Home Programme » Plenary Speakers

Plenary Lectures

IUBMB Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada Lecture Opening Plenary Lecture

Human Cell Atlas: Mapping the human body one cell at a time

Sarah Teichmann

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

Sarah Teichmann is interested in global principles of regulation of gene expression and protein complexes, with a focus on immunity. She did her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK and was a Beit Memorial Fellow at University College London. She started her group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 2001, discovering stereotypical pathways of assembly and evolution of protein complexes during this time. In 2013, she moved to the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton/Cambridge, jointly with the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI). In February 2016 she became Head of the Cellular Genetics Programme at the WSI and co-founded the Human Cell Atlas international initiative which she continues to lead. Sarah Teichmann was elected a member of EMBO in 2012, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015 and a fellow of the Royal Society in 2020.

FEBS Theodor Bücher Lecture – Closing Plenary Lecture

MINFLUX nanoscopy and its applications in biology

Stefan W. Hell

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

Stefan W. Hell is a scientific member of the Max Planck Society and a director at both the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. Stefan Hell received his doctorate (1990) in physics from the University of Heidelberg. From 1991 to 1993 he worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, also in Heidelberg, and then at the University of Turku, Finland, between 1993 and 1996, with a stay at the University of Oxford, UK, in 1994. In 1997 he was appointed to the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he has built up a research group dedicated to sub-diffraction-resolution microscopy. Stefan Hell is credited with having conceived, validated and applied the first viable concept for breaking Abbe’s diffraction-limited resolution barrier in a light-focusing microscope. He has received several awards, including the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry..

FEBS Datta Lecture

Gut microbiota: fellow travellers that regulate brain and behaviour across the lifespan

John F. Cryan

University College Cork, Ireland

John F. Cryan is Vice President for Research & Innovation at University College Cork (UCC) and is also a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute, Cork. His current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut and microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders at key time-windows across the lifespan. John Cryan has published over 550 papers and is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and of Neurobiology of Stress. He is on the editorial board of a further 15 journals. He has co-edited four books and is co-author of the bestselling “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” (National Geographic Press, 2017). He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013 and UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, and he was named on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014 and Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list in 2017 through to 2020. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. He also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland in 2017, and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. He was a TEDMED speaker in Washington in 2014 and is Past-President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.

EMBO Lecture

Muscle stem cell aging and rejuvenating strategies

Pura Muñoz-Cánoves

ICREA, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona and CNIC, Madrid, Spain

Pura Muñoz-Cánoves obtained her PhD in biology at the Madrid Autonomous University, Spain for work carried out at The Scripps Research Institute, USA, and did postdoctoral work at the University of California – San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute. In 1995 she joined the Cancer Research Institute (now IdiBell) in Barcelona, Spain as a postdoc, becoming an independent group leader in 1997. In 2002 her group moved to the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, and she became a senior group leader there in 2007. In 2009 she moved to the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, supported by ICREA, as Coordinator of the Cell Biology Unit. At present, she is an ICREA Professor and Cell Biology Professor in the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at the UPF, and since May 2016 she holds a double appointment at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) in Madrid. She is an EMBO Member. The focus of her research is tissue regeneration in aging and disease, particularly skeletal muscle, addressing. two key questions: How do tissues maintain their reparative capacity throughout life? And what changes do resident stem cells undergo that modify their response to tissue injury with aging? 

FEBS Sir Hans Krebs Lecture

E-cadherin: Me and others in the process of cell invasion 

Raquel Seruca

i3S, University of Porto, Portugal  

Raquel Seruca is a Principal Investigator at i3S (Institute for Research & Innovation in Health) at the University of Porto, where her group focuses on the key molecules and signalling networks mediated by E-cadherin dysfunction in cancer. She received her PhD in Medicine in 1995 from the Medical Faculty of Porto, having worked on the cytogenetic and molecular profiles of distinct forms of gastric cancer. Since 1999, she was involved in determining the frequency and type of CDH1 (cadherin 1) germline alterations in early-onset and familial diffuse gastric cancer, and established a national network to assist clinical geneticists in the screening of families with criteria of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). As a reference centre of the International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium, she established functional assays to assess the pathogenic role of all CDH1 germline missense mutations detected worldwide and showed their added value in genetic counselling. Due to this work, she is considered the worldwide expert of functional assays for germline mutations of E-cadherin. In basic research, her group has established a set of more than 80 stable cell lines carrying CDH1 germline missense mutations associated with HDGC, aiming to identify the signalling pathways associated with the cellular behaviour of these neoplastic cells – namely loss of cell–cell adhesion, increased cell–matrix adhesion and isolated invasion – and potential therapeutic targets, such as EGFR and Notch. As applied research, and in close collaboration with bioengineers, she was involved in developing new tools that can aid the genetic screening and diagnosis of invasive gastric cancer. Raquel Seruca has 249 publications, 100 in cadherin and cancer.

IUBMB E.C. Slater Lecture

Neurovascular pathobiology of vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

Costantino Iadecola

Cornell University, NY, USA 

Costantino Iadecola, MD is the Director and Chair of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Anne Parrish Titzell Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York. His research focuses on the basic mechanisms of neurovascular function and on the cellular and molecular alterations underlying ischemic brain injury, neurodegeneration and other conditions associated with cognitive impairment. A pioneer in establishing the concept of the neurovascular unit, Costantino Iadecola has championed the involvement of neurovascular dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases, and the role of innate immunity and the microbiome in ischemic brain injury. He has been involved, as editor or editorial board member, in several journals. Costantino Iadecola has received two Javits Awards from the NIH, the Willis Award [the highest honor in stroke research bestowed by the American Heart Association (AHA)], the Zenith Fellow Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Excellence Award in Hypertension Research from the AHA, and he was elected to the Association of American Physicians. Clarivate Analytics lists him as one of the world’s Highly Cited Researchers for ranking in the top 1% of the most-cited authors in neuroscience and behavioral science. In 2019 he was elected Distinguished Scientist by the AHA and in 2021 was the first neuroscientist to receive the Basic Research Prize from the AHA.

IUBMB Kunio Yagi Lecture

Molecular basis of the KEAP1-NRF2 system function

Masayuki Yamamoto

Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

Masayuki Yamamoto graduated from Tohoku University School of Medicine in 1979 and Graduate School of Medicine in 1983. In 1983–1986, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, IL, USA with Professor Doug Engel. In 1989, Masayuki Yamamoto revisited the Engel laboratory and in collaboration identified the GATA family of transcription factors, which are now widely studied as one of the prototype transcription factor families regulating lineage commitment and cell differentiation. In 1991, Masayuki Yamamoto returned to Japan and started a series of analyses on the CNC-sMAF family of transcription factors, and in 1997 he identified the KEAP1-NRF2 system regulating the cellular response against electrophilic and oxidative stresses. Since then, he has been addressing many questions related to this important regulatory pathway. He also established the Tohoku Medical Megabank organization in 2012 aiming to support constructive regeneration of the tsunami-devastated area from the Great East Japan Earthquake and has been serving as a Founding Executive Director.

PABMB Lecture

Phase separation, phase transition and aggregation of mutant p53 as an emerging target in cancer 

Jerson L. Silva

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jerson Lima Silva, MD, PhD is Full Professor of Biochemistry in the Institute of Medical Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His main research interest is the study of the basic factors responsible for protein folding, protein–nucleic acid interactions and for the formation of biological assemblages such as viruses and amyloid aggregates. Jerson Silva’s most pioneering discovery was that mutant forms of the tumor suppressor protein p53, involved in various forms of cancer, undergo amyloid aggregation similar to that which occurs in neurodegenerative diseases.  He has published more than 200 full papers. His research articles are highly cited with more than 9500 citations (h-index = 54). He was the Advisor of 36 PhD theses. Jerson Silva has received many prizes and awards, including: Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, 1991; International Scholar, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1997; National Unibanco Award in Medicine for Medical Research (shared), 1998; Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit, Presidency of the Republic of Brazil (Command in 2002, Great-Cross in 2009); TWAS Prize in Biology 2005 from the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); FCW Prize in General Science from Fundação Conrado Wessel, 2010; "Faz Diferença" Prize in Science and Health 2012 (Jornal O GLOBO); and the Gregorio Weber Award (American Biophysical Society, 2018). He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of TWAS and Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine (Brazil). Silva is the Founding Director of the National Center of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro. He is currently the Coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology for Structural Biology and Biomaging (INBEB), Rio de Janeiro and President of the Rio de Janeiro State Funding Agency (FAPERJ).

The FEBS Journal Richard Perham Prize Lecture

Vitamin D effects on human colon normal and tumor organoids 

Antonio Barbáchano

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas 'Alberto Sols', Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain

Antonio Barbáchano is a researcher at the "Alberto Sols" Biomedical Research Institute (IIBm) in Madrid. He did his PhD at the laboratory of Alberto Muñoz at the IIBm on the effect and regulation of SPROUTY-2 gene in colon cancer. In 2012, following a short stay at Eduard Batlle's laboratory at the Biomedical Research Institute (IRB) in Barcelona, he started developing 3D cultures of human intestinal normal and cancer stem cells. This allowed him to establish colon and rectum organoids from healthy and tumor tissue from biopsies of colorectal patients as a novel system to study the role of vitamin D in this neoplasia. In collaboration with surgeons, oncologists and pathologists of the nearby Hospital Universitario La Paz, he has described that calcitriol (the active metabolite of vitamin D) promotes the undifferentiated cell phenotype in normal colon organoids while it induces cell differentiation in tumor colon organoids, supporting a protective action of vitamin D in colorectal cancer. He has also been able to set up a reproducible drug screening assay using colon tumor organoids. At present, he is focused on the homeostatic effects of vitamin D on the differentiation of human normal intestinal stem cells.


Other Plenary Lectures

The FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award Lecture and the FEBS Letters Award Lecture will be announced following the selection of the next award winners. A FEBS Education plenary lecture is also planned.