The non-coding genome – Course and Conference Office

EMBO | EMBL Symposium

The non-coding genome


This conference will take place at EMBL Heidelberg, with the option to attend virtually.

Symposium overview

Over the past two decades, advances in transcriptomic methods have led to the discovery of a very rich and diverse set of RNA transcripts, short and long, that serve as regulators rather than templates for protein production. Many of these transcribed elements are encoded in noncoding regions of the genome with other regulatory and structural DNA elements of known and unknown functions. While the catalogs of such elements are very rich, and an ever-increasing number are implicated in almost every known biological process, there are still many key open questions. Often these important problems are tackled and discussed within different sub-communities, including the mature fields of microRNAs (miRNAs) and piRNAs, and the emerging fields focused on longer linear noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), circular RNAs (circRNAs), and other, non-transcribed yet functional genomic elements. This symposium traditionally brings together members of these communities, enabling researchers focusing on different classes of non-coding elements to interact and learn from each other. We are pleased to return to doing this at an in-person meeting this year, following the virtual edition held in 2021.

For 2023, the main pillars of the meeting will remain, with sessions on miRNAs, piRNAs, lncRNAs and circRNAs, alongside sessions showcasing less RNA-centric fields, such as heterochromatin and telomere biology, and transcribed regulatory regions. Topics that have received relatively limited attention in previous meetings will also feature, such as ncRNAs in plants and RNA therapeutics, which has become a particularly active field due to the current pandemic.

Session topics

  • Small RNAs
  • Non-coding genome and disease
  • Unconventional RNA structure and mechanisms
  • Transcriptional regulation by non-coding RNA and DNA
  • Genome organisation and epigenetic regulation (and development)
  • Long non-coding RNAs

What past participants say about the symposium

The Non-coding Genome was a truly inspiring meeting, both in terms of topics and the excellent level of the talks, with a good balance of novel and published work. Thanks to the organisers for providing me the opportunity to present my latest work at this high-profile event, which also enabled networking with peers, publishers and industries.” – Roberto Simone, UCL, UK

Please see EMBL’s COVID-19 safety recommendations if attending the on-site event.


Keynote speakers

Ling-Ling Chen

Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology



Archa Fox

The University of Western Australia


Nicola Iovino

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics


Edda Schulz

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics “


Jörg Vogel

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research


Scientific organisers

Marc Bühler

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research


Conference organiser

Preliminary programme

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  • Please note that the programme is subject to change.
  • For registered participants, recorded talks will be accessible on demand for 2 weeks after the end of the event.
  • All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe/Berlin.
  • Programme is preliminary and subject to change.
Day 1 – Wednesday 11 October
Time (Europe/Berlin)Title
11:30 – 13:00 Registration and light refreshments
13:00 – 13:15Opening remarks
Session 1: Small RNAs
13:15- 13:40MicroRNA assassins, their victims, and their consequences
David Bartel – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
13:40 – 14:05Biochemical analysis of RNA-induced silencing complex
Yukihide Tomari – The University of Tokyo, Japan
14:05 – 14:30 Theme and variations: Emerging diversity in mechanisms of miRNA decay
Katherine McJunkin – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA
14:30 – 14:55Small RNA functions in plant embryos
Michael Nodine – Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands
14:55 – 15:25Coffee break
15:25 – 15:50Talk title to be announced
Gisela Storz – National Institutes of Health, USA
15:50- 16:15RNA-based regulation in pathogenic Epsilon proteobacteria
Cynthia Sharma – University of Würzburg, Germany
16:15 – 16:30Selected talk 1
16:30 – 16:45Selected talk 2
16:45 – 17:00Selected talk 3
17:00 – 17:15Selected talk 4
17:15 – 17:45 Coffee break
17:45 -18:30Keynote talk 1:
Biogenesis and function of circular RNAs

Ling-Ling Chen – Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, China
18:30 – 20:00Dinner in canteen
20:00 – 21:30Drinks in ATC rooftop lounge
Day 2 – Thursday 12 October
Time (Europe/Berlin)Title
Session 2: Non-coding genome and disease
09:00 – 09:25Deregulation of long noncoding RNAs in cancer
Nadya Dimitrova – Yale University, USA
09:25 – 09:50Non-coding RNAs in bacteria
Hanah Margalit – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
09:50 – 10:15Talk title to be announced
Jörg Vogel – Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany
10:15 – 10:40Talk title to be announced
Ana Eulálio – Imperial College London, UK
10:40 – 11:10Coffee break
11:10 – 11:25Selected talk 5
11:25 – 11:40Selected talk 6
11:40 – 11:55Selected talk 7
11:55 – 12:10Selected talk 8
12:10 – 13:30Meet the speakers and lunch
Session 3: Unconventional RNA structure and mechanisms
13:30 – 13:55Structure and functional studies on lncRNA-seeded nuclear paraspeckles
Archa Fox – The University of Western Australia, Australia
13:55 – 14:20Talk title to be announced
Eric Miska – University of Cambridge, UK
14:20 – 14:45Evolution of centromeres: Conserved function yet diverse organization
Ines Drinnenberg – Institut Curie, France
14:45 – 15:00Selected talk 9
15:00 – 15:30Coffee break & meet the editors
15:30 – 15:45Selected talk 10
15:45 – 16:00Selected talk 11
16:00 – 16:15Selected talk 12
16:15 – 16:45Flash talks
16:45 – 18:45Poster session 1 (odd numbers)
18:45 Free evening
Day 3 – Friday 13 October
Time (Europe/Berlin)Title
Session 4: Transcriptional regulation by non-coding RNA and DNA
09:00 – 09:25Talk title to be announced
Marc Bühler – Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
09:25 – 09:50Regulation of X chromosome activity by non-coding elements
Claire Rougeulle – Epigenetics and Cell Fate Centre, France
09:50 – 10:15Information processing at the Xist locus
Edda Schulz – Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Germany
10:15 – 10:40Rapid molecular innovation of germline genome regulation
Peter Andersen – Aarhus University, Denmark
10:40 – 11:10Coffee break
11:10 – 11:35Epigenetic regulation by RNA G-Quadruplexes
Jeannie Lee – Harvard Medical School, USA
11:35 – 11:50Selected tak 13
11:50 – 12:05Selected talk 14
12:05 – 12:20Selected talk 15
12:20 – 13:30Meet the speakers and lunch
Session 5: Genome organisation and epigenetic regulation (and development)
13:30 – 13:55Talk title to be announced
Nicola Iovino – Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany
13:55 – 14:20Talk title to be announced
Igor Ulitsky – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
14:20 – 14:45Non-coding RNAs in early mammalian development
Joanna Jachowicz – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Austria
14:45 -15:10Non-coding RNAs in perspective of the Chromatin landscapes
Frédéric Berger – Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austria
15:10 – 15:40Coffee break
15:40 – 15:55Selected talk 16
15:55 – 16:10Selected talk 17
16:10 – 16:25Selected talk 18
16:25 – 16:40Selected talk 19
16:40 – 17:10Flash talks
17:10 – 19:10Poster session 2 (even numbers)
19:10 – 21:00Conference dinner in the canteen
21:00 – 24:00Party in the ATC foyer
Day 4 – Saturday 14 October
Time (Europe/Berlin)Title
Session 6: Long non-coding RNAs
09:00 – 09:25Regulation of alternative splicing by short noncoding RNA
Shinichi Nakagawa – Hokkaido University, Japan
09:25 – 09:50Non-coding RNA roles in coordinating DNA replication and its associated stress response
Maite Huarte – Universidad de Navarra, Spain
09:50 – 10:15Talk title to be announced
Joshua Mendell – UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA
10:15 – 10:40Selected talk 20
10:40 – 11:10Coffee break
11:15 – 12:00piRNA-guided transcriptional silencing
Keynote talk 2:
Julius Brennecke – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Austria
12:00 – 12:15Selected talk 21
12:15 – 12:30Selected talk 22
12:30 – 12:45Selected talk 23
12:45 – 13:00Closing remarks and poster prize
13:00 – 13:15Packed lunch
Optional: Bus to Frankfurt airport (Terminal 1)

Practical information

Registration fees and abstract submission

On-site registration fees include admission, conference materials, COVID-19 safety measures, meals and coffee breaks. Participants are expected to book and pay their own accommodation and travel expenses.

Virtual registration fees include access to all of the talks (livestreamed and on demand) and facility to submit questions.

On-site Academia€700
On-site PhD Student€600
On-site Industry€900
Virtual Academia€200
Virtual PhD Student€150
Virtual Industry€250

NO visa support letters will be issued until payment of the registration fee is confirmed.

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for complimentary press registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Lea Hohmann for more information. Please note that we do not offer complimentary registrations for editors of scientific journals.

Confirmation and payment

Registration will be on a first come, first served basis. Your place can only be confirmed after payment of the registration fee. If you are added to our waiting list, please consider taking advantage of our offerings to participate virtually.

On-site participants: Types of payments accepted are international bank transfers and credit card payments.

Virtual participants: We are only able to accept card payments. In exceptional cases we can accept bank transfers. Please contact events@embl.de for details.

Abstract submission

Only participants registering to attend the on-site event are eligible to submit an abstract. Abstracts will not be accepted from virtual participants.

After registration you can submit your abstract via a separate link that will be provided in the email confirmation. Alternatively, you can access the link on the confirmation page directly after registering. The same login credentials are used for both processes.

Please note:

Abstract body: The limit of 2000 characters refers to manually typed text and excludes spaces. If an error occurs try using a different web browser (preferably Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).

If you copy-paste the text into the form, hidden formatting might still be included which may cause the text to exceed the 2,000 character limit resulting in an error message. We recommend you clear all formatting before pasting in the text.

If you have special symbols in your text, make sure you are using Unicode characters, otherwise these will not be recognised.

Title: The title should not exceed 20 words. Only the first word of the title should start with a capital letter and the rest should be lowercase.

Authors and affiliations: Please fill in the author’s details as requested in the online form. The compulsory fields are: First Name, Last Name, Organisation Name (Affiliation or Company), Country and Email.

Kindly mark only one author in the role of First Author and please don’t forget to indicate who will be the Presenter.

Please enter your co-authors correctly via the system by adding accounts together with their organisation/institute. Do not copy-paste them into the body of the abstract text, as they will not be indexed in the abstract book.

Presentation types: When submitting your abstract, you can apply for an oral or poster presentation. A selection process will take place with the results announced 2-3 weeks after the abstract submission deadline.

For detailed instructions on how to submit a conference abstract, follow the instructions provided in this video.

Please check our FAQs pages for further information on how to submit an abstract.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance

Limited financial assistance is provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme and EMBO in the form of both registration fee waivers and travel grants. These are available for on-site participants at EMBL Conferences and EMBO|EMBL Symposia, and for on-site and virtual participants at EMBO Workshops. We are currently working on securing funding for all virtual participants, and ask that you please apply for financial assistance for both on-site and virtual participation. 

Your place in the meeting is only confirmed by paying the registration fee, which is mandatory even when receiving a fee waiver.

Registration fee waiver

The fee waiver will cover the registration sum that you have paid to attend the course or conference.

Travel grant

The travel grant will cover the cost of travel to an on-site event (airfare, train, bus, taxi, accommodation, visa, and/or registration fees*) and is provided up to specified caps which are normally as follows:

–up to €400 for participants travelling to an EMBL Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from within Europe.

–up to €1000 for participants travelling to an EMBL Conference or EMBO|EMBL Symposium from outside Europe.

–up to €500 for any participant travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

–up to €1000 for any participant working in Chile, India, Singapore or Taiwan travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

–up to €700 for any participant working in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, and Turkey travelling to an EMBO Workshop.

*Registration fees are only covered for EMBO Workshops

The organisers may reduce the grant cap to accommodate more participants. Recipients will be notified of their travel cap amount when they are informed of the outcome of their application. Original receipts must be provided with your signature for all costs incurred within two months of completion of travel. Scanned copies cannot be accepted.


On-site participants

You may apply for financial assistance when submitting your abstract. In your application you will be asked to answer questions regarding why your lab cannot fund your attendance and how your attendance will make a difference to your career. Application for financial support will not affect the outcome of your registration application.

Virtual participants

If you are attending virtually, you can apply for financial assistance in the submission portal by the abstract deadline. Read the instructions on how to apply for financial assistance. Only submissions for financial assistance will be accepted. Presentation abstracts cannot be submitted here and will be declined. 

In your application you will be asked to summarise your current work,  answer questions regarding why your lab cannot fund your attendance, and how your attendance will make a difference to your career. Application for financial support will not affect the outcome of your registration application.


The scientific organisers will select the recipients of all financial assistance during the abstract selection process. Results will be announced approximately 6 – 8 weeks before the event start date, however for some events this may be delayed. Selection results do not impact your admission to the meeting. Selection is based on scientific merit, your current work or study location, the reasons for needing financial support, and the impact this event will have on your career.


Costs will be reimbursed after the meeting only once a reimbursement form and original receipts (from travel costs) have been received.

Further details

View our list of external funding opportunities and information on attending a conference as an event reporter.

For further information about financial assistance please refer to the FAQ page.

On-site information


All meals and coffee breaks are included in the registration fee. Our catering staff will prepare a wide variety of vegetarian meals, meat and fish dishes, soups, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of desserts.

Please wear your badge at all times when serving yourself.

No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium.

Charging lockers

There are lockers available next to the stairs leading down into the Auditorium. You will find some of those equipped with sockets to charge your smartphone/tablet etc.

Electricity and charging station

In most places the electricity is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). An adaptor and a plug that fits the German socket may be needed for your appliances/laptop (i.e. American, Japanese, etc.). A USB charging station for electronic devices is available at the registration desk.

EMBL merchandise

If you are interested in purchasing an EMBL souvenir (products presented in the glass display in the registration area), please ask at the registration desk for more information.

Health and safety notes

Please read EMBL’s COVID-19 safety policy for on-site events.
Do not smoke in any EMBL building.
Eating and drinking is prohibited in the Auditorium and all laboratories.
Do not enter any restricted areas or the laboratories unless instructed to do so.

If first aid is required …

  • The first aid room is located next to the ATC Registration Desk (room 10- 205).
  • Dial the Emergency number 222 from any EMBL internal phone only.
  • Where is the accident? What happened? How many injured?
  • Emergency number 06221-387 7821 from mobile phones.
  • Please report all accidents to the conference officer at the registration desk.

In case of fire …

  • Press the nearest fire alarm button or the Emergency number 222 from any internal phone.
  • A loud fire alarm will go off if an evacuation is required. On hearing the alarm leave the building immediately following the escape route and fire wardens and head to one of the meeting points
  • Do not use the lifts.

Beyond first aid…

Please remember to bring your own medication, if needed, to the conference. Note that the next pharmacy is a 4-minute drive from the EMBL, but for many medications you will be required to see a doctor to get a prescription.

Ensure in advance that your medical insurance will cover you during your visit in the event that you do need to see a doctor while in Heidelberg. In any case, the EMBL Course and Conference Office will assist you to get to the pharmacy and a doctor of your choice if necessary.


Wi-Fi is available everywhere on the premises using the EMBL-Events network and the event specific password, which will be provided on site. The eduroam network (secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community) is also available.

Lost and found

‘’Lost and Found’’ are kept at the registration desk until the end of the conference.


There are lockers available on-site to store your luggage, which require a 2 EURO coin to operate. There is another luggage room on level E0, which is free to use but remains unlocked during the conference.

Nursing room

There is a nursing room available in the ATC Rooftop Lounge on level A29.


During the conference an EMBL Photographer may be taking photographs. If you would not like to appear in these, please inform the photographer or a member of the Course and Conference Office.


We can help printing your boarding passes/train ticket. Please send it to events@embl.de and collect your print-outs at the registration desk.

Room for prayer, yoga and meditation

There is a room for prayer, mediation and yoga located on level E0 behind the Auditorium. Please be respectful of other participants using the room.


A variety of activities in Heidelberg can be found on the website of Heidelberg Marketing.

Travel to and from the venue

During the event we provide conference shuttle buses to and from EMBL. In addition, there is the public bus 39A that serves the EMBL campus and taxis can be easily booked at any time. Information on the conference shuttle buses can be found on the individual event website and more detailed information on travelling to EMBL can be found on our Travel Information page.

Useful German expressions

GoodbyeAuf Wiedersehen
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good afternoonGuten Tag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Good nightGute Nacht
I’m sorryTut mir leid
Excuse me…Entschuldigen Sie
How are you?Wie gehts?
I’m fine thanks. And you?Mir geht es gut , danke, und dir/Ihnen?
What is your nameWie heisst du? Wie heissen Sie?
My name isIch heisse
Do you speak EnglishSprechen Sie Englisch?
I don’t understandIch verstehe nicht
Please speak more slowlyKönnen Sie bitte langsamer sprechen
Thank youDankeschön
Where is the toilet?Wo ist die Toilette?
Please call me a taxiBitte rufen Sie mir ein Taxi
How do I get to….?Wie komme ich zum/zur…..?
A beer/two beers pleaseEin Bier/zwei Bier bitte
A glass of red/white wine pleaseEin Glas Rot/Weisswein bitte
The menu, pleaseDie Speisekarte, bitte
Is there a local speciality?Gibt es eine Spezialität aus dieser Gegend?
I’m VegetarianIch bin Vegetarier
It was deliciousEs war hervorragend
The bill, pleaseDie Rechnung, bitte
I have a headacheIch habe Kopfschmerzen
I have a sore throatIch habe Halsschmerzen
My stomach hurtsIch habe Magenschmerzen
I’m allergic toIch bin allergisch gegen
I need a doctor who speaks EnglishGibt es einen Arzt, der Englisch spricht?
Virtual participation

What’s included?

  • Access to all the livestreamed talks
  • Video library of the recorded talks during and after the event
  • Facility to submit questions

Please note that only on-site participants are able to submit abstracts and participate in the poster sessions.

Event platform

We are using an event platform for this conference. More information about the platform will be shared ahead of the conference.


  • Do not broadcast the conference to unregistered participants.
  • You are encouraged to tweet and post about the event. Tweet unless the speaker specifically says otherwise, but be mindful of unpublished data. 
  • Please do not capture, transmit or redistribute data presented at the meeting.

Additional information can be found in our Code of Conduct.

Health and well-being

It is important to stay healthy and move around, especially when you are attending an event virtually. We have put together a few coffee break stretches and yoga videos in the conference platform for you to enjoy during the event.

How to ask questions

Please use the Q&A function in the event platform.

If you have any other questions, you can go to the Help Desk in the event platform. Click on ‘more’ on the top menu and click Help Desk. 

Time zone

The programme is planned based on the Europe/Berlin time zone, unless otherwise stated. Please take your time zone into consideration when planning your attendance.

Additional information

Please find additional information including FAQs, terms and conditions, COVID-19 safety policy and travelling to EMBL on our Information for Participants page.

COVID-19 related questions

COVID-19 information for onsite events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found in our COVID-19 FAQs.


Bronze sponsor

Event sponsor

Arraystar Inc.

Cell Research

Media partners

Molecular Systems Biology, an EMBO Press journal

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

FEBS Journal, a FEBS Press journal

FEBS Letters, a FEBS Press journal

FEBS Open Bio, a FEBS Press journal

PLOS Biology, a PLOS journal

Bio Essays, a Wiley Online Library

Advanced Biology, a Wiley Online Library

Sponsorship opportunities

We offer a variety of event sponsoring possibilities, with the flexibility to select a set sponsorship package or combine individual sponsorship options to suit your event budget. Discounts are available for companies sponsoring multiple events at EMBL Heidelberg. View other conferences, or contact sponsorship@embl.de for further information.

If you are interested in becoming a media partner of this event, please visit our media partnerships webpage.


EMBL wishes to warn sponsors of EMBL conferences and courses of fraudulent schemes purporting to offer sponsorship opportunities on behalf of EMBL or affiliated with EMBL officials. One current scam campaign of which we are aware is conducted using the name ‘Judy Eastman’ (judy@gopcontact.a2hosted.com) and entails approaches to sponsors offering sponsorship opportunities on EMBL’s behalf. Please be kindly advised that all relevant communication regarding sponsorship of EMBL conferences, symposia and courses is handled by EMBL directly and is sent from an official EMBL account. EMBL does not work with any external providers on sponsorship acquisition.

Please also note that:

  • EMBL never provides attendee lists for purchase. Any offers of such are fraudulent.
  • EMBL will never call or email you to ask for your credit card details or to request a payment.
  • All payments are on invoice.

Suspicious communications purportedly from, for or on behalf of EMBL should be reported to EMBL at the following email address sponsorship@embl.de.


EMBO | EMBL Symposia promote scientific communication and collaboration in the European research area. They provide scientists with a platform to discuss and exchange ideas on forward-looking topics and new developments in the life sciences.

Topics emphasise upcoming developments and the interdisciplinary nature of related fields. Jointly funded and organised by EMBO and EMBL – and complementary to their respective courses, workshops, and conference programmes – the symposia promote scientific communication and collaboration.

All symposia are held in the EMBL Advanced Training Centre (ATC) in Heidelberg, Germany, or virtually.

Media kit

Want to let others know you’re attending this event? Take a look at our shareable media and feel free to use them in your social media channels or presentations.

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Date: 11 - 14 Oct 2023

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Venue: EMBL Advanced Training Centre


Abstract submission: 19 Jul 2023

Registration (On-site): 30 Aug 2023

Registration (Virtual): 4 Oct 2023


  • Marc Bühler
    Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
    • Ana Eulálio
      Imperial College London, UK
      • Joshua Mendell
        UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA

EMBL Courses and Conferences are kindly supported by our Corporate Partnership Programme

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