The German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) to the 40th Congress of The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) was held in Berlin in 2015. The FEBS congress took place from Saturday July 4 to Thursday July 9, 2015, at the Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany.

With this joint congress, GBM and FEBS brought together a wide range of researchers from all across Europe and further afield to explore “The Biochemical Basis of Life”. The congress takes place under the framework of the biennial GBM conference “GBM – Molecular Life Sciences”, and the joint event covered the entire spectrum of molecular biosciences with symposia on “Mechanisms of Gene Expression”, “Membranes, Receptors & Bioenergetics”, “Structural Biology & Biophysics”, “Systems Biology, Bioinformatics & Theoretical Biology”, “Molecular Neuroscience” and “From Chemical Biology to Molecular Medicine”.

Plenary speakers included Nobel laureate Randy Schekman (Berkeley), Xiaowei Zhuang (Harvard), Jürgen Knoblich (IMBA, Vienna), Susan Lindquist (Whitehead Institute), Barbara Meyer (Berkeley), Sarah Teichmann (Cambridge), Alberto Kornblihtt (Buenos Aires), Nikolaus Pfanner (Freiburg) and Matthias Mann (MPI Martinsried).

In addition there were sessions and plenary discussions, for example on the future of scientific publishing, women in science, science & society, careers and education – as well as the Young Scientists Forum (YSF) immediately preceding the congress to promote interactions between pre- and post-doctoral scientists.

To support participation of young scientists, bursaries were available.

The congress offered ample opportunities for fruitful discussions as well as the possibility to initiate new friendship, collaborations and joint projects.

Main Topics Covered

Mechanisms of Gene Expression

Chromatin structure and epigenetic modifications and maintenance of the genome
Turning signals into messages – the complexity of gene regulation
Translational control and protein turnover
RNA processing and modifications
Non-coding RNAs in gene regulation 

Membranes, Receptors & Bioenergetics

Organelle dynamics and communication
Autophagy and degradation
Redox-regulation of biological activities
Cellular growth control – from the membrane to the nucleus
Lipid signaling and dynamics

Structural Biology and Biophysics

Mechanisms of membrane transport
Channels and transporters
Protein mediated membrane deformation and penetration
Monitoring protein conformational dynamics and movement
From subcellular to molecular resolution

Systems Biology, Bioinformatics & Theoretical Biology

Interspecies communication
Molecular clocks
Comprehensive models of metabolism and signaling
Functional networks regulating cellular stress responses and ageing
Systems biology in stem cells

Molecular Neuroscience

Neuronal ion channels and their role in disease
Mechanisms of nervous system development and regeneration
Degeneration and ageing of the nervous system
Molecular architecture and assembly of the synapse
Control of neuronal function by regulating protein homeostasis

From Chemical Biology to Molecular Medicine

Probing cellular function with small molecules
Targeted cancer therapy
Functional glycobiology – from mechanism to disease
RNA-based disease mechanism and therapy
Signal transduction in tumor development, differentiation and immune escape