08/29/2018 14:23:25

​Biomembranes 2018 conference: World’s leading molecular and cell biologists will meet at MIPT

From Oct. 1-5, MIPT will host the fourth Biomembranes conference. This international event is part of the conference series Virtual Human — Imaging Across Scales. The program of the conference features over 40 lectures by researchers from Russia, the U.S., Germany, France, China, Japan, and elsewhere, as well as a poster session. The proceedings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Research into biological membranes is at the core of molecular and cell biology. Biomembranes, which separate the internal contents of the cell from the environment, are mostly composed of lipids and membrane proteins. The latter mediate interactions between the cell and its environment, as well as between neighboring cells. Membrane proteins are involved in ion and nutrient transport, cell signal transmission, and energy conversion. Dysfunctions of membrane proteins often lead to severe diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, and heart attack, among many others. Despite membrane proteins accounting for only a third of the proteins encoded in the human genome, they are the target of about 60-70 percent of currently used drugs, making them crucial for pharmacology and medicine.

The conference coincides with the intensive school “Mechanisms of Aging and Aging-Related Diseases” featuring lectures by leading Russian, Italian, and German researchers. These lectures will review the main theories of aging, the mechanisms behind age-related diseases and bioinformatic research into them. The focus will be on the mitochondrial, telomere, and epigenetic theories of aging.

“This year we are holding the Biomembranes conference for the fourth time,” says Valentin Borshchevskiy, PhD, co-chair of the organizing committee. “As was the case before, we will be discussing the results of biological membrane research and the work done in related fields. Biomembranes 2018 is the first in a series of international conferences Virtual Human — Imaging Across Scales. The other two events will be held in Shanghai and Los Angeles.”

“A major part of the agenda is devoted to the structural methods of biomembrane research, including super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and the rapidly advancing cryoelectron microscopy and free-electron lasers,” adds Borshchevskiy, who is also deputy director of the Research Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging, MIPT. “This year we decided to emphasize practical applications, so we invited speakers from the global pharmaceutical industry.”

“In parallel with the conference, we are setting up a satellite school for students and researchers. The school will provide a short introduction into the modern science of aging and age-related diseases,” he concludes.

The conference will be attended by world-class biomembrane researchers. Among those giving talks are Raymond Stevens and Vadim Cherezov, pioneers of research into G protein-coupled receptors; Marat Yusupov, who discovered the eukaryotic ribosome structure; Ernst Bamberg, one of the founders of optogenetics; Norbert Dencher, who was the first to show fundamental aging-related changes in biochemical processes; and many other renowned scientists.

The registration deadline is Sept. 14. Students can participate for free. Some of the lectures will be broadcast online to MIPT’s community on VK.

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