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EMBO Workshop

Beyond the standard: Non-model vertebrates in biomedicine

17 – 20 September 2019 | Berlin, Germany

  • Registration Deadline
  • 16 September 2019
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 16 September 2019
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 17 September 2019
  • Payment Deadline
  • 16 September 2019

Apply now!

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About the Workshop

The use of animal models is essential for novel scientific discoveries including the development of therapeutics to combat human disease. The scientific community employs a standard set of animal models to study normal and diseased processes in systematic ways, allowing for greater reproducibility and access to resources. Despite the validity of this approach its narrow scope often excludes incredible biodiversity, which has evolved exquisite, clever and often curious ways to adapt the organism to its environment. With the advent of new technologies including CRISPR/Cas9 for genomic manipulation, IPSCs for in vitro study of numerous cell types and a plethora of “omics” technologies and bioinformatics, the opportunities for non-model organisms in biomedicine have become increasingly accessible. These animals demonstrate the flexibility of biological systems providing insights into abnormal or diseased states and offer unprecedented translational discovery paths. This workshop will bring together international experts working with a range of non-traditional species within biomedicine with the aim to create new research bridges, focusing on vertebrates with unique sensory adaptions, social behaviors and metabolic adaptations for surviving in extreme environments. With novel technologies becoming readily available, this workshop is very timely to inspire researchers to look beyond the ‘standard’.

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
  • 16 September 2019
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 16 September 2019
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 17 September 2019
  • Payment Deadline
  • 16 September 2019



Registration includes:

  • Opening reception (oeuvres and wine) on the 17th
  • Lunch on 18-20th
  • Dinner on the 19th
  • Coffee and refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Access to all talks and poster sessions
  • Bag/pen/notepad/abstract booklet

Accommodation is NOT included.


Participants will be directed to pay through an external website run through the MDC. Upon acceptance participants will be sent an email containing information about payment details. The following types of payment options will be available: Credit card, direct transfer, PayPal, Direct debit, and invoice.

Selection criteria

We will make every effort to recruit a diverse geographic, gender and career-stage group of presenters and participants. Additionally, as our conference is focused on biodiversity which is often found in countries that are severely underrepresented in science, we will actively recruit researchers from African or South American countries.

Participant selection will be performed by the meeting organizers:

Gary Lewin, Max-Delbrück-Centre, Berlin

Leslie Leinwand, University of Colorado, USA

Jane Reznick, Max-Delbrück-Centre, Berlin

We have 26 confirmed speakers across five sessions focusing on topics related to sensory systems, ageing & metabolism, ethology, bioinformatics and omics, and disease models. For each session we will include “flash” talks (shorter form talks) which will be selected from the pool of submitted abstracts. For selection of these talks we will consider research topic as an additional criteria to ensure balanced distribution across the meeting’s themes. Whenever possible we will attempt to showcase scientific results from earlier stage researchers. Flash talks will be selected by the meeting organizers.

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts should contain a brief summary of the experimental question, methods and main findings the authors wish to present at the conference. Research questions should overlap with one of the main topical themes of the conference: ageing & metabolism, bioinformatics & omics, ethology, disease models, or sensory systems.

Presenting authors should be listed first.

Abstract length should not exceed 300 words.

Poster specifications

A0 format, (841 x 1189 mm), landscape orientation

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.

Child care grant

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the child care grant and specify the sum that you will need.

Additional Information

We have reserved several rooms for conference participants at the conference site (GLS/Oderberger Hotel). We have made additional room reservations at nearby hotels. All rooms can be accessed by a booking code which will be provided to participants upon acceptance to the meeting.



Jane Reznick, PhD; Alison Barker PhD; Karlien Debus

Timkehet Teffera, PhD; Lien Dettmann; Matthias Runow





Robert-Koch-Platz 7
10115 Berlin

GLS Sprachschule Berlin

Kastanienallee 82

10436 Berlin


A taxi ride from Berlin airports & train stations costs max. Euro 15 – 50, but participants can easily travel to the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Haus or the GLS campus by public transport:

To Kaiserin-Friedrich-Haus:

  • Airport Tegel TXL: Jet Express Bus TXL (direction Alexanderplatz, leaving every 15 or 20 minutes) until station “Invalidenpark”. 200m walking distance form conference location
  • Airport Schoenefeld SXF: Airport Express train (direction Nauen/Dessau) until station “Hauptbahnhof”. Go Further:
  • From Hauptbahnhof/Main Station: Bus possibilities 120, 142, 147, 245 and TXL and Tram M5, M8, M10, until station ”invalidenpark” 200m walking distance form conference location

To GLS campus and Oderberger Hotel:

  • Airport Tegel TXL: Jet Express Bus TXL to Alexanderplatz (leaving every 15 or 20 minutes), from Alexanderplatz 2 stops with metro line U 8 till Rosenthaler Platz. Then take tram M1 or M12 until “Schwedter Str”, the campus is right there
  • Airport Schoenefeld SXF: Airport Express train to Alexanderplatz (leaving every 30 minutes), from Alexanderplatz 2 stops with metro line U 8 till Rosenthaler Platz. Then take tram M1 or M12 until “Schwedter Str”, the campus is right there
  • Hauptbahnhof/Main Station: Take metro line M10 until tram station “Eberswalder Straße”, 200 m walking distance from the campus

About the Area

More about Prenzlauer Berg

“Splendidly well-groomed Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin's most charismatic residential neighbourhoods, filled with cafes, historic buildings and indie boutiques. It's a joy to explore on foot. On Sundays, the world descends on its Mauerpark for flea marketeering, summertime karaoke and chilling in the sun. It's easily combined with a visit to the quarter's main sightseeing attraction, the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, an engrossing 1.4km-long exhibit that explains how the Berlin Wall shaped the city.”

[excerpted from Lonely Planet- Berlin Prenzlauer Berg]
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