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EMBO Workshop

The Spatial Biology of Cancer

01 – 03 September 2024 | London, United Kingdom

  • Registration Deadline
  • 1 June 2024
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 1 June 2024
  • Registration Deadline for Virtual Participants Only
  • 31 July 2024
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 17 July 2024
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 July 2024

Apply now!

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About the Workshop

This workshop aims to bring together scientists at different stages of their career interested in applying spatial approaches to study cancer biology. Cancers are complex ecosystems formed of malignant and non-malignant cells and the dynamic interplay between the different types of cells composing the cancer ecosystem is a major driving force of cancer evolution. This interplay occurs at multiple levels of spatial organisation, from physical contacts between close cells to long-range interactions across distal cells. Mapping the qualitative and quantitative composition of the tumour ecosystem and deciphering the cell interplay in time and space is key to understand tumour biology and guide therapeutic intervention. Recent advances in single cell and spatial profiling as well as multiplexed tissue imaging technologies have enabled exploration of the composition and organisation of the cancer ecosystem and at unprecedented throughput and detail. The workshop will review the state of the art of spatial approaches to cancer biology and will discuss the experimental and analytical challenges of spatial biology and what it can reveal about the cancer ecosystem, including present and future impact on the clinical management of cancer patients.

The workshop will kick off on Sunday morning with the first keynote lecture from Prof Garry Nolan followed by lunch and the Spatial cancer biology Hackathon - which is designed to be an icebreaker to foster networking from the very start of the meeting, but also stimulate ideas and highlight key gaps and challenges that the field as a whole faces.

Session themes include:

  • Current and emerging spatial technologies
  • Analytical challenges
  • Application of spatial technologies to cancer biology
  • Impact of spatial technologies in the clinic.

The meeting will conclude with the second keynote lecture from Prof Dana Pe’er.

We are pleased to welcome 23 invited speakers alongside 10 talks selected from early career applicants, including those attending remotely. There will also be flash talks from selected abstracts and dedicated poster sessions at intervals throughout the meeting - online attendees will be able to review all poster submissions.

The programme allows plenty of opportunity for networking for attendees.

Online participants will have access to all the talks, will be able to ask questions and will also be invited to take part in the spatial cancer biology hackathon.

We thank Pietro Andrei for the scientific image.

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
  • 1 June 2024
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 1 June 2024
  • Registration Deadline for Virtual Participants Only
  • 31 July 2024
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 17 July 2024
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 July 2024


  • STUDENT/POSTDOCS with accomodation EUR 235
  • STUDENT/POSTDOCS without accomodation EUR 150
  • ACADEMIC with accomodation EUR 400
  • ACADEMIC without accomodation EUR 215
  • INDUSTRY with accomodation EUR 735
  • INDUSTRY without accomodationEUR 700
  • Virtual EUR 75

Registration includes:

The registration fee includes workshop and hackathon attendance, meals during the workshop, conference dinner on Sunday evening, networking, poster activities, as well as a 3-night accommodation (1–3 September) in the UCL residence hall John Dodgson House (24 - 36 Bidborough St, London WC1H 9BL), only 6 minutes’ walk from the Francis Crick Institute (check-in Sunday, check-out Tuesday). All participants will be housed together, and the hall provides single room accommodation with en suite bathroom for every participant.


Participants will pay via Stripe. Please note that to secure your place at the workshop and be considered for poster or talk presentation, your payment has to be received by the deadline (1st June)

Selection criteria

All applicants will be selected for either a short talk, flash talk or poster presentation. The short/flash talk applicants will be selected based on the quality of the submitted abstracts. The applicants will be required to select a specific topic when submitting the abstract that aligns with the session topics (Current and emerging spatial technologies; Analytical challenges; Spatial cancer biology; Digital pathology and impact in the clinic). The workshop organiser and co-organisers will evaluate all submitted abstracts based on the following criteria (scores 0-10 where 0 is worst and 10 is the best):

1. Fit to meeting topic

2. Novelty

3. Quality of the experiments/analyses

4. Impact of the results

The top 3 scoring abstracts for each workshop topic will be selected to deliver short talks (10 minutes each+5 minutes questions). The rest of the abstracts will be prioritised for poster presentations. The top 10 of the ones selected for posters will also have the opportunity to give a flash talk (2 min each) in the plenary session.

When prioritizing abstracts for oral presentations we will ensure a balance is maintained in terms of sex, geographical distribution and career level.

Abstract submission will be mandatory for participation from academia, so as to maximise opportunities for knowledge exchange and networking.

Abstract guidelines

Word limit: 300 words, text only (no images/tables). One abstract per participant.

Abstracts can only be submitted online using the Abstract form for oral and/or poster presentations available. Abstracts must be submitted in English.

No references, tables or graphics should be included in the abstract
When using abbreviations within the body of the abstract, please spell out the name in full at first mention and follow with the abbreviation in parenthesis.
It is the responsibility of the author to ensure abstract text does not contain any typos or grammatical errors

No changes can be made after submission.

Poster specifications

Posters should be in A1 portrait size format.

Travel grants and registration fee waivers

Travel grants and registration fee waivers are available for participants.

Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizers. EMBO travel grants and registration fee waivers are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

Applicants do not need to apply separately for these but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered.

Additional travel grants are available for EMBC Associate Member States Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan.

Special travel grants and registration fee waivers

A limited number of travel grants and registration fee waivers are available for scientists working in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia and Turkey. Grants are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

A maximum of 700 Euros per participant are available to cover registration fees, travel, and accommodation (no additional subsistence costs can be covered). To apply, please indicate the itemized amount requested in the travel grants section of the registration form.

Child care grants

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional childcare 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 childcare grant and specify the sum that you will need.



We have partnered with Treebu, an Italian start-up company that will plant 143 paulownia trees (one per participant) to help offset the CO2 offprint of the workshop. Treebu will partly sponsor this by offering us a discounted cost per tree (€25 instead of €40). Each participant will be able to see their tree and the progress of the project through a dedicated site and QR code. See more about the project including the benefit of paulownia trees here:


The Crick has set its target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve Net Zero Carbon (NZC) by 2040. In has 2022/23, the Institute has achieved a 21% reduction in emissions. In addition, the Crick will be delivering on its wider Sustainability Strategy, which includes projects to reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions as well as those which will establish sustainable operations and reduce the Crick’s environmental impact.


Vegetarian and vegan only food will be served throughout the conference. Crick catering service relies on local food providers only.


Speakers from UK will all travel with train and we will offer the option to consider travelling by train to all European speakers (Crick is located in front of St Pancras Station where Eurostar trains from Europe arrive/depart). One of the speakers from US (Dr Navin) will give the talk remotely.

Code of conduct

Anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy

At EMBO, we believe that harassment and discriminatory behaviour are unacceptable in any setting. EMBO's code of conduct is applicable for all participants of this EMBO meeting and can be found here.



Louise Howitt, Faye Bowker, Mercedes Ashman




Francis Crick Institute

1 Midland Rd,

London, NW1 1AT


UCL residence hall

John Dogson House

24 - 36 Bidborough St,

London WC1H 9BL

All accommodation is single room with en-suite bathroom.


The Crick is easily accessible by train, tube and bus and has excellent links to London’s airports. The Eurostar terminal is 5 minutes’ walk from the Crick.

Please see their Visit Us page for more information.

About the Area

The Crick is centrally located in the London Borough of Camden. The area is well served by restaurants, pubs, cafes, hotels and shops all within a short walk from the institute. Some of London’s iconic museums and galleries are located in the historic area of Bloomsbury, and London’s West End is a 30-minute walk or a short tube or bus ride.

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