Your browser does not support or is disabling JavaScript.


EMBO Workshop

Membrane contact sites in health and disease

21 – 25 September 2018 | Arosa, Switzerland

  • Registration Deadline
  • 20 June 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 20 June 2018
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 01 July 2018
  • Payment Deadline
  • 01 August 2018

Apply now!

Find us

Tweet #EMBOmembrane18

Download calendar invitation



About the Workshop

Workshop illustration

Membrane contact sites (MCS) were discovered by electron microscopists in the 1950s. These early visual detections of organellar contacts were followed by biochemical isolation of contacts between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria from the 1970s to the 1990s.

While classic cell biology has historically assigned specific functions to the various intracellular organelles of the eukaryotic cell, the discovery of MCS indicates that organelles are not separate entities. Rather, they exchange material, including lipids, ions and proteins, often using non-vesicular mechanisms that require contact formation between at least two distinct organelles.

This critical insight was first made from the biochemical study of ER-mitochondria lipid transport at the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM). Today, in addition to classic electron microscopy and biochemical isolation, inter-organellar contacts are studied by electron tomography, superresolution microscopy, proximity ligation assays (PLA) or approaches based on split GFP that is reconstituted upon apposition of two portions localized to neighboring organelles.

Important MCS functions include lipid synthesis, the control of mitochondria metabolism, the import of Ca2+ into cells via store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), apoptosis and the biogenesis of autophagosomes. A field of intense research is the significance of MCS formation and functioning for human disease. Recent results implicate the malfunctioning of MCS in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and infection.

About EMBO Courses and Workshops

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

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







  • Registration Deadline
  • 20 June 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 20 June 2018
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 01 July 2018
  • Payment Deadline
  • 01 August 2018



Registration includes:

  • Registration to all scientific events
  • All coffee and lunch breaks, all dinners (except gala dinner, 50 CHF per person)
  • Lodging and transportation to the event location are not included. Lodging and transfers to be arranged by participants. Lodging information on the resort website. Train tickets are readily available on the Swiss railways website.
  • Gala dinner must be separately booked at a cost of 50 CHF advance payment (including cable car ride, all drinks and food)


Please provide payment for registration AND gala dinner (50 CHF, if registered).

Payment will be taken by direct bank transfers, details will be sent by email to accepted participants. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept credit/debit cards.

Selection criteria

Participants will be selected by the scientific programme select committee, on the basis of the novelty, anticipated impact and scientific quality of the submitted abstracts and CVs/statements of interest.

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts should be of no more than 250 words, plus Title, Authors and Affiliations, and should be submitted through the web interface. Define all non-standard abbreviations at first use.

Poster specifications

Posters should be in portrait format and A0 size, i.e. 841 mm (33.1 inches) wide x 1189 mm (46.8 inches) high, and in any case no more than 900 mm wide. Velcro will be used to attach posters to the boards.

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.



Megan Yap





Arosa Sports and Conference Centre

CH-7050 Arosa



Attendees are recommended to book accommodation individually on the resort’s website or on the websites of the respective preferred hotels.

These are Hotel Cristallo, Hotel Seehof, Hotel Altein, and Hotel Sunstar.

Accommodation is available in price ranges from approx. 75 CHF/night to 250 CHF/night, and in a variety of lodging types.


Air: The closest airport to Arosa is Zurich/ZRH. SWISS is the official carrier of the meeting, participants will receive a discount code of upto 10% to be used on the Swiss website. We recommend traveling to Arosa via train. Alternative airports are at Friedrichshafen/FDH, Innsbruck/INN, Lugano/LUG or Milano Malpensa/MXP. From these airports, shuttle bus services can be booked here. The approx. fees for a return shuttle bus service are 120 Euro.

Train: Arosa is easily reached via Swiss National Railway in 2h 45 min from Zurich airport. Train tickets from Zurich airport (112 CHF or as low as 62 CHF if booked early) and any other Swiss train station can be bought via credit card at a maximum of 30 days ahead of the meeting here. Swiss Airlines check-in, and luggage check-in for European and select intercontinental flights will be available at Arosa train station at an extra fee of 12 CHF/22 CHF, respectively.

Bus: Flixbus service is available from many European cities to Chur train station, from where a train ride will bring you to Arosa (1h travel time) at a cost of about 30 CHF. For instance, you can reach Chur from Munich bus station three times daily (4.5h travel time) at 26 Euros, from Milan bus station four times daily (3.5h travel time) at 26–46 Euros, or from Rome via night bus (12h travel time) at 80 Euros. Tickets can be bought via credit card here.

IC-Bus is another option to Chur train station from Munich (3.5h) and Milan (4h), see here.

Note: Flixbus and IC-Bus do not provide travel WITHIN Switzerland, only travel TO AND FROM Switzerland.

Car: Arosa can be reached via private or rental car from Zurich airport in 2h 15min.

Distance from alternative airports is as follows: Friedrichshafen: 2h, Innsbruck: 3h 30 min, Lugano: 2h 30 min, Milano Malpensa: 3h 15 min.

About the Area

Arosa is a major Swiss mountain resort at 1800 meters altitude (5800 ft). It is found at the end of a valley and can be reached via a winding mountain road or via train. Numerous hotels and apartment buildings in Arosa are dispersed in a forest that lies below an extended hiking area above the treeline. Two cable cars provide access to splendid mountain peaks with stunning alpine panoramas. The meeting takes place in the middle of fall, when participants may enjoy indian summer days (5 degrees in the morning, 15 degrees in the afternoon) or may encounter the first hints of winter.

EMBO Journal 2017-10/sisf.jpg 2017-10/1508241353_sage.jpg 2017-10/jcb.jpg 2017-10/cob_logo.jpg 2018-01/0000136217-swiss_oc_rgb.jpg 2017-12/cihr-logo.jpg 2017-12/image.imageformat.twocolumn.42571296.gif 2018-09/gkb_logo_cmyk.jpg 2018-09/screen-shot-2018-09-12-at-9.43.17-am.png 2018-09/thermo-fisher-scientific_logo_cmyk_ez.jpg