The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) and the University of Strasbourg (UNISTRA) will organize an international symposium to mark the launch of two new initiatives:

> The new “HFSP Frontier Workshop” series to engage with leading scientists and decision-makers in science and policy to enhance cross-disciplinary research;

> The new “Centre for Frontier Science” on the campus of the University of Strasbourg fosters the exchange, training, and collaboration of young scientists across disciplinary boundaries that link biology with other research fields.

This International Symposium will allow participants worldwide to learn from established scientists with an outstanding record of cross-disciplinary collaborations. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences about working across disciplines. The symposium aims to document a set of proven strategies for nucleating and sustaining interdisciplinary collaborations.

Call for Abstracts

Abstract Submission Deadline

15 March 2024

The symposium will be organized in tandem talks. Researchers are encouraged to submit their research in pairs, introducing the work both researchers developed in collaboration. For researchers who seek a tandem partner, they should submit the abstract individually. The selection committee will then match the duos for the talks in tandem.

Application procedure

The application will follow a two-step procedure.
1. A research abstract must be submitted by the 15th of March (both for duo and individual research).
A scientific committee will select projects for presentation at the inaugural symposium at the least by the end of March.

All the abstracts submitted that are not selected for a tandem talk will be offered the possibility of being presented as a poster.
2. Selected applicants should submit a document with a maximum of 4 pages covering the following points:
  • Questions to be addressed.
  • Motivation for how the proposed work would impact the life sciences.
  • A justification for why the project requires interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Personal experience related to the proposed work.
Overall, we ask that the proposed partnership be outlined as explicitly as possible, with solid arguments to explain scientific synergies.
Possible types of collaborations:

  • Participants in existing collaborations who could present joint applications to crystallize interactions away from their current research.
  • Individual scientists with a well formulated scientific question not solvable without contribution from another discipline. They would be searching for scientists at the interfaces, and the Centre would help realize this meet-and-match.
Applications will be shortlisted by the selection committee with broad representation across life science, physics, mathematics, and other fields. They will shortlist proposals (researcher pairs) who will be invited to present their ideas at the inaugural symposium.

Special emphasis will be placed on the following aspects of the proposal:
  • Originality
  • Difference from the applicants’ current research
  • Building on past scientific directions
  • Degree and necessity for the collaboration with the other field, and mutual benefits for each researcher.

Abstract Submission

Applications should be submitted through the following platforms:
Any inquiries should be sent via email to

Invited Speakers

Eight tandems of invited speakers, comprising brilliant researchers from across the globe, will share their experience of interdisciplinary collaboration and offer insights on how to push the boundaries of future research.


MONDAY, 13 MAY 2024
11:00 Registration
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Opening and Welcome: UNISTRA, HFSPO

Invited Tandem Talks
14.00  Eric Wieschaus (Princeton University, USA)/Bill Bialek (Princeton University, USA)

Musical Break
14.45 Duo Cello/Violin: Nicolas Hugon and Charlotte Juillard (Orquestre Philarmonique de Strasbourg)


Invited Tandem Talks
16.00 T. Hyman (MPI-CBG, GER)/F. Jülicher (MPI-PKS, GER)
16.45 "Towards life in a jar" by Shashi Thutupalli (NCBS, IND)/Zorana Zeravic (ESPCI, FRA)

Social Evening
17h30: Walk to Old Town Hall
18.00 Official reception by HFSP, Strasbourg City and  Eurometropole - Hotel de Ville, 9 Rue Brûlée, Strasbourg

TUESDAY, 14 MAY 2024
Invited Tandem Talks
8.00 Claudia Bonfio (UNISTRA, FRA)/Kerstin Göpferich (ZMBH, GER)
8.45 "Biophysical interactions in infectious disease" by Rhoda Hawkins( AIMS, GHANA) /Simon Johnston (Sheffield University, UK)
9.30 "Control and Causality in Living Systems" by
Mukund Thattai (NCBS, IND)/Arnab Bhattacharyya (NUS, Singapore)


10:45 "Light-Harvesting in Green Sulfur Bacteria: Experiment Meets Theory" by Donatas Zigmantas (Lund University, SWE)/Thomas Renger (University of Linz, AUT)

Tandem Talks
11.30 Introduction to pre-selection and common presentations
11:45-12:15 Selected Tandem Talks (20min+10min discussion) - final program TBC

12.15 LUNCH

13.15 Poster Session I

14:30-16:00 Selected Tandem Talks (20min+10min discussion) - final program TBC


16:30-18:00 Selected Tandem Talks (20min+10min discussion) - final program TBC

8:30-9:00 Selected Tandem Talks (20min+10min discussion) - final program TBC

9:00-10:00 Poster Flash Talks - Selected Presentations from individual scientists (5min/2slides) - final program TBC

10.00 Extended COFFEE BREAK for additional poster session (II) and match-making opportunity with participants

11:00 Poster Flash Talks - Selected Presentations from individual scientists (5min/2slides) - final program TBC

11.50 Statement by Organizers/UNISTRA on final procedures for UNISTRA Centre for Collaborative Research

12:00 Extended LUNCH BREAK for additional poster session (III) and match-making opportunity with participants

14:30 Closing session

15:00 Departure of participants


Registration Deadline

30 April 2024

Regular participants


PhD Students

In person, symposium registration fee includes the following:
  • Attendance at all sessions in the Program
  • Coffee breaks and lunches during the Symposium
  • Welcome reception for in person attendance delegates
  • Conference dinner

  • Registration fees do not include accommodation, visa costs, or airport transfers.
  • Registration can only be confirmed once payment is received.
  • For any registration queries, please get in touch with the registration manager: Liliana Gonçalves at

Payment Details

Payment can be made by credit card.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations received until 29 of April will qualify for a refund, subject to a 10,00€ cancellation charge:

  • Cancellations made before 30 days of the conference are eligible for a full refund,  (date: 13 April)
  • Cancellations made within 30-14 days of the conference are eligible for a 50% payment refund (date: 29 April)
  • Cancellations made within 14 days of the conference are not eligible for a refund.
To cancel your participation and ask for a refund please visit your personal page and follow the instructions.

Note: The organizers will not be responsible for identifying funds if the delegate’s details or billing reference information are not mentioned. The payment for refunds may take some days to be visible in your bank account.