Program Scientific Symposium

June 25, 2019 // Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden

8 AMAdmission
9 AMOfficial Start
Welcoming address

Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler
President of the Helmholtz Association


Andrej Babiš
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon
President of the European Research Council


9.30 AM

Research Field: Health

Prof. Dr. Esther Troost

Technical University Dresden / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Prof. Dr. Josef A. Käs
Keynote: Unjamming of cancer cells: Why do solid tumors contain soft cells?
University of Leipzig

Cancer research concentrates on the genetic and molecular level of individual cells. My research focuses on the collective behavior of cancer cells. When is a cancer cell jammed or when can it overcome the yield stress to actively move in a dense microenvironment such as the tissues of the human body? The basic idea within the concept of Physics of Cancer is that changes in a cancer cell’s material properties determine its metastatic potential. My research proves that unjamming transitions are key to tumor progression. My results may guide surgeons concerning the local spreading of cancer and permit to use magnetic resonance imaging elastography as an individual predictive marker for metastasis.

Prof. Dr. Frank Buchholz
Efficient and safe genome surgery
Technical University Dresden

Many human diseases are caused by mutations in the genome. Recent breakthroughs in the field of genome editing provide a genuine opportunity to establish innovative gene and cell therapy approaches to alter or repair these mutations. I will report on our efforts to employ latest generation genome editing tools, such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system and engineered recombinases, to develop novel therapies for so far incurable diseases.

Prof. Dr. Magdalena Król
The Macrophage-Drug Conjugate (MDC) as a „Trojan horse” approach in cancer therapy
Warsaw University of Life Sciences, PL

Unsatisfactory response of tumors to chemotherapy is mainly related to impaired diffusion of the anticancer drug because of decreased drug uptake due to poor vasculature. Moreover, the drug is not able to penetrate the most hypoxic sites. Cells from these ‘untreated’ sites are responsible for relapse and metastasis. However, these avascular regions attract macrophages that migrate even to areas far away from blood vessels. Therefore, they might constitute a unique delivery system of drug containing particles to these parts of the tumor mass. A promising example of such particles that could be used are ferritins, whose caged architecture allows for efficient drug encapsulation and whose uptake from macrophage cells has been well demonstrated. Macrophages are also able to specifically and actively transfer these taken up ferritins (loaded with the anticancer drugs) to cancer cells. This is the new mechanisms discovered by our team and named TRAIN (TRAnsfer of Iron-binding proteiN). Thus, there is a possibility to use macrophages to deliver ferritin encapsulated compounds directly to the tumor cells (MDC technology – Macrophage-Drug Conjugate). This is a completely new and modern approach to anticancer therapy and drug delivery. As such we expect to be able to precisely administer drugs to the tumor site (even to the hypoxic regions), decreasing side effects of anticancer therapy.

Prof. Dr. Vojtech Adam
Towards the understanding of a metal-tumor-metabolism
Mendel University Brno / Brno University of Technology

A tumor cell uses both genetic and protein weapons in its development. Gaining a greater understanding of these lethal mechanisms is a key step towards developing novel and more effective treatments. Because the metal ion metabolism of a tumor cell is not fully understood, we will address the challenge of explaining the mechanisms of how a tumor cell copes both with essential metal ions and platinum based drugs. To achieve this goal, we will focus on metallothionein, “multi-tasking” proteins, having protective as well as supporting roles for a tumor growth and development.


11.15 AM

Research Field: Materials science

Prof. Dr. Roland Sauerbrey

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Voit
Keynote: Recent developments in polymer research
Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden

Polymer Science as part of material science is in a disruptive phase. No longer production intensification of commodity polymers and reducing the product portfolio is in the focus. In contrast, the development of specialized high performance and functional polymeric materials designed for high-tech application and for addressing major global challenges like energy consumption and growing and aging society dominate. Special emphasize is on the integration of functions into polymeric materials and systems, whereas sustainability and material data science provide guidelines for more effective material development. Examples will be given for recent developments in functional and dynamic polymeric materials.

Dr. Denys Makarov
Application of Magnetism on Curved Surfaces
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Extending 2D structures into 3D space has become a general trend in multiple disciplines, including electronics, photonics, plasmonics and magnetics. This approach provides means to modify conventional or to launch novel functionalities by tailoring curvature and 3D shape. We study 3D curved magnetic thin films where new fundamental effects emerge from the interplay of the geometry of an object and topology of a magnetic sub-system. On the other hand, we explore the application potential of these 3D magnetic architectures for the realization of mechanically shapeable magnetoelectronics for automotive but also virtual and augmented reality appliances.

Prof. Dr. Jana Kalbáčová Vejpravová
Trans-spin nanoarchitectures: From birth to functionalities in magnetic field
Charles University Prague

The interplay of the magnetism and chirality give rise to plethora of exciting phenomena across physics, chemistry and biology. First I will set up lightly a general picture of spin phenomenon from quantum to classical point of view. Then I will review the magneto-chiral effect within the domain of two-dimensional condensed matter physics and face it to enantioselective chemistry and homochirality of living organisms. Finally I will demonstrate how we can profit from smart use of magnetic fields and cross-breeding of diverse spin entities in important areas of our life such as biomedicine, nanoelectronics and artificial intelligence.


1.45 PM

Research Field: Environment

Prof. Dr. Georg Teutsch

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Vojtech Novotny
Keynote: Scientific and societal goals for global studies of forest ecosystems
Czech Academy of Sciences – Institute of Biology

This talk outlines the state of the art and future directions of forest science. Forests comprise a majority of biodiversity while providing key ecosystem services. They can be extraordinarily complex and thus difficult to study. We need to understand mechanisms of the assembly and persistence of various forest ecosystems, as well as their response to disturbance, fragmentation and climate change. This response will determine the status of forests in 21st century. The challenges of forest ecology are scientific and societal, particularly along the North – South gradient of increasing urgency for ecological studies that covariates with decreasing financial and intellectual resources.

Dr. Luis Samaniego
Heatwaves and Droughts in Europe: Past, Present and Future
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig

Europe and Germany, in particular, have endured large scale drought-heatwave events during the recent past (e.g., 2003, 2015, 2018) that have induced enormous socio-economic losses. Due to climate change, it is expected that the enhancement between heatwaves and droughts will intensify in the future. This phenomenon will have serious consequences for the society and the ecosystems. For example, in extreme drought situations, ecosystems will be transformed from net carbon sinks to net carbon sources while the extreme heat and drought conditions will induce societal impacts that will be critical for the human health, food security and energy generation. In this talk, based on unprecedented multi-model hydro-meteorological simulations, we present a comprehensive overview of the drought-heatwave evolution in Europe since pre-industrial times until the end of this century. Being able to better understand and predict these hazards will allow us mitigating their impacts in the Future.

Dr. Sahra Talamo
RESOLUTION: the drama between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig

It is proven that Neanderthals lived in Europe for more than 200,000 years, and that they disappeared around 37,000 cal BP (calendar years Before Present). It is proven that Modern humans invaded Europe, met our closest relatives and shared with them the same territories, part of their time, and genes. What remains unknown to a substantial degree is: to what extent late Neanderthals innovations were influenced by incoming Modern humans, how frequently one group encountered the other, and the region by region timing of the spread of Modern humans and the demise of Neanderthals. Solving this conundrum is a crucial issue in Human Evolution and chronology plays a pivotal role, with radiocarbon representing the backbone of chronological reconstructions for the time up to 50,000 years ago.

Dr. Péter Szabó
Long-term woodland dynamics in Central Europe
Czech Academy of Sciences – Institute of Botany

Why study the past dynamics of woodland vegetation? Simply put, because all processes in nature have a historical trajectory. One cannot comprehend the present and influence the future of the environment without a solid understanding of its past. European forests have been coevolving with human societies for millennia, therefore their research requires cooperation across the sciences-humanities divide. I will use Czech and international examples to illustrate the challenges and current trends of such research, especially the use of large datasets, in an effort to provide useful knowledge for our future in the Anthropocene.


3.30 PM

Research Field: Data and Information

Prof. Dr. Leszek Pacholski

Wroclaw University

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fettweis
Keynote: 5G Opportunities – and our path towards 6G
Technical University Dresden

As we see 5G unfold, expectations on the economic and societal impact are very high. Besides Gb/s data rates, the Tactile Internet is the most highlighted promise of 5G, enabling VR and remote-control applications over cellular. We shall review opportunities and detect missing pieces. 1G created the vision of ubiquitous telephony, but we needed 2G to deliver. 3G promised ubiquitous cellular data, but we needed 4G to deliver. 5G is an infliction point in bringing cellular to new applications. However, do we need to first experience 5G to understand what it should have been, and need 6G as a fix?

Prof. Dr. Gerd Kempermann
Can we run away from dementias? How lifestyle dependent risk and resilience are linked.
Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden

For years, clinical studies to introduce treatments for Alzheimer disease (and other dementias) have failed. At the same time, within age cohorts, there is good evidence that the prevalance of Alzheimer's disease has been actually decreasing for decades. It has been estimated that about one third of the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is modifiable. Together both lines of evidence suggest that lifestyle factors have considerable potential to further reduce the burden of Alzheimer’s disease. The question is, what can and should the individual actually do?

Prof. Dr. Stefan Dziembowski
Blockchain technology --- hype vs. reality
University of Warsaw

“Blockchain technology”, introduced around a decade ago together with a virtual currency called Bitcoin, is a popular buzzword that appears regularly in the media. It is commonly advertised as a breakthrough discovery that will transform several areas of the economy. In this talk I will present my stance on this issue. The talk will start with a brief introduction to this topic. Then, I will discuss potential applications on the blockchain technology. I will focus on what is interesting from the scientific point of view, and on identifying problems where more research is needed.


5 PMInformal get-together