Invited speakers

Introduction to the confirmed keynote and invited speakers:

Dr Siobhan Braybrook, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Pietro Cicuta
, University of Cambridge, UK

Professor Simon Foster
, University of Sheffield, UK
Simon Foster is Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the University of Sheffield and Director of the Krebs Institute. His research ranges from the study of fundamental aspects of bacterial growth and division, applying a number of advanced microscopy approaches, through host pathogen interaction particularly focused on Staphylococcus aureus to vaccine development against S. aureus and other organisms.

Professor Jim Haseloff
, University of Cambridge, UK

Professor Doris Heinrich
, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Professor Stanislas Leibler
, The Rockefeller University, USA
Dr. Leibler did his undergraduate studies in physics at the University of Warsaw. He received three degrees from the University of Paris: an M.S. in theoretical physics in 1979, a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1981 and a second Ph.D. in physics in 1984. He spent a year at the École Normale Supérieure and became a tenured research fellow at the Centre d'Études de Saclay in 1984, staying until 1992. Dr. Leibler was also a visiting research associate at Cornell University from 1985 to 1987 and a visiting professor at the École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles from 1989 to 1991. Dr. Leibler moved to Princeton University in 1992 as a professor in the department of physics, becoming a professor in the department of molecular biology in 1993. He spent the year from 1997 to 1998 as a visiting scientist at the European Molecular Biological Laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany.
During his last year at Princeton, from 2000 to 2001, Dr. Leibler was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He moved to Rockefeller in 2001 and was a Tri-Institutional professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Sloan-Kettering Institute from 2003 to 2010. Since April 2009 Dr. Leibler has been sharing his time between Rockefeller and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he is a professor at the School of Natural Sciences.

Professor Tim Newman
, University of Dundee, UK

Professor Ewa Paluch
, University College London, UK
Ewa K. Paluch, studied Physics and Mathematics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France. She did her PhD at the Curie Institute in Paris under the shared supervision of Cécile Sykes and Michel Bornens, investigating actin networks mechanics in vitro and in simplified cellular systems. She graduated in 2005 and moved to Dresden in 2006 to start her Research Group at the Max Planck Institute or Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, as a joint appointment with the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw. She was appointed Professor of Cell Biophysics at University College London in January 2013 and is based at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. Ewa Paluch's laboratory investigates the principles underlying cellular morphogenesis. Since cell shape is ultimately defined by cellular mechanical properties and by the cell's physical interactions with its environment, biophysical approaches are essential to understand cell shape control. The lab combines cell biology, biophysics and quantitative imaging, and works in close collaboration with theoretical physicists, to investigate the regulation of the cellular actin cortex, and the function of cortical mechanics in cell shape regulation.

Dr Felix Rico
, INSERM, France
Felix Rico studied Physics at the University Autonoma of Barcelona, Spain. He did his PhD in Biophysics with Prof. Daniel Navajas at the University of Barcelona, studying cell microrheology and adhesion using atomic force microscopy (AFM). He graduated in 2006 and obtained a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship to work in the laboratory of Prof. Vincent T. Moy at the University of Miami, USA, where he investigated the biophysical modulation of cell adhesion complexes. In 2009, he obtained a Marie Curie fellowship to join the group of Prof. Simon Scheuring at the Physical Chemistry Unit - Institut Curie in Paris, France. He developed AFM methods to probe the mechanics of membrane proteins, and adapted and applied high-speed AFM to unfold individual proteins at velocities of molecular dynamics simulations. In 2012 he moved to Marseille, and obtained in 2013 an assistant professor position with Chaire mixte at the "Bio-AFM-Lab" at INSERM and Aix-Marseille Université. His research focuses on the study of biophysical properties of proteins and living cells using AFM in force mode. In particular, he is currently applying high-speed force spectroscopy to probe the mechanics receptor-ligand bonds.

Professor Friedrich Simmel
, TU München, Germany
Friedrich Simmel studied physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, Germany, where he also obtained his PhD in condensed matter nanophysics in 1999. As a postdoc with Bernard Yurke at Bell Laboratories he worked on the realization of DNA-based nanomachines. He returned to LMU Munich in 2002 as a DFG funded Emmy Noether group leader, where he established a research group working on various aspects of biomolecular nanotechnology. Since 2007, he is a full professor of physics at the Technical University in Munich (TUM). He also is the co-coordinator of the DFG funded Cluster of Excellence "Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), and he is an elected member of the German Academy of Science and Technology (acatech).
Friedrich Simmel works in experimental physics, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary topics at the interface between biophysics, bionanotechnology, and synthetic biology. Among his current research interests are the creation of molecular machines and devices from DNA, the realization of artificial, cell-sized bioreactors, and the study of synthetic biochemical circuits in vitro and in vivo.

Professor Ana‐Sunčana Smith
, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Professor Christian Soeller
, University of Exeter, UK

Dr Sarah Teichmann
, EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, UK
Sarah Teichmann is interested in global principles of protein interactions and gene expression. In particular, her research focuses on structural bioinformatics and biophysics of protein complexes, and genome biology to study genetic switches in T cells. Sarah did her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK and was a Beit Memorial Fellow at University College London. She started a group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 2001. In 2013, she moved to the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton/Cambridge, where her group is joint between the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute and the Sanger Institute. Sarah is an EMBO member, and her work has been recognized by a number of prizes, including the Lister Prize, Biochemical Society Colworth Medal and Royal Society Crick Lecture.

Professor Pieter Rein ten Wolde
, FOM Institute AMOLF, The Netherlands

Professor Matthew S Turner
, University of Warwick, UK
Matthew Turner did his PhD under Mike Cates in the Cavendish Laboratory, where he worked on the dynamics of polymers that can exchange mass, followed by postdoctoral work with Jean-Francois Joanny on interfacial phenomena in copolymers and liquid crystals. In 1991 he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (under "title A") and in 1995 to a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at which time he started to work on membranes, including a period in the Institute for Theoretical Phyics (now KITP) at UCSB, working with Fyl Pincus. He was appointed to the faculty at Warwick in 1996 before leaving to become the W M Keck fellow at Rockefeller University from 1998-2000. He has since worked on problems at the interface with biology, including non-equilibrium models of fluid membranes, the cytoskeleton-membrane interface, molecular motors and genetic networks. In 2010 he became an EPSRC Leadership Fellow. He continues to work on the theory of membranes but has been working on some new problems, including ring polymers, swarming, active matter and even finance.

Professor Cornelis Weijer
, University of Dundee, UK

Professor Julia Yeomans
, University of Oxford, UK
Julia Yeomans obtained her MA and DPhil in Physics from the University of Oxford. She spent two years as a post-doc at Cornell University, then returned to the UK to become a Lecturer at the University of Southampton. Soon after that, she joined the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at Oxford. She is currently Professor of Physics at Oxford, and was instrumental in founding the Oxford Centre for Soft and Biological Matter.
Professor Yeomans works in theoretical and computational physics, particularly statistical physics, hydrodynamics, soft condensed matter and biological physics. Among her current research interests are microswimmers, active systems, liquid crystals and the interactions of fluids with structured surfaces. She holds an ERC Advanced Grant 'Microflow in Complex Environments'. In 2012 she was awarded the EPJE- Pierre Gilles de Gennes lecture prize and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Key dates

  • Abstract submission deadline:
    30 May 2014
  • Early registration deadline:
    30 July 2014
  • Registration deadline:
    22 August 2014


Conference handbook (PDF, 3.3MB)

First announcement (PDF, 1.33MB)