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EMBO Practical Course

Molecular interrogation of single-cells to decipher population heterogeneity and plasticity

06 – 12 April 2018 | Siena, Italy

  • Registration Deadline
  • 01 November 2017
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 01 November 2017
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 November 2017
  • Payment Deadline
  • 15 December 2017

Apply now!

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About the Practical Course

Practical Course illustration

During the past decade, refinement of established molecular methods and also development of new technologies have opened up new practical possibilities to capture and analyse single cells in highly reproducible manners. Technologies like single-cell transcriptomics by RNA sequencing now provide unprecedented opportunities to draw a more accurate picture of cell population complexity and to understand cell variation and plasticity in a wide range of biological contexts, from cell development and differentiation to disease transitions. Besides the characterization of complex populations, advancements in single-cell technologies offer the opportunity to capture and characterize individual cells of interest from complex samples (e.g. Circulating Tumour Cells). This EMBO Practical Course will present two different cutting-edge technological approaches for gene expression analysis of thousands of single-cells simultaneously (10x Genomics emulsion-sequencing) and for recovery and characterization or rare cells from living heterogeneous cell population (Silicon Biosystem - DEPArray platform). The participants will learn about the complete workflow and gain understanding about the possibilities and limitations of both methodologies. Both lectures and hands-on sessions will include an introduction to the bioinformatics tools that are required to analyse this complex datasets.

This EMBO Practical Course is intended for scientists who are interested to approach different cutting-edge single-cell methodologies and is aimed for PhD students, postdoctoral fellows or other scientists with a solid molecular biology background.

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
  • 01 November 2017
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 01 November 2017
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 November 2017
  • Payment Deadline
  • 15 December 2017



Registration includes:

  • Course Materials
  • Coffee Breaks, Lunches & Poster Session Refreshments
  • Hotel Accomodation (6 nights)
  • One Social Dinner


Payments details will be sent by email to selected participants

Selection criteria

The selection criteria of the candidates will be based on:

i. the relevance of their application to the scientific content of the meeting

ii. the scientific quality of the abstracts submitted

iii. the quality of the applicants’ curricula vitae, letter of motivation and abstract

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts (250 words) should emphasize why the applicant need to become an expert in single cell omics in his/her scientific career. Scientific questions and knowledge of relevant techniques and basic bioinformatic skills should also be presented.

Poster specifications

Poster details will be sent by email to selected participants

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.



Erica Lomnes (Course Secretariat)


Phone: +39 333 871 5717




Toscana Life Sciences

Bioincubator Building

Strada del Petriccio e Belriguardo, 35

53100 Siena, Italy


Accommodation is in single rooms in the Hotel Garden. Accompanying guests may stay at the hotel (double room) for an additional 25 euro per night. The Hotel Garden is located in Via Custoza 15 minutes walk from the railway station of Siena. A comfortable scalator in Viale Cavaour is also available and close to the bus line 6 that reaches the city centre in 5 minutes.



– North: coming from highway A1 take the Firenze Impruneta exit and follow signs to Siena (4 lane connection Florence-Siena 50 km). Take the “Siena Nord” exit and follow on the right the direction signs for the city centre, Stadium, proceeding on Via Fiorentina. You will find us approximately 100 m after the second traffic light on the right.

– South: coming from highway A1 take the Valdichiana exit and follow signs to Siena (4 lane connection Bettolle-Siena 50 km). Once you are near Siena, take the circular road with direction Florence and take the “Siena Nord” exit. Follow on the right the direction signs for the city centre, Stadium, Fortress, proceeding on Via Fiorentina. You will find us approximately 100 m after the second traffic light on the right.


– North: taking the Florence-Siena or Pisa-Siena line.

– South: taking the Rome-Chiusi Chianciano Terme – Siena line.

Once you arrive at Siena’s railway station, you may take a taxi (approximate cost, 7 Euro) or use public buses lines 4 Ceppo direction (5 minutes route) and line 10 Centre and Belvedere direction.


Siena can be reached from the international airports of:

Roma Fiumicino at 230 km.

From the airport you may take a express train that arrives directly at the train and bus station “Roma Tiburtina”. From there you may choose whether to reach Siena by train or with Siena Buses.

Pisa Galileo Galilei at 150 km.

From Pisa Airport you may reach Siena with the TIEMME Spa buses or by train.

Florence airport at 70 km.

From Florence Airport you may take a express shuttle which will take you to the Sita’s bus station in the centre of Florence using Sita or Ataf lines.

From here you may take a bus (Sitabus) for Siena Centre, or the train (Trenitalia).

About the Area


Siena, city in the centre of Tuscany, surrounded by its green hills, is one of the most renowned Italian medieval cities. The main area of the entire city is the famous Piazza del Campo which, besides being famous thanks to its shell shape, twice a year is the location where the Palio of Siena is held and represents the main event for all of Siena’s citizens and is one of great importance to tourism.

Besides Piazza del Campo, there are other sites of interests which we absolutely suggest you should visit: The Palazzo Pubblico (town hall), the entire Opera del Duomo, the National Art Gallery… and many other places you can discover by exploring new roads, alleys and areas of the historical centre.

Other small medieval towns can be seen on the hills surrounding Siena… during your journey you can admire breathtaking landscapes and discover towns such as San Gimignano, Pienza, Montepulciano and Monteriggioni… each town, besides making you delve into the medieval atmosphere, will surely offer you the best food and wine selection.

EMBO Reports 2017-07/tls-logo.jpeg 2017-07/logo_deparraynxt.jpg 2017-07/logo_menarini-silicon-biosystems_-300.jpg 2017-07/10x_genomics_logo.jpg 2017-07/1500473682_logo_fondazione-menarini.jpg