Interaction and scientific discussions at SBMC 2024 in Leipzig

Interaction and scientific discussions at SBMC 2024 in Leipzig
Leipzig, Germany

At the SBMC 2024 in Leipzig participants discussed and exchanged cutting-edge research in systems biology. The conference, hosted at Leipzig University's Paulinum, featured keynote talks, poster sessions, and panel discussions, highlighting interdisciplinary research and future clinical applications.12

Under the patronage of Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the 9th conference on Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells (SBMC) was held from 13 – 15 May 2024, in Leipzig. Hosted at the Paulinum, the intellectual and spiritual center of Leipzig University, the event brought together 170 participants from 18 countries. This conference emphasized interaction, scientific discussion, and the exchange of cutting-edge research and ideas.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Prof. Dr. Thomas Berg of Leipzig University and Prof. Dr. Beat Müllhaupt, Program Director of LiSyM-Cancer, together with Prof. Dr. Veronika von Messling, Head of the Life Sciences Department at the BMBF. They highly underscored the significance of interdisciplinary research. Since 2008 the MTZ foundation is giving the MTZ-Award for outstanding dissertations in systems biology and systems medicine. This tradition continued at SBMC 2024, with awardees presenting their work in brief talks. The international conference featured invited talks and eight selected abstracts in short presentations in five inspiring sessions on topics ranging from single-cell analysis to clinical applications, mechanistic modeling, tissue-scale modeling, AI contributions to diagnosis and therapy, and the future of systems biology, while keynote speakers Fabian Theis and Ron Heeren offered insights into single-cell dynamics and spatial biology. Poster sessions provided early career researchers with a platform to share and discuss their work, fostering a vibrant networking environment. The event was complemented by excellent food and a welcoming atmosphere.

An interactive session highlighted the importance of values, emotions, and communication for successful systems biology implementation. Researchers at all career stages shared their impressions and challenges, emphasizing the need for common goals and active listening. The networking event at the "Alte Stadtbad" included a science slam by 2023's vice champion Marco Gustav, adding a touch of entertainment to the proceedings. The SBMC 2024 concluded with a panel discussion on "Requirements for systems biology to be translated into the clinics", featuring a patient representative, the editor of EMBO's Molecular Systems Biology, a Medical Device Regulation expert, and a researcher with industry and academic experience. This discussion highlighted the critical role of patient participation and biobanks.

Congratulations to the eight researchers awarded the poster prize for the best posters in their session! We hope to further encourage their enthusiasm and talent. We extend our gratitude to all speakers for their valuable contributions and inspiring discussions. The success of the conference demonstrated the benefits of interdisciplinary research in advancing science. We eagerly anticipate the next SBMC conference in 2026 in Mannheim and look forward to seeing you there!