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20.01.2017 10:28 Von: T Proikas-Cezanne and S Danes

The History of Autophagy - Tübingen Workshop

Historical Overview - Co-organisers from the IMPRS

Autophagy experts and enthusiasts from across Europe gathered in Tübingen for a three-day workshop during December 14 - 16, 2016.


The workshop was organized and hosted primarily by three doctoral candidates from the group of Professor Tassula Proikas-Cezanne: Theresia Zuleger plus IMPRS members Amelie Müller and Zsuzsanna Takacs. The team put together a mixed programme of talks from ten invited speakers, short talks and posters from early-stage researchers, all taking place at the Interfaculty Institute of Cell Biology, University of Tübingen. Guests also had a chance to visit the “Schlosslabor”, site of the first isolation of DNA by Friedrich Miescher at Tübingen castle.


This workshop offered for the first time an historical overview of discoveries in the field of autophagy, dating back to the 1970s (Ulrich Pfeifer, Bonn, Germany), the 1980s to 1990s (Alfred Meijer, Amsterdam; Erwin Knecht, Valencia; Patrice Codogno, Paris) and 2000 onwards (Sharon Tooze, London; Eeva-Liisa Eskelinen, Helsinki; Fulvio Reggiori, Groningen; Patricia Boya, Madrid; Anne Simonsen, Oslo; Tassula Proikas-Cezanne, Tübingen; Nick Ktistakis, Cambridge, UK). All speakers further covered their recent research. A keynote lecture on the discovery of yeast autophagy related (ATG) genes was given by Michael Thumm from Göttingen, Germany, who identified yeast ATG genes in the early 1990s.


Uniquely, the main speakers also included biographical aspects of their personal career path in their talks, which was exceptionally interesting to early-stage researchers and students.


The workshop was held under the auspices of the new German-wide Autophagy Network: Studiengruppe Autophagie, a subgroup of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM). As speaker for this group, Tassula Proikas-Cezanne is taking a leading role in promoting autophagy research in Germany.


Pictured: Amelie Müller, IMPRS predoctoral student, welcomes the workshop participants.
Photo credit: Damaris Mayer, Studiengruppe Autophagie.
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