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EMBL Australia, learning, growing, networking
Dear <<First Name>>

This year’s EMBL Australia PhD course at the Harry Perkins Institute, attended by 59 of our PhD students, was met with much excitement and proved to be a triumph once again. 

The course was a highlight of the EMBL Australia calendar, for students and presenters alike. It was the ideal platform for our PhD students to network, learn new techniques, and expand their scientific knowledge. This year’s guest speakers were extraordinary, motivating the students to think more laterally and encouraging them to consider how their scientific research fits in globally. We attracted an amazing contingent of well known presenters, both locally and from overseas. We are all truly grateful for their time and knowledge which was made available to our students and for their ongoing enthusiastic support of EMBL in such an intimate setting. It was inspiring to see how much our students grasped the opportunities created for them at the course, and to watch them interact with their peers and share insights and knowledge with such vitality. Many students commented on how they had identified opportunities for collaboration – the perfect outcome!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers for committing their time, their stimulating presentations and for inspiring our students and making this year’s course such a success. Thank you to the organising committee, Dr Archa Fox, Dr Louise Winteringham, Dr Joshua Mylne, Ms Rosie Goldup, Ms Meredith Eddington and the Harry Perkins Institute for warmly hosting this year’s successful course.

Plans are already underway for the 2016 course. We’ll keep you posted.

Best wishes,
Professor Nadia Rosenthal
Scientific Head, EMBL Australia
Please note that all replies to this newsletter go to If you wish to email me directly, my address is 

In this month's newsletter:

EMBL Europe, EI3POD Postdoctoral programme – now open to EMBL Australia

For the first time, EMBL Australia is able to promote an opportunity for post doctoral fellows to be linked with an EMBL Europe activity.

About the programme: To help EI3POD fellows plan for their future, the EI3POD programme builds upon the original EIPOD programme at EMBL, which funds postdoctoral positions shared between two or more labs involved in a joint project. EIPOD projects should bring together scientific fields that are usually separate, or transfer techniques to new usage. The new programme in Europe comes with a training curriculum targeting non-scientific researcher skills and offering dedicated career development support. Training will cover subjects such as intellectual property and entrepreneurship in the life sciences, as well as modules on research ethics, outreach and public engagement, and the gender dimension in research and science. The three module training programme is designed to reflect the wide range of career opportunities open to fellows.

The EI3POD scheme offers, in addition to the interdisciplinary intra-EMBL component, two further choices: international mobility involving research institutions around the world, and exposure to the commercial sector either by connecting with industrial collaboration partners or by the postdocs taking an active role in commercialising technologies invented in and with their host labs. The programme is also highly flexible, which means industrial and external academic partners can be brought into a project at any stage. 

EMBL Australia can participate as additional partners on EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdocs (EI3POD) projects, joining two EMBL research groups as co-ordinator and first partner laboratory. The EI3POD will be based at EMBL but may spend up to 9 months during the 3 year fellowship at an EMBL Australia laboratory.

The EI3POD grant runs from 2015 until 2020 offering 20 fully funded three-year positions per year with intakes in 2015, 16 and 17. 

To find out more about the EI3POD programme and to apply, please visit the website.

FAQ sheet for applicants available here:

New EMBL Australia Group leader,
Dr Yann Gambin joins EMBL Australia, (UNSW)

A headshot of Dr Yann GambinDr Yann Gambin has been appointed Group Leader at the NSW node of EMBL Australia. Yann is originally from France, but has come to us from the University of Queensland (Institute Molecular Biosciences) and University of California, San Diego (Centre Theoretical Biological Physics). 

“My goal has always been to be an EMBL Research Group Leader”, he says.

Yann’s current research has been targeted at accelerating the 
discovery of protein-protein interactions at single-molecule level: high-throughput mapping of protein-protein interaction networks involved in gene regulation, innate immunity and neurodegeneration. Yann will continue working in these three separate fields. University of New South Wales logo

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Yann and his group to the EMBL Australia network. 

Two Group Leaders from EMBL Monterotondo, Italy, visit EMBL Australia

Headshot of Dr Cornelius GrossWe were privileged to have Dr Cornelius Gross attend the recent PhD course in Perth, where he delivered seminars in neurobiology and RNA regulation. He gave two stimulating presentations on his research, “Gardeners of the brain: how microglia prune synapses during development” and “Primal threats: the neural circuity of social and predator fear”. Cornelius visited the EMBL Australia, Victorian Node (at ARMI/Monash) where he also gave a seminar. 
A headshot of Dr Donal O'CarrollWe were honoured to have Dr Donal O’Carroll attend the recent PhD course in Perth. Donal shared his exciting work in RNA function in germ and stem cell biology and gave a dynamic presentation entitled “Cell programming In-Focus: Understanding spermatogonial stem cell dynamics in homeostasis and regeneration”. Grazie to Cornelius and Donal for taking the time to come to Australia and for your exciting presentations.

Dr Andrew Lonie, Interim Director, Bioinformatics Resource EMBL Australia (BRAEMBL) visits EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, UK

Dr Andrew Lonie, Interim Director of BRAEMBL, has been in Europe the past few weeks visiting various institutions and attending high level meetings. He has established a number of important contacts to further strengthen and build our relationships in major emerging and maturing EU and international initiatives around bioinformatics, training, infrastructure, data and tools.

Headshot of Dr Andrew LonieAndrew met with eight senior team leaders at the European Bioinformatics group (EBI), as well as the Director of ELIXIR, Dr Niklas Blomberg. Most of the discussions with team leaders from Europe circled back to ELIXIR, a whole-of-Europe initiative to consolidate life sciences research data, infrastructure and training. BRAEMBL closely resembles existing national agencies in European countries comparable to Australia, such as, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, all of which are ELIXIR nodes. ELIXIR has a €20M EU grant for a number of programmes around training, standards and common infrastructure.

The meeting was a great success with BRAEMBL being invited by ELIXIR to participate in the next round of ELIXIR meetings in March 2016 as ‘observers’. Dr Blomberg has offered to come out and talk to various agencies and infrastructure entities in Australia later this year.

Following Andrew’s visit to EBI, he attended the Galaxy Community Conference where Andrew’s team delivered a workshop on human variant detection based on the Genomics Virtual Laboratory (GVL) ( Andrew himself presented on the Galaxy feature of the GVL and co-convened the Galaxy Training Network meeting. His team participated in a two-day hackathon with the global Galaxy community.

Finally Andrew and his team travelled to Dublin and presented at the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference and the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology Conference. 

Well done Andrew on a very intense and successful trip. We look forward to hearing more about it.

ABACBS Conference 2015, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney NSW

(10-11 October, 2015)
A call for abstracts has been made for the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Association (ABACBS) Conference. Closing date for submission is 14 August.

For more information:

Reminder - Applications Open for Travel Grants for the 17th EMBL (Heidelberg) PhD Symposium

(22-24 October, 2015)

EMBL Australia will be supporting ten Australian students to attend the 17th EMBL PhD symposium at EMBL-Heidelberg. Proposals are now being called for students wishing to apply for a travel grant to attend the symposium. Grants are open to students from almost any field who are currently enrolled in a PhD program at an Australian University and have not yet submitted a thesis. 

The symposium grants opened on 1 June and close 3 August 2015. Applications are online

Abstract submission deadline: 21 August; Early bird registration closes 5 July 2015.

For more information about the symposium and symposium program please visit:

EMBL Australia Student Symposium
Bio21 Institute, Melbourne

(25-27 November, 2015)

The theme for this year’s student symposium is “Completing the Pipeline: From Biology to Bioinformatics and Back Again”. The student symposium is open to all students from all disciplines associated with EMBL Australia. The EMBL Australia symposium is organised by EMBL Australia postgraduate students, and will be held at the Bio21 Institute in Melbourne in November. Registration is now open.

This year’s organising committee are:

Co-chairs: Anton Kalsbeek (Garvan) and Andrew Lonsdale (University of Melbourne)

Co-secretaries: Qian Du (Garvan) and Kate Skulte (Garvan)

Co-treasurers: John Rivers (ANU) and Rachel Jones (UWA)

Co-communications officers: Vicky Burns (UNSW) and Brigitte Phillips (Garvan)

Early bird discount closes 31 August. All students are welcome. Honours, Masters and PhD.

Twitter: @EMBLAuSymposium #EAPS15

Facebook: Aphdsymposium

Internships still available for MSc or PhD students at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is offering a variety of internships, which are open to EMBL Australia students/staff. Further information can be found on:

If you are interested in joining the Merrimack internship program contact

The Social Science joins EMBL Australia 

The Social Science has joined the EMBL Australia network to manage EMBL Australia’s social media and monthly newsletters. The Social Science is always seeking information to share among the EMBL Australia Nodes and among the science community more broadly. Information regarding upcoming events, visiting scientists, significant publications, presentations at conferences (can be posters or talks) and photographs would be appreciated so that we can help share the news. Suggestions on topics of interest are also welcomed.

Please contact:

Michelle Gallaher (Creative Director), 0417 784 856
Dr Violeta Traicevski (Science/Medical Writer), 0419 117 006

Jobs with EMBL Australia

The Systems Biology Institute (SBI) Australia is seeking a Director, a self-motivated internationally recognised academic in systems biology. This is a new position leading the newly formed SBI Australia, the first international node of SBI Japan and an EMBL Australia initiative.

For all vacant positions see:

About EMBL Australia

EMBL - the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - is Europe's flagship for the life sciences. The Australian government joined EMBL as an Associate Member in 2008.

EMBL Australia is an unincorporated joint venture between members of the Group of Eight universities and the CSIRO, supported by the Australian government.

Read more about EMBL Australia
Copyright © 2015 EMBL Australia, All rights reserved.

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