ReTuBi Summer School 2018 and SINAL 2018

The ReTuBi Second Joint Summer School 2018 was held from 17-20 September 2018 at TRYP Hotel Lisbon Caparica and the SINAL 2018 - 9th Meeting on Signal Transduction was held from 21-22 September 2018 at Teatro Thalia, Lisbon. The Summer School was focused on the following subjects: Cancer Progression, Cancer Stemness, Cancer Invasion, Cancer Metabolism and Cancer Matastasis and it also included practical workshops on Entrepreneurship, Self-Managing Leadership, Servant Leadership and Scientific Ethics. The Summer School was organized for a target audience of 19 participants from Institut Curie, DKFZ and iMM. The Signal Transduction Meeting was open to all scientific community and it was dedicated to the following scientific topics: Signaling in Neurobiology, Cancer Cell Signaling, Membrane Dynamics and Intracellular Signaling and Immune Cell Signaling and it had an audience of 82 participants.

Joint Lab Retreat on Principles of immune evasion: informing immunotherapy

From September 17 to 19, 2018 it was held the Joint Lab Retreat on Principles of immune evasion: informing immunotherapy, in Douro, Portugal. This ReTuBi event had a total of 33 participants from Instituto de Medicina Molecular - João Lobo Antunes (iMM) and DKFZ.  

ReTuBi Lecture - Renata Basto

On September 17 of 2018, Renata Basto from Institut Curie (France) was the invited speaker as an expert visit with the lecture “Mechanisms generating copy number variations: consequences in development and disease”.

Summary of the lecture:

The processes that contribute to maintaining a stable (euploid) genome content in multicellular organisms are of vital importance. They ensure viability of stem and progenitor cells by contributing to their fitness and performance during both development and adulthood. In the germline, genome stability ensures the transmission of species-specific traits across generations. However, variations to the normal euploid genome content are frequently found in healthy animals and are thought to contribute with phenotypic variability in adverse situations. Yet they are also at the basis of several human diseases, including neuro-developmental disorders and cancer. The main objective of this lecture was to discuss how tissues respond to these variations and their impact on organism homeostasis.

Staff exchange between iMM-Curie (2018/09)

From September 9 to 16 of 2018 João Barata (iMM) made a “ReTuBi Staff Exchange” to François Radvanyi  (Institut Curie) with the following overall goals: to publicize the research in his lab to the Institut Curie’s community by giving a seminar, thereby contributing to a better knowledge of the research conducted at iMM, to discuss ongoing projects with experts in different fields of key interest to João Barata’s lab research activities and to establish further collaborations with these labs in particular (and potentially also other groups).

ReTuBi Lecture - Ângela Gonçalves

On July 23 of 2018, Ângela Gonçalves from DKFZ (Germany) was the invited speaker as an expert visit with the lecture “Dissection of complex tissues with single-cell transcriptomics”. 

Summary of the Lecture:

Recent technological developments have made it possible to characterise the transcriptomes of thousands of single cells in a single experiment. In this presentation, I will outline some of the computational tools that we are developing to address opportunities and challenges of analysing these data. Subsequently, I will focus on using such techniques to dissect the composition of the human uterus and of menstrual fluid. I will show how we obtained maps of cell types in these tissues and insights into cell to cell communication in the fetal-maternal interface. 


ReTuBi Lecture - Floyd Romesberg

On July 20 of 2018,  Floyd Romesberg from The Scripps Research Institute (USA) was the invited speaker as an expert visit with the lecture “A Semi-synthetic organism that stores and retrieves increased genetic information". 


Summary of the Lecture:

Since the last common ancestor of all life on earth, the biological diversity has been encoded in a four letter, two base pair genetic alphabet. Expansion of the genetic alphabet to include a fifth and sixth letter than for a third, unnatural base pair not only has immediate utility for a number of applications, such as site-specific oligonucleotide labeling, but also serves as the foundation for an organism with an expanded genetic code. Toward this goal, we have examined a large number of different unnatural nucleotides bearing mainly hydrophobic nucleobase analogs that pair based on packing and hydrophobic interactions rather than H-bonding. Optimization based on extensive structure-activity relationship studies and two screens resulted in the identification of a class of unnatural base pairs that are well recognized by DNA and RNA polymerases. More recently, we have engineered E. coli to import the requisite unnatural triphosphates and shown that DNA containing the unnatural base pair is efficiently replicated, transcribed, and translated within the cell, resulting in the first semi-synthetic organism that stores and retreives increased information.