Liquid biopsy, human‒robot interaction, migration research: International scientists present their research at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin on 9 November 2017


When: Thursday, 9 November 2017, from 9 am to 7 pm
Where: Radialsystem V, Holzmarktstraße 33, 10243 Berlin


Berlin, 17 October 2017. We would like to invite you to the ninth Falling Walls Conference on 9 November 2017 in Berlin. Sixteen leading researchers from around the world will present the results of their research in diverse disciplines to over 700 guests.

The Chinese chemical pathologist Dennis Lo is one of these international speakers. His contributions in the area of prenatal diagnosis, which have led to the development of non-invasive tests for the early detection of hereditary diseases, have generated talk of him being a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize. At Falling Walls he will discuss his latest work involving the “liquid biopsy” technology, which can detect certain forms of cancer in the blood even before symptoms appear. A blood test is currently being developed to detect cancer while it can still be successfully treated.

Psychologist Leila Takayama focuses on a completely different issue that will be similarly important to humankind in the future: interactions between humans and robots. An associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Leila Takayama investigates how people react to new technologies and which factors influence their reactions. In the future, robots should be designed so that people find them easy to understand, predictable, and approachable to facilitate successful human–robot coexistence.

One of today’s most topical issues is the focus of Alexander Betts’ research field. As Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, he seeks solutions for the refugee crisis and calls for new, more efficient migration policies. He advocates not only rethinking the criteria for the protection of vulnerable people, but also finding new ways to help refugees move more quickly into employment and thus gain more autonomy.

For a list of all speakers and the full programme, please visit

The first Falling Walls Conference took place in 2009 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the event has since become a highly respected platform for top research from around the world. The Conference is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Berlin Senate, as well as by numerous scientific institutions, foundations, and companies. On the day before the Falling Walls Conference, on 8 November, the Falling Walls Foundation hosts the Falling Walls Lab, an event for aspiring scientists and innovators, as well as Falling Walls Venture, a competition for science based start-ups.

Further information on the Falling Walls Conference and its expanded programme can be found at

On the day of the event, the Conference will be streamed live here:

If you would like to request an interview or require information for pre-event coverage, please contact Lucie Menz at or +49-30-60 988 39-74.

Online accreditation is available at


The Falling Walls Conference is part of the Berlin Science Week:


Press contact
Lucie Menz
Falling Walls Foundation gGmbH
Chausseestraße 8e
10115 Berlin

Tel:  +49 30 60 988 39 74
Fax: +49 30 60 988 39 79

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