Programme and Guests

Programme overview

Jump to details about: keynote lectures, industry lectures, discussion panels, social events.

Keynote Lectures

Collagen hybridizing peptide: from science to application and successful biotech start-up

Prof. S. Michael Yu

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Utah,
Salt Lake City, USA

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Michael Yu is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the University of Utah. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Yu is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and NSF CAREER award. Dr. Yu received undergraduate degree in chemistry from Korea University in South Korea, followed by doctoral degree in polymer science and engineering from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the Chemistry Department of University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining Johns Hopkins University. By applying principles of protein folding and assembly to bio- and nano-technology, Dr. Yu is developing innovative diagnostic/therapeutic molecules, biomaterials, and piezoelectric materials. In particular, the collagen hybridizing peptide he developed and commercialized (3Helix, Inc) is considered a breakthrough technology in detecting and studying damaged collagens associated with disease and injury. As an active member of NIH, Dr. Yu serves as a standing member for Biomaterials Biointerface (BMBI) study section, onsite institution reviews, and interagency research consortium for NIH.

Host-microbiota interaction in health and disease

Dr. Aleksandra Kołodziejczyk

Laboratory of Cellular Genomics,
International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Warsaw, Poland

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Ola completed an international first-level degree in Biotechnology run by a consortium of European Universities at the University of Perugia. During her studies she trained in the labs of Prof. Fred van Leuven (KU Leuven), Prof. Sir Alan Fersht (MRC LMB, Cambridge) and Prof. Matthias Wilmanns (EMBL). She completed her MSc Degree in Molecular Biosciences, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Heidelberg. For her thesis, she worked on chemotaxis towards bacterial autoinducers in the lab of Prof. Victor Sourjik. In 2012 to pursue her PhD she joined the group of Dr. Sarah Teichmann at EMBL EBI and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and worked in the emerging field of single cell transcriptomics. She focused on technical aspects of the method as well as gaining novel biological insights into T cells and mouse embryonic stem cells. She was awarded by EMBO Long Term Fellowship and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowship to undertake Postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science in the group of Prof. Eran Elinav, where she applied her genomics skills to study the role of host-microbiota interactions in liver diseases. She joined IIMCB as a team leader in April 2023 and she is establishing the Laboratory of Cellular Genomics, which employs cutting-edge ‘omics technologies to study host-microbiota interactions and gastrointestinal health.

Evolutionary history of sex determination in amniote vertebrates

Prof. Lukaš Kratochvil

Department of Ecology,
Charles University
Prague, Czechia

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Lukáš Kratochvíl (1975) is a professor at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He is interested in the reproductive strategies of vertebrates, his favourite group being reptiles. He is particularly interested in evolutionary transitions in sex determination, i.e. when and why an individual develops into a male or female, differences between the sexes and, more recently, the loss of sexual reproduction.

Drug Discovery Approaches for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Dr. Dagmar Ehrnhöfer

Neuroscience Discovery,
AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co KG,
Ludwigshafen, Germany

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Dr. Dagmar Ehrnhoefer is a biochemist focussing on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of human neurodegenerative disease with the overarching goal of identifying pathways with therapeutic relevance.

Dr. Ehrnhoefer’s interest in neurodegenerative disease research started during her PhD at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, where she studied protein aggregation inhibitors in models of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. As a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Ehrnhoefer then had the opportunity to work with a large variety of collaborators in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as part of our efforts to develop therapeutic strategies for Huntington’s disease. During this time, she learned to appreciate the complementary strengths both academic and industrial partners can bring to a project and gained first leadership experience. Dr. Ehrnhoefer’s next career step then took her to the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, where she led a team that investigated the roles of Tau post-translational modifications (PTMs) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. After successful completion of the project term she took the opportunity to move to the Discovery Biology department at AbbVie GmbH & Co KG in Ludwigshafen, where she is currently employed as a Principal Research Scientist (head of laboratory). Dr. Ehrnhoefer’s team uses biochemical and cellular model systems as well as patient-derived materials to identify therapeutic approaches targeting Tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease.

From Lab Coats to Business Suits: A Scientist’s Cross-Scale Venture into Market Innovation

Dr. Wojciech Buła

Department of Bioengineering,
University of Tokyo, Japan /
Immunotronics, Warsaw, Poland

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Wojciech Piotr Buła possesses an unconventional background that blends the worlds of science, academia, business, and entrepreneurship. He is an innovative and results-driven leader, offering over 20 years of experience in the deep-tech and healthcare sectors. He is the co-founder and ex-CTO of Bisu, a US-Japanese healthcare start-up based in Tokyo, and an alumnus of HAX/SOSV accelerator, Batch 11, Shenzhen Campus, China. His career exemplifies the successful transformation of passion and scientific knowledge into concrete actions in business. Wojciech is a graduate of the Faculty of Electronics at Wrocław University of Technology. He has been involved in scientific work for most of his professional life. He obtained his PhD from the MESA+ Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. His research was interdisciplinary and focused on microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip analytical systems, microsystems electronics, integrated systems, IoT, MEMS, nanotechnology, chemistry, biology, environmental research and systems for smart agriculture. In addition, Wojciech has taught students and PhD students at various universities around the world, including the University of Twente, Hiroshima University, The University of Tokyo, Warsaw School of Economics. He authored and co-authored over 40 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and conference proceedings, and filed more than 20 patents. Through his work at Bisu, he has won many prestigious awards and accolades such as the Good Design Awards, UK Tech Rocketship Awards, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, MedTech Innovator, The Edison Awards and CES 2020 HIS Markit Innovation. As Chief Technology Officer at ImmunoTronics, Wojciech contributes to the development of cutting-edge medical technologies for early sepsis detection.

Symbioses in the microbial world from the origin of eukaryotes to the functioning of ecosystems

Prof. Anna Karnkowska

Department of Biology,
University of Warsaw, Poland

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Anna Karnkowska is an associate professor at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw, where she leads the Evolution and Genomics of Microbial Eukaryotes team and works as an academic teacher.

Her research focuses on the evolution of eukaryotic cells, the study of the diversity of microbial eukaryotes and the investigation of their interactions with other microorganisms, with symbiosis being a central theme. Her research interests include the origin and evolution of endosymbiotic organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts as well as the endosymbioses of various microbial eukaryotes. By unravelling the complexity of these relationships, she aims to deepen our understanding of endosymbiosis and its impact on ecosystem functioning. To achieve this, her team uses a multifaceted approach that includes sampling, cultivation, microscopy, sequencing and bioinformatics.

She highly values collaboration and diversity in science and considers teamwork to be one of the most rewarding aspects of her work. She is actively involved in organising scientific events and helping to build a community to promote scientific advancement and support other scientists. She is currently President of the International Society of Protistologists and has been recently recognized as a FEMS European Academy of Microbiology Fellow.

Industry lectures

Small molecules targeting RNA

Dr. Zbigniew Zasłona (CSO)


Scale-Up in Biomanufacturing

Urszula Fedak, Weronika Nielek

Polpharma Biologics

Good practices in EcoLaboratory – from atom economics to carbon footprint reduction

Dr. Paweł Stępniak

Th. Geyer

Discussion Panels

The fellowship of the Lab: an Epic Journey beyond Academia’s Gate

In this panel discussion, we will shed light on the current landscape of the biotech industry. You will have an opportunity to benefit from firsthand experiences shared by experts, uncovering the challenges and opportunities inherent in this journey, and gain practical strategies for navigating your career path effectively in the biotechnology sector.

How to run a project and never run out of ideas: lessons from iGEM worldwide synthetic biology competition

This event will focus on dealing with complexities of student projects based on the experiences of participants of iGEM – a worldwide synthetic biology competition. We will host representatives of various Polish iGEM teams: IFB-Gdansk (2023), JU-Kraków (2024) and UW-Warsaw (2011–14), as well as the European iGEM ambassador.

Social Events

Warsaw Sightseeing Tour

English-language tour along some of historical landmarks of Warsaw on Thursday/Friday morning with our guide Zofia Thornborrow

Biotech–themed outdoor game

Friday night throughout the SGGW campus

Sign up at registration

Conference party

Saturday night at Klub Dziekanat 161

Book of Abstracts

Book of abstracts of the event is available here.