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EMBO Practical Course

Biomolecular interaction analysis 2018: From molecules to cells

29 October – 03 November 2018 | Porto, Portugal

  • Registration Deadline
  • 20 June 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 31 July 2018 (after acceptance only)
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 2 July 2018
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 July 2018

Apply now!

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About the Practical Course

A comprehensive and integrated characterization of molecular interactions is key to the understanding of life processes at a molecular level. Due to their complexity, the study of binding events require the gathering of data from multiple methods in order to build a complete picture of their function.

This EMBO Practical Course aims at a multidisplinary approach to the study of molecular interactions from and in biological systems, integrating biochemical/biophysical methodologies with live microscopy techniques.

In this 4th edition, the course will cover a range of methods used in the kinetics and thermodynamics characterization of binding events, such as:

  • Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC)
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)
  • Plasmon Waveguide Resonance (PWR)
  • Microscale Thermophoresis (MST) and
  • Biolayer Interferometry (BLI)

The bridge to in vivo will be crossed with the introduction of advanced light microscopy techniques, e.g.:

  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and
  • Fluorescence Cross Correlation Spectroscopy (FCCS)

to study the dynamic interactions of proteins within the living cell.

Practical sessions

The practical sessions will be organized in 5 rotations of 5 elements. Each group will rotate through sessions focused on the topics of the course.

Each practical session will start with a short introduction to the equipment followed by a presentation of the scientific background and objective of the experimental work, and the experiments started (part A). The results obtained will be then processed, analyzed and discussed with the tutors (part B).

Participants samples and data

Participants will be invited to:

a) propose hypothesis/questions within their work that could be addressed using one or more of the techniques focused in the course

b) bring data previously acquired to process, analyze and discuss (troubleshooting)

c) bring their samples to assay

Acceptance of samples and data is dependent of a pre-feasibility assessment.

Poster Sessions

Successful applicants who attend the course will be requested to bring a poster describing their project. Posters will be on display from the first day and will be discussed in two poster sessions.

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
  • 20 June 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 31 July 2018 (after acceptance only)
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 2 July 2018
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 July 2018



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation in double rooms (6 nights)
  • Transfer from hotel to the venue and back (every day)
  • All meals and coffee breaks
  • Social events and transfer to and from social events
  • Course material and reagents

Social Programme

The social programme will include a sightseeing tour, a visit to the Port Wine Cellars and a gala dinner on day 3 (Wednesday).


Payment details will be sent to accepted applicants via e-mail.

Selection criteria

Participants will be selected according to their research interests, level of knowledge and potential use of the techniques in view of their project work as specified in a motivation letter. Additionally, a fair gender balance will be considered and significant regional bias will be avoided.

Please submit the Application Form, attaching:

  • your curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • a motivation letter giving a concise description of your research, your reasons for wishing to attend and your experience of techniques taught on the course (max. 1 page)
  • a PDF copy of a signed Letter of Recommendation on organization letter headed notepaper from an academic referee, preferably PhD supervisor or Head of Laboratory. This letter should indicate how your research, the laboratory in which you work and the area of research that you intend to pursue will benefit from your participation on the course.
  • ARBRE-MOBIEU grant application form if desired

Successful applicants (maximum of 25) who attend the course will be requested to submit an abstract and bring a poster describing their project, which will be presented during 2 poster sessions and will remain on display for the duration of the course.

Abstract guidelines

Instructions for abstract format and layout:

1. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 350 words, excluding title, authors and affiliations.

2. The abstract must be written in Arial, font 11, single space, justified.

3. The title must be in bold.

4. The authors’ names should be presented as John T Smith. The name of the presenting author must be underlined.

5. Author affiliations must be footnoted using numbers.

6. Acknowledgements can be included at the end.

7. The entire abstract must fit one single A4 page.

Poster specifications

The poster should be printed with the following dimensions: 90 (width) x 120 (height) cm (Portrait). During the poster session participants will have the opportunity to introduce their work and to stimulate lively discussions and exchange of ideas between participants and speakers.

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants are available for participants. 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.


ARBRE-MOBIEU contributes to the organization of this course by awarding up to 5 grants covering the registration fee. If you would like to apply for an ARBRE-MOBIEU grant please complete and submit the form that can be found here.

Additional information

Selected participants will share accommodation with another participant.

Upgrade to single room will be available upon an extra cost of 200 EUR.



Rita Matos


Phone: +351 22 0408811




IBMC - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology

i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde

University of Porto

Rua Alfredo Allen, 208

4200-393 Porto, Portugal


Accommodation will be provided in double rooms at the Moov Hotel Porto Centro for all participants. The hotel is located in the Porto world heritage centre, which is within 10 min distance by public underground transportation (metro) to the course venue and with door to door Metro connection to the city international airport.

Metro tickets to commute between the hotel and the venue will be provided.


By plane

The closest airport is the Oporto’s Airport (called Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, OPO).

Oporto’s Airport is well connected to the city center. You have the following options to get to the Hotel:

  • Shuttle Service: Direct connection between the Airport and the Hotel (average time: 20 minutes; price: 6€)
  • Metro: You should take the E line at the airport. The destination station is Trindade, then change to line D (yellow line, direction Santo Ovidio) and exit at station São Bento (average time: 23 minutes; price: 1,85€).
  • Taxi (average time: 15 minutes; average price: 25€, however, there are extra-charges for luggage and night hours).

By train

If you use the train, you may get off at Campanhã train station or São Bento train station. From both stations you can take the bus or the metro to the venue.

By metro

i3S is located in front of Pólo Universitário Metro station. If you are coming from the city Centre, you should take line D (yellow line) – Direction São João (average time: 8 minutes; price: 1,20€).

By car

The i3S GPS coordinates are: 41º 10' 30.927'' N, 8º 36' 11.006'' W.

Please note that i3S does not offer parking space.

About the Area

Portugal's second-largest city, Porto (or Oporto) retains all the ambience of a riverside community, keeping alive ancient traditions. The town is named on UNESCO's World Heritage List, while being the country's most important commercial and manufacturing area. It is built on steep granite hills overlooking the River Douro, with a mass of narrow streets and alleys at its heart dating back to before the foundation of the country in the 12th century AD.

The river is straddled by six dramatic bridges that connect the town with the Vila Nova de Gaia area, traditional home of the port-wine lodges and Porto's largest tourist attraction. Theatres, live music of all kinds, bars, nightclubs, cafés and restaurants all contribute to make this a thriving, dynamic city that no visitor to Portugal should miss.

For more information, please visit the pages for Visit Portugal and Visit Porto and North.

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