The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) and the University of Strasbourg (UNISTRA) organized an international symposium that allowed participants worldwide to learn from established scientists with an outstanding record of cross-disciplinary collaborations. Participants were encouraged to share their own experiences about working across disciplines. The symposium aimed to document a set of proven strategies for nucleating and sustaining interdisciplinary collaborations.

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
  • Rémi Barillon, Vice Chairperson Research, Doctoral Training and Open Science, UNISTRA
  • Pavel Kabat, Secretary General, HFSP

Invited Tandem Talks
Chair: Guntram Bauer, HFSP
14:00 "Physics and biology in the early fly embryo" by Eric Wieschaus (Princeton University, USA) and Bill Bialek (Princeton University, USA)

Musical Break
Chair: Daniel Riveline, UNISTRA
14:45 Duo Cello/Violin: Nicolas Hugon and Charlotte Juillard (Orquestre Philarmonique de Strasbourg)


Invited Tandem Talks
Chair: Mukund Thattai, NCBS
16:00 "Organising molecules in space using phase separation" by T. Hyman (MPI-CBG, GER) and F. Jülicher (MPI-PKS, GER)
16:45 "Towards life in a jar" by Shashi Thutupalli (NCBS, IND) and Zorana Zeravic (ESPCI, FRA)

Social Evening
18:00 Official reception by HFSP, Strasbourg City and Eurometropole - Hotel de Ville, 9 Rue Brûlée, Strasbourg

TUESDAY, 14 MAY 2024
Invited Tandem Talks
Chair: Karsten Kruse
8:00 "From the origins of life to life in the lab" by Claudia Bonfio (UNISTRA, FRA) and Kerstin Göpferich (ZMBH, GER)
8:45 "Biophysical interactions in infectious disease" by Rhoda Hawkins( AIMS, GHANA) and Simon Johnston (Sheffield University, UK)
9:30 "Control and Causality in Living Systems" by Mukund Thattai (NCBS, IND) and Arnab Bhattacharyya (NUS, Singapore)


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

Selected Tandem Talks
Chair: Daniel Riveline, UNISTRA
11:30 Introduction to pre-selection and common presentations
11:45 *FF. Voigt/ML. Meretskan ML: Metasurface-enabled bioimaging

12.15 LUNCH

13.15 Poster Session I

Selected Tandem Talks
Chair: Mukund Thattai, NCBS
14:30 T. Das /D. Bi: The mechanical basis of epithelial defense against cancer: Elucidating the role of cell and nuclear mechanics in the competition between normal and cancer cells
15:00 M. Baker/A. Nord: High-throughput characterisation of engineered stator proteins to examine the basis of mechanosensing in the bacterial flagellar motor.
15:30 *I. Schapiro/M. Kosloff: UV opsin as the sensor for magneto-sensation in animals.


Selected Tandem Talks
Chair: Karsten Kruse
16:30 *MS Hutson/A. Page-McCaw : To fuse or not to fuse: the biophysics of wound-induced cell fusion
17:00 *E. Katifori/ AJM Cornelissen: Flow propulsion in the gastrovascular system of the jellyfish
17.30 *V. Mane/ C. LeGloanec: Unfolding how robust organ shape and flatness emerges in plant embryonic leaves

Selected Tandem Talks
Chair: Mukund Thattai, NCBS
8:30 *MN Dean/S. Hanna : Sharkitectural solutions to multi-scale filter design: Basking shark feeding as a communication space for biology and architecture research

Poster Flash Talks
Chair: Karsten Kruse
*J. Fuentes: Morphogenesis as a Ricci Flow
*K. N Ikeda: Submicron sculpting of bristles by microvilli
*J. Christodoulou: The ribosome lowers the entropic barrier of protein folding
L. Hanlon: Quantum microscopy of neuron electric signals
*B. Bechinger: Mechanism of action and lipid-mediated synergistic interactions of antimicrobial peptides: New regulatory options for membrane proteins?
*S. Tidau: What makes marine systems tick? The role of time in marine ecosystems: Towards an integrated understanding of biological and ecological rhythms in marine ecosystems

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

Poster Flash Talks
Chair: Daniel Riveline
*J. Seelig: Comparison of biological and artificial learning circuits
*KL Bowal: Agent based modelling of collective behaviours
*V. Raffa: Force-induced microtubule stabilization induces axon growth by coordinating a cellular response at the epigenetic, transcriptional, and translational level. 
*R. Grosse: Formin-mediated nuclear actin assembly at androgen receptors promotes transcriptional droplet formation
*D.Bhatia: DNA nanotechnology tools for stem cells bioengineering, regenerative therapeutics
LE Wiebke: Maximizing encounters between T Cells and Antigen-Presenting Cells in the lymph node

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
  • Catherine Florenz, Vice Chairperson Strategies and Developments, UNISTRA
  • Guntram Bauer, Chief Scientific Officer, HFSP

Afternoon: Departure of participants

*Presentation taking part in the competition for the  Sabbatical at the UNISTRA Centre for Collaborative Research.


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.