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EMBO Practical Course

Protein-lipid interactions: Advanced experimental and computational tools

02 – 09 July 2017 | Helsinki, Finland

  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 April 2017
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 15 April 2017
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 May 2017
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 May 2017

Apply now!

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About the Practical Course

Practical Course illustration

Biological membranes are complex heterogeneous systems composed of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. Membranes facilitate essential biological functions that are driven by protein-lipid interactions, in a highly dynamic manner. In order to describe the regulatory complexity of such systems, it is crucial to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms and dynamics.

This EMBO practical course will bridge cutting edge experimental and computational tools to study lipid-protein interactions. Advanced PhD students and Postdocs will receive ample opportunities to learn about the increasing importance and benefits of interdisciplinary research in this developing area. Followed by one day of lectures by top scientists in the field, the practical part will be structured into 5 modules, where participants will be able to learn latest wet lab techniques combined with advanced molecular dynamics simulations in small groups. Students will get detailed hands-on experience on biochemical, biophysical, imaging-based and computational methods to study and analyze the interactions and dynamics of lipids with proteins. A major goal of the course is to teach experimentalists the basic principles of molecular dynamic simulations and how theoretical atomistic analysis can be combined with traditional experimental studies for highly sophisticated outcomes.


This module describes the basic principles and possible outcomes of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study protein–lipid interactions.

Methods: Classical all-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations; Visualization of molecular dynamics trajectories; Built-in analysis tools of GROMACS and in-house scripts.


This module demonstrates the novel principle of how lipid-protein interaction can be encoded at the lipid level, by the conformational properties of the lipid receptor itself.

Methods: Preparation of LUVs rehydration of lipid film, extrusion through polycarbonate filters; Flotation in density gradient; Preparation of lipid strips, binding of syndapin1/CTXB.


This module provides both theoretical and practical background on ways for studying protein-lipid interactions in vitro.

Methods: Emulsion-based and electroformation methods for GUVs preparation; Imaging; Effect of protein binding to the membrane: tubulation, flattening; lipid phase separation; Encapsulation of proteins into GUVs.


This module demonstrates the possibilities of automated image analysis tools and how they can be incorporated in experimental setups.

Methods: Live cell CARS microscopy; Automated image acquisition and analysis.


This module demonstrates the use of fluorescently-labeled UV-crosslinkable lipid analogs to study lipid-protein interactions.

Methods: In vitro UV-crosslinking and alkyne-fatty acid labeling; Fluorogenic click reaction; HPTLC separation; Fluorescence detection.

About EMBO Courses and Workshops

EMBO Courses and Workshops are selected for their excellent scientific quality and timelines, provision of good networking activities for all participants and speaker gender diversity (at least 40% of speakers must be from the underrepresented gender).

Organisers are encouraged to implement measures to make the meeting environmentally more sustainable.







  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 April 2017
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 15 April 2017
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 May 2017
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 May 2017



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation in double rooms
  • Meals during the day (breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks)
  • Dinner day 1 and 7
  • Social events day 2 and 5

Selection criteria

Applicants are selected based on a poster abstract, cv and a motivation letter. Experience in computational sciences is not required

Submission guidelines

Please submit the following documents:

  • a poster abstact of your research project. Max 250 words
  • a motivation letter explaining your skills and qualifications, and how you would benefit from the course. Max 450 words
  • a one-page cv including your relevant publications

Poster specifications

Posters must be made in portrait orientation, size A0. On site-printing is possible (50€). If you are interested, please contact the organizers.


Payment details will be sent to the selected participants by email.

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants are available for participants, if you would like to apply for a travel grant, please mention it in your motivation letter and describe why you apply for the travel grant in 100 words maximum. Applicants do not need to apply separately for travel grants for this event but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered for a travel grant. Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizer who will notify all eligible participants. More information is available at EMBO Travel Grants' page.



Elina Ikonen





Biomedicum Helsinki

Haartmaninkatu 8

00290 Helsinki



Link to Google Maps

CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd.

Life Science Center Keilaniemi

Keilaranta 14, Espoo,



Link to Google Maps


Töölö Towers

Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu 23 A,

00260 Helsinki, Finland

Accommodation is arranged in shared rooms at Töölö Towers, walking distance (1,9 km) from the venue. Public transport tickets will be provided by the organizers.


Transportation from the Helsinki International Airport is possible either by bus or taxi, departing in front of the terminals.

  • Buses 615 and 615T offer connection to Helsinki central railway station.
  • Finnair Airport Bus also offers connection from the airport to the central railway station. The bus also stops a few blocks from the Töölö Towers on Mannerheimintie.
  • From the Central Railway Station (the final stop for the buses from the Airport) you can take a tram (2) to Töölö Towers (the right tram stop is called “Apollonkatu” – this you see in the tram information board).
  • If you decide to take a taxi the cost is around 40 to 50 euros from the airport to the city centre.

From Töölö towers to venues:

Biomedicum (Meilahti Campus)

buses 14, 18, 39. 41, 43, 45

Life Science Center Keilaniemi (Otaniemi Campus)

  • buses 194, 195
  • from the main bus station at Kamppi buses 102, 103

About the Area

Töölö Towers are located in the heart of Helsinki, several sights are in a walking distance such as: Parliament, Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, National Museum of Finland, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church), Sibelius Monument and the Olympic Stadium.

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