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Falling Walls Circle – Charité Symposium for Breakthroughs in Life Sciences

Falling Walls Foundation, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Stiftung Charité | Patrick Cramer, Cynthia Sharma, José-Alain Sahel, Heiko Lickert, Valentina Cappelletti, Florian Ingo Schmidt, Jeremy Herren, Janis Taube, Alex Szalay, Christiane Löll

In cooperation with Stiftung Charité and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Falling Walls is hosting this unique format to connect researchers in the life sciences from all over the world. The symposium gathers our winners for the Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Life Sciences as well as partners from academia and business to discuss the most pressing issues and recent breakthroughs in this field.


Please find the detailed programme here.

Patrick Cramer

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Patrick Cramer studied chemistry at Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Bristol and Cambridge. After his doctorate at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble he joined Roger Kornberg as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. In 2001, he obtained a tenure-track professorship at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and became a full professor of biochemistry there in 2004. He served as director of the Gene Center Munich (2004-2013) and as Chair of EMBL Council (2016-2019). Since 2014 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen.

Cynthia Sharma

Institute of Molecular Infection Biology, JMU Würzburg

Cynthia Sharma is a full professor at the Institute of Molecular Infection Biology at JMU Würzburg. She studied Biology and obtained her PhD in bacterial RNA biology at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin (MPIIB). After short postdoctoral work at MPIIB and the National Institutes of Health (USA), she joined the Research Center for Infectious Diseases (ZINF) in Würzburg as a junior group leader in 2010. Since 2017 she is the Chair of Molecular Infection Biology II and ZINF spokesperson since 2018. Her lab studies gene regulation and CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial pathogens.

José-Alain Sahel

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine / Institut de la Vision (Sorbonne Université/Inserm/CNRS)

Dr. José-Alain Sahel is a clinician-scientist who developed a groundbreaking neuroprotective strategy to rescue central vision and first-in-man studies with electronic retinal implants, gene and cell therapies to restore vision in patients with blinding retinal dystrophies. He led the clinical trial documenting for the first time partial visual recovery after optogenetic therapy in a blind patient.

More events with José-Alain Sahel

Tue | Nov 09, 2021 | 09.45 AM - 10.00 AM Berlin Time

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Tue | Nov 09, 2021 | 12.30 PM - 12.55 PM Berlin Time

Falling Walls Breakthrough Conversation with José-Alain Sahel

Heiko Lickert

Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research (IDR)

I am the director of the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research at Helmholtz Center Munich and Chair of Beta Cell Biology at the Technical University Munich. As to my background, I am a developmental and stem cell biologist and have devoted my career to understanding how the pancreas and the insulin-producing beta cells are formed and how we can use this knowledge to find a cure for diabetes. Findings from my studies serve as a basis to either regenerate patient β-cells (β-cell regeneration therapy) or replace lost β-cells with stem cell-generated β-cells (β-cell replacement therapy).

Valentina Cappelletti

ETH Zürich, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology

Valentina Cappelletti is a research associate at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zürich in the Picotti lab. Valentina obtained her PhD from the University of Padua (Italy), working on phenotypic plasticity in yeast and discovering protein conformational switches as a potential adaptive mechanism. In the Picotti lab she investigates how the 3D structure of proteins controls their function in living systems. Her work extends the “structure is function” axiom of molecular biology to the systems level, enabling systems-wide structural proteomic analyses in health and disease.

Florian Ingo Schmidt

University of Bonn

Florian I. Schmidt studied Biochemistry at TU Munich with research stays in Hamburg, San Diego, Oxford, and New York. During his PhD at ETH Zurich, he investigated the entry of viruses into host cells. In 2013, Florian joined the Whitehead Institute at MIT to further develop the nanobody technology and apply it to better understand virus infections and innate immune responses. Since 2017, he is leading his own research group at the University of Bonn, where Paul-Albert Koenig and him set up a core facility for nanobody discovery. In 2020, both co-founded DiosCURE Therapeutics SE.

Jeremy Herren

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Jeremy Herren is an entomologist / microbiologist with interested in the interactions between insect-endosymbionts and their hosts. Insect endosymbionts are seen by many as the most promising new technological advance in the field of vector-borne disease control. Jeremy’s current research goals are to develop endosymbiont-based strategies to control vector-borne diseases (especially malaria) in Africa. To meet this goal, Jeremy Herren has established a cutting-edge endosymbiont-research facility at icipe, Nairobi.

Janis Taube

Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Janis Taube is the Director of Dermatopathology at Johns Hopkins University SOM, and co-Director of the Tumor Microenviornment Core at the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute of Immunotherapy and the Mark Foundation Center for Advanced Imaging and Genomics. Her laboratory focuses on characterizing the local, pre- and on-treatment tumor microenvironment in pathology specimens using techniques ranging from routine histology to new multispectral tissue imaging platforms.

Alex Szalay

Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Alex Szalay is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the architect for the Science Archive of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. His papers span areas from astronomy, spatial statistics, computer science and more recently cancer research. He is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Microsoft Jim Gray Award, the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, the Victor Ambartsumian International Science Prize, and the ACM SIGMOD Systems award.

Christiane Löll

Gruner + Jahr

Christiane Löll is a science journalist. She graduated in medicine but has been working in journalism since 2000. Christiane was trained at German Press Agency (dpa), then worked with the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for some years. From 2010 to 2018 she gained broad experience as a freelance reporter and moderator, working for various outlets and organizations. In 2018 Christiane joined the publishing house Gruner + Jahr in Hamburg. She is an editor-in-chief of the science department for GEO, P.M. and GEO Wissen Gesundheit.

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Radialsystem Berlin
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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