Words from the host chairman

Dear Colleagues,
Membrane proteins represent very important yet challenging research objects in a number of disciplines, since they participate practically in all life processes of the cellular world, e.g. energisation, transport, catalysis, cellular sensing, communication and mechanics. The host lipid matrix presents an amphiphilic environment for both integral and peripheral membrane proteins. On the one hand this reduces the conformational space of membrane proteins. On the other hand, the amphiphilic nature of membrane proteins makes them extremely difficult to study in the absence of their native lipid environment (just compare the abundance of membrane proteins in known genomes with their presence in the protein structure database). Biophysical approaches address purification, reconstitution, prediction and experimental determination of structure, function, dynamics and folding, physical and molecular modelling of membrane proteins, as well as their interaction with the host membrane.

This conference covers most of these topics, in a greater detail than it is possible in any session of the mother EBSA Congress, in about twenty (40+ minutes) talks from experienced researchers in the field. We will secure plenty of time for discussions, in a friendly, relaxing environment. In addition, we will let a few motivated young researchers bring their project in focus and let other participants and key speakers advice on those projects. We, the organisers are confident that this will be a very nice meeting.

I am looking forward to meet you in Tata at the end of August 2011.

Tibor Páli, host chairman of the conference


Tibor Páli (Szeged, HU), Anthony Watts (Oxford, UK), Alajos Bérczi (Szeged, HU) and Balázs Szalontai (Szeged, HU)

on behalf of the

Biophysics Workgroup of the Szeged Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Biomembrane Structure Unit (Oxford)

Membrane Section of the Hungarian Biophysical Society

Insitute of Biophysics, Biological Research Centre Szeged

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This strongly international conference focuses on recent developments in primarily biophysical research on membrane proteins. The main goal of the meeting is to attract researchers early in their scientific career and let them learn key techniques and major topics from highly experienced researchers (also from the EBSA Congress), hence enhancing their training in biophysics. The conference will include lectures, discussions. These are important for young researchers: they can explain their work and let more experienced experts advise on their projects. Edition of a special issue for the European Biophysics Journal from the covered topics is being considered. The tentative list of topics of the conference, all in relation to membranes and membrane proteins, include:

In-focus discussions

Since most of the young participants will have already presented their posters in the main event, the 8th EBSA Congress, we decided not to organise another poster session. However, if you have an exciting project or problem, we ask you to submit a one page abstract of your work to bring that project, well, in focus. The organising committee will select a few (about 4-8) abstracts for a shorter (10-30 minutes - depending on the number of selected abstract) oral presentation followed by a focused discussion (10-20 minutes) on that project. The deadline for the in-focus abstracts is 15th July 2011.

Technical requirements for in-focus abstracts:

One author may submit only one abstract.
Title (in bold face): limited to 100 characters (including spaces - All lower case, except for first letter, for first letter of names, and for abbreviations).
Authors: limited to 14 authors
Affiliations: limited to four affiliations consisting of Institution, Town, Country.
Text: limited to 1300 characters (including spaces). There is no space for figures.
Font: 10pt, Times.
We prefer PDF format.

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Detailed Programme

27 August, Saturday

21:00-21:10Opening words

Pál Ormos (director-general of the Biological Research Centre of Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), full member of the HAS, honorary president of the Hungarian Biophyiscal Society)
Anthony Watts (managing editor of EBJ, member of the EBSA Executive Committee, member of the organizing committee of the conference)
Tibor Páli (host chairman of the conference, chairman of the Biophysical Workgroup of the Szeged Committee of the HAS)


28 August, Sunday

9:00-9:05Greeting by the Mayor of Tata

Proteins and their lipid environment - Chairs: Ernst Bamberg and Derek Marsh

9:05-9:45Timothy A. Cross (Tallahassee, USA): The influence of the membrane environment on the transmembrane domain of membrane protein structures.
9:45-10:25Anthony Lee (Southampton, GBR): Lipid-protein interactions: The importance of molecular detail.
10:25-11:05Derek Marsh (Göttingen, DEU): Influence of lipid biophysics on membrane protein function.

11:05-11:20Coffee break

11:20-11:45Matthijs A. Kol (Utrecht, NLD): How do membrane-embedded enzymes recognize and process their (lipid) substrates? (in-focus talk, abstract)
11:45-12:00Arunima Chaudhuri (Hyderabad, IND): Lipid selectivity of bovine α-lactalbumin binding to membranes: interplay of negatively charged lipids and cholesterol. (in-focus talk, abstract)
12:00-12:15Marcin Wolny (Wroclav, POL): Four amino acid residues are responsible for ankyrin-sensitive PE-binding by βI–spectrin. (in-focus talk, abstract)
12:15-12:30Dimitra Georgiadou (Athens, GRC): Apolipoprotein E3 mutants linked with development of Type III Hyperlipoproteinemia alter the protein’s thermodynamic properties. (in-focus talk, abstract)


Transport and channels - Chairs: Anthony Watts and Alajos Bérczi

14:00-14:40Tibor Páli (Szeged, HUN): On the rotary mechanism of the vacuolar proton-ATPase.


19:30-21:30Barbeque, concert

29 August, Monday


Transport and channels (continued) - Chairs: Anthony Watts and Alajos Bérczi

9:00-9:40Ernst Bamberg (Frankfurt, DEU): Microbial Rhodopsins: Light-gated ion channels and pumps as optogenetic tools in neuro- and cell biology.
9:40-10:20Joachim Heberle (Jülich , DEU): Ion transfer and conformational changes in Channelrhodopsin-2.
10:20-11:00Balázs Sarkadi (Budapest, HUN): The ABCG2 multidrug transporter - structural and functional aspects.

11:00-11:20Coffee break

11:20-12:00Han Asard (Antwerp, BEL): Transmembrane electron transport: the di-heme cytochrome b561 solution.
12:00-12:25Masahiro Miura (Kobe, JPN): The novel functions of the cytochrome b561 protein family in Caenorhabditis elegans. (in-focus talk, abstract)
12:25-12:40Lívia Marton (Szeged, HUN): Investigation of transporter interactions of antimalarials using in vitro assays. (in-focus talk, abstract)


Advanced experimental techniques - Chairs: Gunnar Jeschke and Timothy Cross

14:00-14:40Anthony Watts (Oxford, GBR): Differential dynamics of ligands at their site of action in membrane-embedded targets.
14:40-15:20Manuel Prieto (Lisbon, PRT): Advanced FRET methodologies in membrane biophysics.
15:20-16:00Rosa Bartucci (Rende, ITA): ESE spectroscopy of spin-labelled membranes and proteins.

16:00-16:20Coffee break

16:20-17:00Johann P. Klare (Osnabrück, GER): The membrane bound state of Colicin A studied with electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.
17:00-17:40Gunnar Jeschke (Zurich, CHE): Structural model of the proline/sodium symporter PutP of Escherichia coli based on EPR distance constraints and homology.
17:40-18:05Ilja Kusters (Groningen, NLD): Taming membranes: functional immobilization of biological membranes in hydrogels. (in-focus talk, abstract)
18:05-18:20Sebastian Giehring (Münster, GER): A novel system for single transporter analysis (in-focus talk, abstract)


30 August, Tuesday


Folding, assembly - Chairs: Antoinette Killian and Jesus Perez-Gil

9:00-9:40Ismael Mingarro (Valencia, ESP): Topology and folding of membrane proteins.
9:40-10:20Jörg H. Kleinschmidt (Konstanz, DEU): The roles of three periplasmic chaperones from E. coli on the folding and membrane insertion of outer membrane protein A.
10:20-11:00Jesus Perez-Gil (Madrid, ESP): Membrane protein assemblies in the pulmonary surfactant system and their role to stabilize the respiratory air-liquid interface.

11:00-11:20Coffee break

11:20-12:00Jean-Luc Popot (Paris, FRA): Folding and expressing membrane proteins in amphipols, a highly foreign environment. Applications and implications.
12:00-12:15Esther Talmon (Konstanz, DEU): The role of the periplasmic domain of BamA in folding and insertion of the outer membrane protein A. (in-focus talk, abstract)
12:15-12:30Meenakshi Sharma (Konstanz, DEU): Binding regions in the Skp chaperone for client membrane proteins identified by a site directed fluorescence study. (in-focus talk, abstract)
12:30-12:45Marie Berny (Louvain-la-Neuve, BEL): Hetero-oligomerisation of plant plasma membrane aquaporins. (in-focus talk, abstract)


Experimental and theoretical models - Chairs: Anthony G. Lee and István Simon

14:00-14:40Antoinette Killian (Utrecht, NLD): Designed peptides as tools to study protein/lipid interactions.
14:40-15:20István Simon (Budapest, HUN): Bioinformatical approaches to study transmembrane proteins.
15:20-16:00Mark S.P. Sansom (Oxford, GBR): Interactions of membrane proteins: Multiscale simulation studies.

16:00-16:20Coffee break

16:20-16:45Christopher L. Johnson (Newcastle, GBR): Exploiting contrast variation in Small-Angle Neutron Scattering to resolve the individual subunit structures of a membrane protein complex. (in-focus talk, abstract)
16:45-17:10Syma Khalid (Southampton, GBR): Simple cell, complex envelope: modelling the heterogeneous membrane of E. coli. (in-focus talk, abstract)
17:10-17:20Closing remarks - Anthony Watts, Tibor Páli

18:00-23:30Farewell party

31 August, Wednesday

9:00-11:00Check-out, departure
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The satellite meeting will take place in a small historic town, TATA, about 70 km Northwest from Budapest, along the M1 Budapest-Vienna highway (see Tata in wikipedia).

Tata Tata, frequently named as the town of waters, having a picturesque setting, surrounded by wine-yard covered mild hills. Within a few kilometres there are mountains (for hiking, hunting), as well.
Tata in several senses is a hidden treasure: It has a geological setting, which is unique in Europe; here one can see layers of rocks from Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous ages lying on each other (nicely presented in the Geological Museum). The charm of the place can be best illustrated by the fact that the most ancient human relics in Europe were found here together with settlements of Neanderthaler people; i.e. the site has been inhabited for about 250.000 years. Prehistoric and modern men all enjoyed the pleasant climate and the rich, warm water springs (19-23 °C), from which once there were more than 300 in and around the town. Intensive coal mining through the XXth century decreased the water level in the ground so much that all water sources have disappeared. After stopping the coal mining at the end of the XXth century, the water level started to increase, and in the present years the citizens of Tata are waiting with their fingers crossed for the rebirth of the springs and streams.
In addition to its natural resources, Tata has a rich cultural history as well, reflected by important medieval and baroque monuments. Its present look, with its already renovated and still neglected sites in the town camouflaged by the vivid activity of its citizens is typical of the life of the Hungarian countryside in these days.

The conference will be held in Hotel Gottwald on the side of the Old Lake of Tata, in a forest. If because of the (hopefully) large interest, the number of participants would exceed the capacity of this hotel, the excess participants will be accommodated in Hotel Arnold of similar comfort from where they will be transported to the principal hotel by a restored veteran bus.

Hotel Gottwald Hotel Gottwald
Hotel Gottwald


All participants, who attended the EBSA congress in Budapest, will be transported from the Conference site to Tata on the afternoon of 27th August. There will be a bus staying between the two major buildings of the University campus, where the EBSA Congress will take place. The bus will leave from here at 19:00 o'clock. For easier orientation, see the image below!

Tata Bus

At the EBSA Congress Reception Desk, there will be a guarded place for your luggage, where you can keep them after checking out from your hotels. Of course, those, who come directly for the Tata Conference, may also choose this option.

At the end of the conference all participants will be transported to the railway station of Tatabanya from where there are trains in about half hour intervals towards Budapest (60 min) or towards Vienna (120 min) (see the timetable).

Participants coming by car can take the M1 highway (Vienna-Budapest) and take the exit at a Shell station at about 62 km. Drive in the forest on a small road starting at the gas station (from the direction of Vienna, drive at first to the other side under the highway). Then take the direction to Tata, and after about 1.5 km there is Hotel Gottwald on the left side of the road. In the case of any confusion, for exact addresses and coordinates, visit the hotel’s homepages.

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The conference registration fee covers all costs: Transport from Budapest; at the end of the Conference transport to Tatabánya railway station; accommodation; full board; social events. The conference fee is 340 € in single room, 280 € per person in double/twin room.

The first 25 students automatically get a further 40 € deduction from the price of the twin room accommodation, thanks to the generosity of the EBSA, i.e. the reduced student fee is 240 € per person in a twin room.

Since all technical costs related to the scientific part of the Conference are covered by the EBSA, these fees are pure costs; therefore the same fees apply to accompanying people.

For registration, please download, fill out, and send us back the Registration form, attached to an e-mail to membprot [at] brc.hu.

With the payment, please wait until you get a confirmation from the organizers!


Deadline: 30th June 2011.

Bank transfer: Please take care that the indicated amount of money should arrive, the sender should cover the bank costs.

Account holder: Fotoszintezis – Elet a fenybol Alapitvany
Name of the Bank: ERSTE BANK Hungary Nyrt.
IBAN number: HU24 1199 1102 0218 6726 0000 0000

Bank transfer details: In the bank transfer, please indicate: EBSA Tata, and your name.

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Contact information

Tibor Páli
Institute of Biophysics
Biological Research Centre
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Temesvári krt. 62.
H-6726 Szeged

Phone: +36-62-599603

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Institutions and sponsors

Please click on the logos to visit the home page of the organizing institutions and our sponsors.

EBSA MBFT BRC HAS SZAB Élet a Fényből Auro-Science Consulting