Keynote and Symposia

Xiaowei Zhuang researches to understand the mechanisms of cellular function and their dysfunction in disease which requires a detailed picture of the molecular interactions in cells in the Naito Lab. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

2021 Keynote Lecture

Monday, December 6, 10:00 am EST

Spatially Resolved Single-cell Genomics and Cell Atlas of Complex Tissues

Xiaowei Zhuang

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
David B. Arnold Jr. Professor of Science, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Professor of Physics, Harvard University

Xiaowei Zhuang develops advanced imaging methods, such as the super-resolution imaging method known as stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) and the single-cell transcriptome imaging method known as multiplexed error-robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH), to reveal the molecular mechanisms of cellular function. Over a distinguished career, Zhuang has fashioned ingenious methods of imaging to observe the fretwork and interplay of molecules in cells.

2021 Symposia

Symposia sessions will be held from 10:00 am to 11:00 am EST from Monday, December 6 to Friday, December 10. Symposia speakers will also be available for a live informal Q&A discussion following their sessions from 11:00 am to 11:30 am EST.

Intra- and Intercellular Communication

Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Tracks: Cellular Dynamics and Specialized Cell and Evolution


Chenghua Gu

Harvard Medical School
The Neuro-vascular Interactions In The Brain


Maya Schuldiner

Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Systematic Analysis Of Contact Site Proteomes Reveals Novel Players In Cellular Homeostasis

The Nucleus

Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Track: Cellular Genome


Tracy Johnson

University of California, Los Angeles
Deciphering the Mechanism of RNA Splicing Reveals the Secret Life of Introns



Jennifer Phillips-Cremins

University of Pennsylvania
Spatially Coordinated Heterochromatinization of Distal Short Tandem Repeats in Fragile X Syndrome

Biomolecular Condensates

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Tracks: Cellular Dynamics and Physical Cell


Simon Alberti

Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Biomolecular Condensates At The Nexus Of Cellular Stress, Disease And Aging


Amy Gladfelter

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Temperature Adaptation In Phase Separating Systems


Signaling and Metabolism

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Track: Signaling and Metabolism

Brady Donita

Donita Brady

University of Pennsylvania
New Sides for an Old Coin: Copper as an Intracellular Mediator of Kinase Signaling in Cancer


Bao-Liang Song

Wuhan University, China
Feeding-induced Cholesterol Biosynthesis

Cell and Tissue Mechanics

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Track: Physical Cell


Enrique De La Cruz

Yale University
Torsional Response of Actin Filaments


Sara A. Wickstrom

University of Helsinki, Finland
Nuclear Mechanotransduction: Regulation of Cell Fate and Beyond


Imaging Across Scales

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Tracks: Cellular Dynamics and Signaling and Metabolism


Jan Ellenberg

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany
Advanced Imaging Of Cell Division Processes Across Scales

Van Valen_David-FACULTY-BBE-6187-CROP

David Van Valen

California Institute of Technology
Towards A Bright Future For Artificial Intelligence-powered Cell Biology

Disease and Aging

Friday, December 10, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Tracks: Cells in Distress and Disease and Signaling and Metabolism


Vishva M. Dixit

Genentech, Inc.
Why so Many Ways to Die? The non-canonical Inflammasome Pathway


Noburo Mizushima

The University of Tokyo, Japan
Organelle Degradation By Autophagy-dependent And Independent Pathways

Modeling Organogenesis

Friday, December 10, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Track: Communal Cell


Madeline Lancaster

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
Exploring Mechanisms Of Human Brain Expansion In Cerebral Organoids

Liberali 2

Prisca Liberali

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI), Basel, Switzerland
Design Principles of Multicellular Systems

* Heinz Herrmann Symposium. Heinz Herrmann was Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut. A symposium in his honor was endowed at the ASCB in 1990. A founder of the ASCB, Professor Herrmann was well known for his pioneering approach to research in developmental biology, which has led to over 100 publications. He also wrote two books—Cell Biology and From Biology to Sociopolitics.