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Past Max Birnstiel Lectures

The Max Birnstiel Lecture Series was started in 2009, named after the late founding director of the IMP. Since then, the IMP has hosted a great number of distinguished scientists to present their work in the frame of the series. Here, you will find a full directory of past Max Birnstiel Lectures. 

17 May 2023
Neuronal Genome Stability and Plasticity
Andre Nussenzweig, National Institute of Health
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

28 September 2022
Modeling human hematopoiesis, disease and even human organs in NextGEN humanised mice
Richard Flavell, Yale University School of Medicine
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

1 June 2022
Gene transcription: from mechanisms to regulation
Patrick Cramer, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Hosts: Alexander Stark and Clemens Plaschka

11 May 2022
Molecular Chaperones in Protein Folding and Proteostasis
Ulrich Hartl, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Host: Tim Clausen

28 April 2022
Metastatic Cells and Ecosystems
Joan Massague, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Host: Anna Obenauf

30 March 2022
Understanding the Mechanisms and Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Replication
John Diffley, The Francis Crick Institute
Hosts: Rushad Pavri and Jan-Michael Peters

14 March 2022
The electron cryomicroscopy revolution in structural biology
Richard Henderson, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB)
Hosts: Clemens Plaschka and David Haselbach

In 2020 and 2021, Max Birnstiel lectures were adjourned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

13 November
The origins of blood cancers
Ben Ebert, Harvard Medical School
Host: Johannes Zuber

16 October
Decrypting the Noncoding Genome - Unmasking the role of transcriptional control in complex traits and human disease
Bing Ren, UC San Diego
Host: Alexander Stark

18 September
Global Remodeling of the Proteome
Dan Finley, Harvard Medical School
Host: Tim Clausen

29 May
Enhancer-Promoter Communication in Living Drosophila Embryos
Mike Levine, Princeton University
Host: Andrea Pauli

24 April
Skin Stem Cells: Coping With Stress, Inflammation and Cancer
Elaine Fuchs, The Rockefeller University
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

20 March
Organizing and stabilizing genomes through heterochromatic and euchromatic domains
Susan Gasser, FMI Basel
Host: Luisa Cochella

24 October
Thomas Cech, University of Colorado Boulder
Shedding some Light on the Dark Matter of the Genomic Universe

Host: Luisa Cochella

12 September
Ron Vale, University of California in San Francisco
RNA phase separation and neurogenerative disease

Host: Tim Clausen

6 June
Klaus Rajewsky, Max-Delbrück-Center for molecular medicine
Self-reactivity and lineage determination of antibody forming cells

Host: Meinrad Busslinger

23 May
Austin Smith, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
The Design of Pluripotency: Plasticity and Order
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

25 April
Lawrence Zipursky, UCLA, Department of Biological Chemistry
In Search of Cajal’s "unfathomable mystery of life"
Host: Luisa Cochella

28 March
Aaron Ciechanover, Technion Integrated Cancer Center
The ubiquitin proteasome system – from basic mechanisms thru human diseases and on to drug targeting
Host: Tim Clausen

13 December
Florian Engert, Harvard University
Neural circuits and behavior in larval zebrafish
Host: Manuel Zimmer

11 October
Hannah Monyer, Deutschen Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
The function of local and long-range inhibition for spatial coding and memory
Host: Wulf Haubensak

29 June
William Kaelin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
The VHL Tumor Suppressor Protein: Insights into Oxygen Sensing, Cancer Metabolism and Drugging the Undruggable
Host: Johannes Zuber

24 May
Aviv Regev, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Reconstructing Intra- and Inter-Cellular Circuits with Single Cell Genomics
Host: Alexander Stark

8 January
Winfried Denk, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
Towards a Connectome of the Whole Mouse Brain
Host: Wulf Haubensak

9 November
Adrian Bird, University of Edinburgh
DNA sequence and the Epigenome
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

7 September
Wolf Singer, Max Planck Institute for Brain Science
The cerebral cortex, a substrate for computing in high dimensional dynamic state space
Host: Wulf Haubensak

7 July
Carol Greider, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Stem Cell Failure
Host: Luisa Cochella

6 April
Sir Paul Nurse, London Research Institute
Controlling the Cell Cycle
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

9 March
Judith Frydman, Stanford University
Protein folding in the cell and the proteostasis network: biological mechanism and disease implications
Host: Ana Ramos (Clausen Lab)

2 December
Randy Schekman, University of California at Berkeley
Biogenesis and function of the autophagosome membrane
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

4 November
Robert Kingston, Harvard Medical School
Epigenetic mechanism during development: Polycomb and chromatin dynamics
Host: Meinrad Busslinger, Hiromi Tagoh

16 September
George Church, Harvard Medical School
New Technologies for Reading and Writing Biology
Host: Johannes Zuber

17 June
Ruslan Medzhitov, Yale University
Inflammation, Homeostasis and Disease
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

6 May
Christof Koch, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Neuronal and Theoretical Foundations of Consciousness
Host: Wulf Haubensak, Alipasha Vaziri, Manuel Zimmer

14 January
James Allison, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Targeting Immune Checkpoints in Cancer Therapy: New Insights and Opportunities
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

8 October
Carlos Bustamante, University of California, Berkeley
Division of Labor and Coordination Among the Subunits of a Nearly Perfect Biological Machine
Host: Alipasha Vaziri

10 September
Paul Sternberg, California Institute of Technology
Molecular Circuitry for Sleep, Sex and Predation
Host: Manuel Zimmer

7 May
Michel Nussenzweig, Rockefeller University
Perspectives for Vaccines and Immunotherapy Against HIV
Host: Martina Minnich and Meinrad Busslinger

2 April
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, NIH
Navigating the cellular landscape with new optical probes, imaging strategies and technical innovations
Host: Stefan Westermann

5 March
Brad Cairns, University of Utah
Chromatin Dynamics: Nucleosome movement, and germline-embyro epigenetics
Host: Johannes Zuber

4 December
David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology
MicroRNA as Guardian of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Integrity
Host: Martina Minnich and Meinrad Busslinger

6 November
John Gurdon, Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute
The activity of nuclei and macromolecules introduced into embryonic cells
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

9 October
Jason Lieb, Princeton University
Gene regulation in space and time
Host: Alex Stark

4 September
Alcino Silva, Brain Research Institute, UCLA
Molecular, cellular and circuit mechanisms of memory allocation
Host: Wulf Haubensak

5 June
Claude Desplan, New York University
Generating neuronal diversity in the Drosophila visual system
Host: Barry Dickson

3 April
Larry Abbott, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Order and Disorder: A Variety of Circuit Motifs in Olfaction
Host: Andrew Straw

6 March
Ning Zheng, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington
Targeting Ubiquitin Ligases - Hormones and Metabolites
Host: Doris Hellerschmied

6 February
Itzhak Fried, UCLA Department of Neurosurgery
Single neuron recordings in the human brain
Host: Simon Rumpel

5 December
Ruedi Aebersold, ETH Zuerich
Measuring Protein Networks
Host: Tim Clausen

7 November
Martin Chalfie, Columbia University
Unraveling the touch response in C. elegans
Host: David Keays

10 October
Joe Howard, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Beat Generation: From Single Molecules to the Collective Motion of Cilia and Flagella
Host: Stefan Westermann

5 September
Erin Schuman, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Local Transcriptomes and Proteomes at Neuronal Synapses
Host: Krystyna Keleman

6 June
Howard Y. Chang, Stanford University, HHMI
Genome regulation by long noncoding RNAs
Host: Anja Ebert

23 April
Doug Koshland, University of California
Shaping the genome: by form and by function
Host: Stefan Westermann

9 April
Liqun Luo, HHMI/Department of Biology
Mapping Olfaction
Host: Barry Dickson

4 April
Eve Marder, Brandeis University
Beyond Optimality: Variability, Homeostasis and Compensation in Neuronal Networks
Host: Manuel Zimmer

7 March
Nenad Ban, ETH Zurich
The structure of the eukaryotic ribosome and insights into the regulation of protein synthesis
Host: Tim Clausen

1 February
Dale Dorsett, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Cohesin, gene expression, and development
Host: Erika Schirghuber

11 January
Edvard Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Grid cells, place cells and the brain’s spatial representation system
Host: Simon Rumpel

14 December
Yadin Dudai, The Weizmann Institute of Science
Consolidation of Long-Term Memory: Does it ever end?
Host: Krystyna Keleman

12 October
Stanislas Leibler, Rockefeller University
Survival in the face of unknown: Lessons from microbes
Host: Carrie Cowan

21 September
Kees Murre, University of California, San Diego
Long-Range Genomic Interactions and the Generation of Antigen Receptor Diversity
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

7 September
Michael Eisen, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Starting the Engines: Activation and Regulation of Transcription in the Early Drosophila Embryo
Host: Alex Stark

4 May
Steven Henikoff, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Histone variant dynamics and epigenetics
Host: Anja Ebert

6 April
Steven Gygi, Harvard Medical School
A tissue-specific atlas of the mouse phosphoproteome
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

2 March
Gilles Laurent, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Dynamics and Circuits for Olfactory Coding
Host: Brice Bathellier

2 February
Hans Clevers, Hubrecht Institute
Wnt, Lgr5, stem cells and cancer
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

12 January
Tomaso Poggio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Learning and Vision in Brains and Machines
Host: Salil Bidaye

1 December
Brenda Schulman, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Dynamic Mechanisms in Ubiquitin Conjugation Cascades
Host: Tim Clausen, Linn Gazda

10 November
Helen Saibil, Birkbeck College London
Chaperone machines for protein folding. unfolding and disaggregation
Host: Tim Clausen

3 November
David Drubin, University of California
Harnessing actin dynamics for endocytic trafficking
Host: Carrie Cowan

19 October
Greg Hannon, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Conserved roles of small RNAs in genome defense
Host: Alex Stark

1 September
Raymond Deshaies, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mechanisms of ubiquitination
Host: Linn Gazda, Doris Hellerschmied

1 June
Christopher Walsh, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Genes that Regulate Human Cerebral Cortical Development
Host: David Keays

5 May
Bill Newsome, Stanford University School of Medicine
Value, decision-making, and the brain
Host: Martin Haesemeyer

7 April
David Anderson, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Neural Circuits for innate defensive Behaviors in flies and mice
Host: Barry J. Dickson

10 February
Tom Rapoport, Harvard Medical School
Mechanisms of protein transport across membranes
Host: Stefan Westermann

2 December
John Kuriyan, University of California
Allosteric Mechanisms in the Activation of the EGF Receptor
Host: Peggy Stolt-Bergner

7 October
Poul Nissen, University of Aarhus
The structure, function and regulation of Na+,K+-ATPase and related cation pumps
Host: Peggy Stolt-Bergner

7 September
Robert Tjian, University of California, Berkeley
Transcriptional Mechanisms Regulating Stem Cell Pluripotency and Differentiation
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

2 September
Giacomo Rizzolatti, Universita Degli Studi di Parma
The mirror mechanism: a mechanism for understanding others
Host: Krystyna Keleman

5 August
Eva Nogales, HHMI, University of California
Structural Bases of microtubule dynamics and its coupling to chromosome movement
Host: Thomas Marlovits

1 July
Marc Kirschner, Harvard Medical School
Cell protrusion and actin assembly
Host: Jan-Michael Peters

3 June
Tim Hunt, Cancer Research UK
Getting in and out of mitosis
Host: Borbala Gerle

29 January
Andreas Strasser, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
The many roles of apoptosis in tumour development and cancer therapy
Host: Meinrad Busslinger

7 January
Svante Pääbo, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
A Neandertal Perspective on Human Origins
Host: Barry Dickson