 RM Veldhoven, telephone: +31 (0)40 253 74 75.


Programme 2015
The time schedule of DutchBiophysics 2015 will follow soon. Below, you can find information about the invited speakers.

Keynote speaker

William E. Moerner (Stanford University)
Nobel Prize winner William E. Moerner will give the keynote lecture at DutchBiophysics 2015. His principal research interests are physical chemistry, single-molecule biophysics and super-resolution imaging. Moerner uses single-molecule optical spectroscopy and imaging, a set of ultrasensitive far-field and near-field laser techniques that allows researchers to detect and probe the optical properties of individual molecules. In this way Moerner explores local behaviour inside a solid, a liquid, or in a biomolecular system such as a single protein or enzyme in a living cell. In 2014, Moerner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on microscopy techniques.

International speakers

Roy Bar-Ziv
(Weizmann Institute of Science)
Roy Bar-Ziv's research is inspired by emergent behaviour and molecular computation in biological systems, such as the early stages of embryo development, and by semiconductor information technology. He combines physics, biology, and materials science to construct and explore cell-mimicking: programmable on-chip DNA compartments as artificial cells, in which the essential reactions of living cells encoded in DNA take place inside miniaturized compartments fabricated in silicon. Understanding the emergent properties of these compartments may lead to assembly of artificial cells capable of computation, autonomous sensing, and replication, with applications in future technologies.

Takanari Inoue (Johns Hopkins University)
Complexity in signalling networks is often derived from co-opting one set of molecules for multiple operations. To understand how cells achieve such sophisticated processing using a finite set of molecules within a confined space, Inoue and his colleagues have recently developed a series of chemical-molecular tools. These allow for inducible, quick-onset and specific perturbation of various signalling molecules. Using this novel technique, Inoue investigates positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as symmetry breaking), as well as spatio-temporally compartmentalized signaling of Ras and membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides. In parallel, he also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical pathways inside cells. Ultimately, this will generate completely orthogonal machinery in cells to achieve existing, as well as novel, cellular functions.

Sjors Scheres ( University of Cambridge)
Scheres' research focuses on how molecular machines perform their complicated tasks in the living cell, by developing methods that allow visualising molecular machines in their multitude of different conformations. In particular, Scheres uses three-dimensional electron microscopy to determine the structures of molecular machines. Ultimately, he aims to determine the structure for every conformational intermediate of a molecular machine in action. Combining these snapshots into a 3D-movie could then greatly enhance our understanding of how these machines work.

Martin Zanni (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Zanni's research is aimed at exploring molecular structures and dynamics through vibrational motions and couplings. To accomplish this, he is developing sophisticated ultrafast multi-dimensional spectroscopies that correlate vibrational modes and measure frequency fluctuations. His research focuses on understanding the molecular vibrations of complex biomolecules or materials to monitor their structures, dynamics and function.

National speakers

Stan Brouns (Wageningen UR)
Selfish genetic elements are more than a daily nuisance in the life of prokaryotes. While viruses reprogram and often kill cells in order to multiply, or try to get a ride in the host genome as a stowaway, conjugative plasmids make cells addicted to plasmid-encoded anti-toxin molecules, preventing their disposal. Bacteria and archaea defend themselves against invasion by these selfish invaders in a variety of ways including a recently discovered adaptive immune system called CRISPR. Brouns' goal is to fully understand how various CRISPR immune systems operate. This includes the formation of CRISPR memory, the assembly and function of CRISPR immune complexes, and the mode of DNA interference by CRISPR immune complexes and associated nucleases.

Doris Heinrich (Leiden University)
Doris Heinrich is interested in the physics of living cells, especially their cytoskeleton dynamics under defined external stimuli. Heinrich aims at a fundamental understanding of transport processes in crowded multicomponent systems far from equilibrium. She controls cells by artificial, spatially and temporally defined chemotactic stimuli, forcing them into predefined states. Further, she explore s cytoskeleton reorganisation in 3D topological environments, which define exact boundary conditions for cell migration. Finally, she use nanoparticles as artificial proteins to modify and control cell function. 

Ilja Voets (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Ilja Voets focuses on self-assembly processes in (biological) soft matter to gain fundamental insights which she translates into rational design strategies for novel functional soft materials. She is particularly interested in antifreeze proteins, in short AFPs,   that help   fish, insects, and plants survive at subzero temperatures. Voets tries to understand how AFPs function and use this knowledge to develop synthetic polymers with antifreeze properties.

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