Keynote 2019 – Nenad Ban

Join us in getting the insights into the exciting journey towards some of the greatest molecular biology discoveries of our time with Prof. Nenad Ban! 

Prof. Ban is a member of EMBO, the German Academy of Sciences, the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of several prizes and awards including the Otto Naegeli Prize for Medical Research, Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, Heinrich Wieland prize, Roessler prize of the ETH Zurich, the Latsis prize, the Friedrich Miescher Prize of the Swiss Society for Biochemistry, Spiridon Brusina medal and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Nenad Ban was born in Zagreb, Croatia where he received his bachelor of science degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Zagreb. He continued with his studies in the US where he obtained a PhD degree at the University of California at Riverside in the group of Alexander McPherson. His interest in large macromolecular assemblies led him for his postdoctoral work to the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University where he determined the atomic structure of the prokaryotic large ribosomal subunit by X-ray crystallography, as a part of the group in the laboratory of Thomas Steitz. His work on ribosomal structure in the Steitz lab led to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Thomas Steitz, together with Ada E. Yonath and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, in 2009.     

Since 2000 Nenad Ban is a professor of structural molecular biology at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). Nenad’s group is investigating ribosomal structure and function in all kingdoms of life. They are using a combination of crystallographic, electron microscopic and biochemical experiments, which have provided fundamental insights into the process of protein synthesis. His group has obtained detailed structural information on eukaryotic ribosomes, by determining the first complete structures of both eukaryotic ribosomal subunits each in complex with an initiation factor. Recently, his group also obtained a breakthrough in visualizing mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes with their high-resolution cryo electron microscopic study that revealed its unusual structure and the mechanism of how mitochondrial ribosomes, specialized for the synthesis of membrane proteins, are attached to the membranes. The work of his group on giant multifunctional enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis offer first mechanistic insights into substrate shuttling and delivery in such megasynthases, with direct implications for our understanding of polyketide synthases.

You can find more information about the research conducted in the Ban lab by following

PDD2019 program


Date: Thursday 6th of June 2019

08:30 Registration and poster set up
09:00 Opening and welcome – Marie Walde, MDC
09:15 Keynote lecture: “Visualising the invisible”, Prof. Nenad Ban, ETH Zürich
10:15 Session 1 – Chair: Miguel Arbesu, FMP   
10:1510:35 “Differential dynamic behavior of histone tails with in-vitro reconstituted nucleosomal arrays”, Stamatios Liokatis, Principal investigator, FMP
10:35 – 10:55 “Structural studies of mutants of the NaK channel”, Sonja Minniberger, PhD student, FMP
11:00 Parallel sessions:

  • “Success through communication: how to communicate and network impactfully through social media”, Amani Said, Beyond the labs
  • “Visual communications principles for scientific posters and presentations”, Philip Jordan
  • Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, TBA
  • CV check – Sandra Krull, Uwe Lohmeier, Stefanie Scharf, MDC Postdoc Office

12:00 Session 2 – Chair: Ying Chow, FMP
12:00 – 12:20 “Deep neural networks for interpreting RNA binding protein target preferences”, Mahsa Ghanbari, Postdoc, MDC/HU
12:20 -12:40 “A landscape of circadian and ultradian alternative splicing events in mammalian tissues”, Rukeia El-Athman, PhD sudent, Charité/FU/HU
12:40 – 14:00 Lunch & Poster Session
14:00    Session 3 – Chair: Guus Heynen, MDC
14:00 – 14:20 “Gene expression cartography”, Nikos Karaiskos, Postdoc, MDC
14:20 – 14:40 “Compartmentalisation insulates gene expression during embryogenesis”, Michael Robson, Postdoc, MPImg
14:40 – 15:00 “The translational landscape of the human heart”, Sebastiaan van Heesch, Postdoc, MDC
15:00    Coffee Break
15:30    Session 4 – Chair: Jean-Yves Tano , MDC
15:30 – 15:50 “Quantifying the Immunopeptidome with PLAtEAU”, Eliot Morrison, Postdoc, FU
15:50 – 16:10 “Image global, detect local”, Marie Walde, Postdoc, MDC
16:10 – 16:30 “Aquatic ecosystem effects of replacing large herbivorous wildlife with livestock in savanna landscapes”, Frank Masese, Postdoc, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
16:30 Closing summary – Jean-Yves Tano, MDC
17:00 Evening reception & Awards


The best talks and posters will be chosen by participants’ vote on the day.

Monetary prizes for best talks (750€, 500€, 250€).

4x travel grants (500€) for best posters.


Early bird registration: 01 April 2019.

Deadline for registration (abstract submission): 20 April 2019

Registration for participation only is still open! Hurry up, there are only a few more places left!