SPECIAL PLENARY SPEAKER
Prof. Jim Al-Khalili
University of Surrey, UK
Jim Al-Khalili FRS is a distinguished professor of physics at the University of Surrey. He received his PhD in theoretical nuclear physics in 1989 and has published widely on few-body quantum scattering methods to study nuclear structure, particularly as applied to the study of exotic nuclei. He has more recently focussed on the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum thermodynamics and quantum effects in biology. He is co-author of the 2015 book, Life on the Edge: the coming of age of quantum biology. He currently leads an international interdisciplinary research collaboration on the arrow of time in quantum mechanics. Jim is a prominent author and broadcaster and has written 15 books on popular science and the history of science, between them translated into twenty-six languages. He is a regular presenter on TV and hosts the long-running weekly BBC Radio4 programme, The Life Scientific. He is a past president of the British Science Association and a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medals, the Institute of Physics Kelvin medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication.
Speech Title: Quantum Biology: past, current and future perspectives.
Prof. Warwick Bowen
Director, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology and Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, Australia
Prof Bowen’s research focuses on the implications of quantum science on precision measurement, and applications of quantum measurement in areas ranging from quantum condensed matter physics to the biosciences. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, and Director of the Australian Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology. Prof Bowen’s research is supported by the Australian Research Council, the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Lockheed Martin, the US Army Research Office and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.
Speech Title: Quantum and quantum-limited methods for molecular imaging (provisional)
Prof. Carlos Bustamante
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Physics and Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Carlos Bustamante is a Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, Physics, and Chemistry at UC Berkeley and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, leading a laboratory dedicated to the study of the molecular machines of the cell, including not only the machinery of the Central Dogma in prokaryotes and eukaryotes (DNA Polymerases, RNA polymerases and ribosomes) but also those involved in viral packaging and the maintenance of proteostasis. We approach the study of these systems using single molecule methods such as high-resolution optical tweezers, single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, and their combination. Carlos Bustamante is a member of the National Academy of Science of the United States and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Nynke Dekker
Technical University of Delft, Netherlands
Nynke Dekker is professor of biological physics at the TU Delft (Delft, The Netherlands). Her lab has been active in the development of single-molecule techniques and in the application of these techniques to DNA- and RNA structure and DNA- and RNA-protein interactions. Within this context, her lab currently focuses on DNA- and RNA-replication, using biochemistry to reconstitute the complexes involved and using single-molecule techniques (e.g. magnetic tweezers, optical tweezers, and single-molecule fluorescence) to study their assembly and motion.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Hendrik Dietz
Department of Biosciences, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Hendrik Dietz is a physicist and researcher in the field of DNA nanotechnology. He contributed to the construction of complex nanostructures including most recently DNA motors, and improved the synthesis of DNA structures and materials through faster, more efficient, and cost-effective methods. His work has paved the way for the industrial use of synthetic DNA objects. Hendrik has also been at the forefront of numerous DNA nanotech applications, including cancer immunotherapy and new antiviral treatments. He has received several awards for his achievements, including the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, all of the European Research Council single investigator grants (Starting-, Consolidator-, and Advanced Grant) and holds multiple patents. In addition to his research, Hendrik is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to bringing his academic insights to the commercial market. Hendrik has co-founded tilibit, plectonic, and capsitec.
Speech Title: Virus traps and other molecular machines of the future
Prof. Achillefs Kapanidis
University of Oxford, Dept of Physics and Kavli Inst for Nanoscience Discovery,UK
Achilles Kapanidis studied Chemistry at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and completed his MSc in Food Chemistry and his PhD in Biological Chemistry at Rutgers University (USA). After holding research scientist positions in single-molecule biophysics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley, California) and at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), he became a senior lecturer at Oxford University, and then a Professor of Biological Physics; Prof Kapanidis has also been an ERC grant holder and is currently a Wellcome Trust Investigator. Prof Kapanidis is leading a group of physical and biological scientists (the “Gene Machines” group) which studies microbial biological machinery in gene expression, maintenance, and regulation, with a focus on gene transcription and DNA repair. The main tool of the group is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy coupled with advanced image and time-series analysis; the past few years, his group has been working on rapid and ultrasensitive detection of antibiotic resistance and pathogenic viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses. Prof Kapanidis had also been pursuing miniaturized single-molecule imaging, a project that culminated in the formation of the Oxford Nanoimaging spin-out, and for which he has shared the 2019 BBSRC Innovator of the Year award. Finally, Prof Kapanidis has been a key person for the establishment of the Oxford Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Discovery, a new interdisciplinary institute focused on using cutting-edge physical approaches to study biological mechanisms in living cells.
Speech Title: Fluorescence-based single-molecule DNA sensors
Prof. Stefan Maier
Monash University, Australia & Imperial College, UK
Professor Maier is the Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University, Melbourne, and the Lee-Lucas Chair in Experimental Physics at Imperial College London.
His group conducts a variety of fundamental and applied research in nanoplasmonics, nanophotonics, and metamaterials, ranging from unravelling light/matter interactions on the nanoscale, to the development of highly efficient optical biosensors, light harvesting nanostructures for photovoltaics, and the development of new materials and devices for photonic nanotechnology.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Martin Plenio
Institute of Theoretical Physics, Ulm University, Germany
Martin B Plenio is Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Ulm University and founding Director of the newly established Center of Quantum BioSciences. He received his Diploma (1992) and PhD (1994) at Göttingen University. Following his Fedor-Lynen Fellow at Imperial College London he received his first faculty appointment at Imperial College in 1998 and eventually rose to Full Professor there in 2003. In 2009 he took up an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship to move to Ulm University. His work covers a broad range of topics, including quantum information science, quantum effects in biological systems, quantum optics, and quantum technologies for quantum simulation and quantum sensing. Recent recognitions of his work include two consecutive ERC Synergy grants, international research prizes, the award of Research Building & Center for Quantum-BioSciences and his listing as a Highly Cited Researcher. He is co-founder of NVision Imaging Technologies.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Romain Quidant
ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Romain Quidant is a Professor at ETH Zurich and the director of the Nanophotonic Systems Laboratory (https://light.ethz.ch). His primary expertise is in the field of Nanophotonics, at the interface between Photonics and Nanotechnology. The research activities of his laboratory are highly interdisciplinary, using the unique properties of nanophotonics systems as an enabling tool to address open questions in different disciplines of science, all the way from fundamental to applied research and innovation. Quidant made pioneering contributions to different subfields of Photonics, including nanoplasmonic tweezers, thermoplasmonics, on-chip biosensing and levitation optomechanics. For his scientific achievements, he received numerous awards and recognitions, including the European Physical Society’s Fresnel Prize, the prize from the International Commission for Optics and was elected Optica (formerly OSA) Fellow.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Aleksandra Radenovic
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Prof. Aleksandra Radenovic is a full professor of biological engineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and head of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology. Her lab works in the research field that can be termed single-molecule biophysics. She has received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland.) in 2003 and a Msc. in Physics from the University of Zagreb (Croatia) in 2000. In 2010. she received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant in 2010 and SNF Backup scheme Consolidator Grant (2015). She is also the recipient of the CCMX materials challenge award in 2016 and the Advanced ERC (2020) grant. She develops techniques and methodologies based on optical imaging, bio-sensing and single-molecule manipulation with the aim to monitor the behavior of individual biological molecules and complexes in vitro and in live cells.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light Erlangen, Germany
Vahid Sandoghdar obtained his B.S. in physics from the University of California at Davis in 1987 and Ph.D. in atomic physics from Yale University in 1993. After a postdoctoral stay at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany, where he started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and quantum optics. In 2001, he took on a professorship at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011, he became director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Sandoghdar is one of the pioneers of the field of Nano-Optics, which merges various research areas to investigate the interaction between light and matter at the nanometer scale. His current research encompasses a wide range of areas such as molecular quantum photonics, plasmonics, cryogenic super-resolution microscopy and interferometric scattering (iSCAT) microscopy, with a special emphasis on controlled biophysical studies. He is the founder of the Optical Imaging Center Erlangen (OICE) and Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, a joint research center that addresses questions in fundamental medical research with physical and mathematical methods.
Speech Title: Label-free direct detection and sizing of single proteins and bioparticles
Prof. Vlatko Vedral
University of Oxford, England
Vlatko Vedral (PhD and BSc at Imperial College) is a professor of quantum information at Oxford and a Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He has published over 400 research papers on various topics in quantum physics and quantum computing and is one of the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers. He has given numerous invited plenary and public talks during his career. These include a specialised talk at a Solvay meeting (2010) and a popular one at the International Safe Scientifique (2007). He was awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2007, the World Scientific Medal and Prize in 2009, the Marko Jaric Award in 2010 and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2017 and a member of the European Academy of Sciences in 2020. He has held many visiting professorships, among which are those held at the Universities of Vienna and Belo Horizonte, the Perimeter Institute in Canada and the ISI in Turin. He is consulting the World Economic Forum on the Future of Computation. Vlatko is the author of 4 textbooks and 2 popular books (“Decoding Reality” and “From Micro to Macro”). He gives regular interviews to the media and is actively engaged in popularization of physics also by writing for New Scientist, Scientific American and major UK and overseas newspapers.
Speech Title: How to quantum entangle two living systems (Provisional)
Prof. Timo Betz
Georg August University Göttingen, Germany
Timo Betz is a biophysicist who is trying to understand how biological systems use physics in general, and mechanics in particular to perform their fascinating functions. After studying physics in Würzburg and Austin, Texas, he obtained 2007 a Ph.D. at the University of Leipzig investigating the mechanical properties of growing neurons. During his Postdoc period at the Institute Curie in Paris, he was supported with an EMBO and Marie Curie Fellowship to study biomimetic systems and active cell mechanics. In 2011 he obtained a CNRS position at the Institut Curie where he developed new tools to quantify active forces and cell mechanics in single cells and model tumor tissue. After returning back to Germany, he first obtained 2016 a Professorship in Münster and moved more recently (2020) to Göttingen. Currently, he studies not only intracellular mechanics but also how single cells can generate the forces to shape tissue in the context of muscle, cancer and even development.
Speech Title: Onsager regression characterizes living systems by nanometer precise tracking of intracellular fluctuations
Dr. Francesco De Angelis
Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
Dr Francesco De Angelis, is a tenured senior researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology, Italy, where he leads the Plasmon Nanotechnologies Unit. His main expertise relies on the design and fabrication of nanostructures for optics and electronics applied to molecular sensing with special emphasis on bio-molecules and living tissues. His main interest devoted to nanostructured interfaces between opto-electronic sensors and living neurons. In this regard, he developed innovative approaches for monitoring electrical activities in human cells and for assessing the effects of drugs on human brain and human heart. Also, he coordinates various european actions with a focus on protein sensing by means of Raman Spectroscopy and plasmonic devices. Currently the research unit is composed of about 20 people. Among them, physicists, chemists, biotechnologists, pharmacologists and engineers collaborate in a very multi-disciplinary research group that aims to develop multi-omic approaches for controlling biological systems at the nanoscale and for developing new ways for proteins identification.
Speech Title: Plasmonic Solid-state Nanopores: Toward Single-molecule Protein Identification
Prof. Massimiliano Esposito
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Professor Massimiliano Esposito is a theoretical physicist specializing in statistical physics and the study of complex systems. His research focuses on energy and information processing in open systems ranging from mesoscopic quantum systems to chemical reaction networks. He obtained his PhD in 2004 at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium. After two postdocs in California at UC Irvine and UC San Diego, he came back as a contract researcher for two years at ULB. In 2012 he was awarded a five year Attract Fellowship by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg to start his own research group “Complex Systems and Statistical Mechanics” in the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit at the University of Luxembourg. In 2016 he became Professor of Theoretical Physics and was awarded a five years Consolidator Grant (NanoThermo) by the European Research Council.
Speech Title: Maxwell demons from physics to biology (Provisional)
Dr. Eugene Kim
Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Dr. Eugene Kim is a research group leader at Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Germany. She has received her Ph.D. in Physics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen in 2017. Afterwards, she worked as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research fellow at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. She recently received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Her research interest is to understand the basic principles of the formation and regulation of the 3D structures of chromosomes. Her group uses single-molecule imaging and electron microscopy techniques to gain molecular understanding of how chromosomes are folded and twisted, and how these intricate topology affect cellular functions.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Gabriel Gomila Lluch
Nanoscale Bioelectrical Characterization group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and Department of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Gabriel Gomila has got a PhD in Physics from the University of Barcelona (1997) with a thesis based on the theoretical modelling of electron transport at semiconductor interfaces. Later on, he was post-doctoral researcher at three different universities in Italy, France and Spain where he specialized in the theoretical modelling of nanoescale electronic devices. In 2001 he moved to the Department of Electronics at the University of Barcelona thanks to a Ramon y Cajal fellowship, where he expanded his research interests towards the merge of electronics and biological fields, thus focusing on microsystems for biological applications on-a-chip and on Atomic Force Microscopy for the electrical study of biological samples. In 2005 he became Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona and in 2008 Group Leader at IBEC, and in 2014 he was awarded with the ICREA Academia prize, which recognizes and promotes the research excellence of the university staff of Catalonia. Since 2017 he is Full Professor at the Department of Electronics of the University of Barcelona. His current research interests are centred on the understanding of the bioelectrical phenomena at the nanoscale. He combines research activities with teaching on Nanobiotechnology, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Bioelectricity and Nanomedicine at the University of Barcelona.
Speech Title: Conduction properties of bacterial nanowires probed by Scanning Dielectric Microscopy
Prof. Peter Maurer
University of Chicago, USA
Prof. Peter Maurer’s lab at the University of Chicago investigates new quantum sensing techniques and their application to probe physical properties of biological processes with nanoscale resolution. The scientific challenges that his lab addresses fall roughly into two distinct yet synergetic areas: (1) What are the sensitivity limits of nanoscale quantum sensors in a noisy environment and can we engineer qubit sensors and sensing protocols that overcome these limitations? (2) How can we interface these qubit sensors with biological systems and what are the specific biological questions that we can address with quantum sensing?
Speech Title: Interfacing coherent qubits with biological targets
Prof. Francisco Monroy
Complutense University of Madrid, Hospital Univ. 12 de Octubre, Spain
Full Professor of Physical Chemistry in Complutense University of Madrid, and Director of Translational Biophysics at Biomedical Research institute Hospital Doce de Octubre. PhD Physics with a thesis in soft matter hydrodynamics. Postdoctoral carrier in CNRS, Université Paris Sud (D. Langevin) and Imperial College working in soft matter physics and experimental biophysics. Fulbright scholar for Howard Hughes Medical Institute at University of California at Berkeley (sabbatical in 2018), where I became recycled in optical tweezing at Bustamante Lab.
Speech Title: Stochastic microscopy of living cells: towards a thermodynamic theory of biological performance (provisional)
Prof. Lene Oddershede
Senior Vice President, Nat-Tech, Novo Nordisk Foundation
Lene joined the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2019 to lead activities in the Nat-Tech area covering the natural- and technical sciences with special focus on interdisciplinary research. She has a background as a Professor of physics, Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) at Copenhagen University (~20 years). Lene is a physicist, trained also in mathematics. She is an experimentalist and at the Niels Bohr Institute she constructed the first optical tweezers manipulation facility in Scandinavia – the importance of this technology being recognized by the Nobel Prize in 2018. A key expertise of Lene is to establish, perform and lead research at the vibrant interdisciplinary interface between physics, biology, and medicine. She is expert on physics of living matter, from the level of the single molecule to the level of the full organism. She is a pioneer in exploring and understanding the interaction between nanoparticles, light and living matter and invented a novel cancer therapy based on plasmonic nanoparticles. In particular, she is an expert in the interphase between quantum and the life sciences and is key designer of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme and of the NNF Quantum Foundry.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Erik Schäffer
University of Tübingen, Germany
Dr. Erik Schäffer is a full professor of Cellular Nanoscience at the University of Tübingen, Germany since 2012. He studied physics at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, where he received his M.S. degree in 1997. His doctoral studies were in polymer physics and chemistry at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (1998-2001). He switched to biology for his postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany (2002-2006). There he built his first optical tweezers to study molecular motors. In 2007, he received an Emmy Noether award to establish an independent research group at the Technical University Dresden. In 2010, he was awarded with an ERC Starting Grant and, in 2016, with a prize for bold science from the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Currently, his research in biophysics focuses on developing and applying single-molecule fluorescence and force microscopy techniques – high-resolution optical tweezers and novel trapping probes – to understand how molecular machines, such as kinesin transport motors and DNA repair proteins, work mechanically to fulfill their cellular function.
Speech Title: Coming soon
Prof. Giovanni Volpe
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Giovanni Volpe is Professor at the Physics Department at the University of Gothenburg (Gothenburg, Sweden), where he has been leading the Soft Matter Lab since 2016. He has established a strong research group of 18 people (3 postdocs, 12 PhD students, 3 Master students, http://www.
Speech Title: Coming soon