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EMBO Practical Course

Membrane Protein Expression, Purification and Characterization (mPEPC1)

10 – 18 September 2018 | Hamburg, Germany

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

Apply now!

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About the Practical Course

Practical Course illustration

Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) are encoded by almost 30% of all open reading frames and provide key functions in the cell. Due to their hydrophobic nature, they are difficult to study and structural information is lacking far behind their soluble counterparts. This EMBO Practical Course aims to teach participants in the latest developments in membrane protein production, characterization and structure determination. Modern protein expression techniques using various hosts will be presented and students will get acquainted with new crystallization and reconstitution techniques. An attitude to combine protein purification and characterization will be taught to impress the necessity on the students that proteins have to be conditioned with care to achieve structural information. The presence of a crystallization facility and beamlines for SAXS and macromolecular crystallography at the venue will be employed to perform novel integrated structural biology experiments. The course has an emphasis on practicals in small groups, and a "Meet the scientist" session at the beginning of the course will ensure a close interaction between students and tutors.

Practicals include:

1. Expression of eukaryotic integral membrane proteins in HEK293 cells.

2. Expression of integral membrane proteins using cell free expression.

3. SAXS on integral membrane proteins.

4. Crystallization of integral membrane proteins in lipidic cubic phase.

5. Quality control of integral membrane proteins: nanoDSF and DLS.

6. Reconstitution of IMPs in a detergent free environment using disc technology.

7. Bioinformatics on IMPs and modelling of membrane protein complexes.

8. Crystal harvesting and serial crystallography of small IMP crystals grown in Crystal Direct plates.

9. Negative stain electron microscopy of integral membrane proteins.

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



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals throughout the duration of the course
  • Course material


Payment instructions will be sent to successful applicants once the selection procedure is complete.

Selection criteria

Participants in the early stage of their research careers (mid to end of Ph.D. project or early postdoctoral career) will be given preference based on their applications and letters of reference. Participants from laboratories within EMBC Member States will be given priority, and the aim is to reach an even balance in gender and geographical location. The course is limited to 20 participants. We also welcome applications from non-academic labs.

For selection purposes, as part of your registration, you will be requested to submit a letter of motivation and a letter of recommendation from your supervisor directly to

Please note that your application will not be considered without a complete motivation and recommendation letter.

Abstract guidelines

The abstract should describe work in progress, so that the tutors and co-participants can get an impression of the topic and the technical challenges of the project of the participant. Length should be no more than 300 words. Please include title, list of authors and affiliations.

Accepted students are expected to give a maximum 5 min. presentation about their work.

Poster specifications

A0 paper size

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.

Additional information

Students will share a double room. Please specify if you have any special dietary requirements.



Sarah Marshall-Bensch


Phone: +49-4089902111


Christian Löw





EMBL Hamburg and Centre for Structural Systems Biology

Notkestrasse 85, Building 48e and 15

D-22607 Hamburg, Germany


The on-site accommodation at DESY will be offered to student participants, which is within a few minutes walk from the EMBL laboratories. DESY has a canteen for breakfast/lunch and a bistro is open in the evenings and during weekends.


Information on how to travel to EMBL Hamburg is available here.

About the Area

Hamburg is a lively and cosmopolitan city in the north of Germany. There will be an opportunity to explore the city on Saturday afternoon. Please visit the Hamburg city website for more information.

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