Hey you! Are you a PhD Student?
Would you like to see inspiring lectures by world-class experts? Do you want to find out which career steps young successful scientists took? Need a little break from the bench? If so, then we are thrilled to invite you for the 3rd edition of the VIB PhD symposium: VIBes in Biosciences 2012, taking place between 5-7th September 2012 in the city of Ghent (Belgium).

Previous VIBes editions were very successful and we are confident that this year’s programme will be as inspiring and exciting as ever! The program kicks off with an afternoon filled with workshop sessions to help you understand the nuts and bolts of the scientific publication process and to refine soft skills useful for your career. The good vibes are continued with two days of lectures from world class experts, covering a broad range of topics, from immunology and molecular biology to cybernetics and biomedical engineering. Selected speakers will also discuss career opportunities and share insights on how to succeed in science. Don’t hesitate to check out our program and speakers list for more information.

Registration is already open. Keep in mind that places are limited and provided on a first-come-first-serve basis! If you want to keep track of the latest updates on speakers and the conference program, please join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Watch the movie shown during the VIBes launching on April 18, 2012:




How to Get Published by Dr. Zoltan Fehervari

Zoltan initially read Zoology at the University of Reading, UK followed by a short stint working as a marine biologist in Norway where he developed an inordinate fondness for anything without a backbone. Following this he was "re-educated" in immunological lore firstly working on corneal allografts with Andrew George at Imperial College London, and then a PhD with Anne Cooke at GSK and Cambridge University looking at immunological tolerance. He did his postdoc with Shimon Sakaguchi at Kyoto University, Japan looking at regulatory T cells. He then moved into editing firstly as the editor of Trends in Immunology before starting with Nature Immunology.

Facts or fads on creativity? by Vigor

Facts or fads on creativity? Discover what science can tell us by experiencing it live.

The objective of this workshop is to get you in touch with scientific results on creativity and give you insights in how this knowledge is gathered. You will learn how to incorporate this knowledge in your current experience and creativity in your personal life and at work.

Kevin Warwick

Kevin Warwick (UK) is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading(UK). Warwick is world-known for his pioneering experiments in the field of neuro-surgical implantations. He implanted and linked a device into the nervous system of his left arm, which enabled him not only to control an electric wheelchair and an electronic artificial hand, but also to feel external signals, for instance. an implant in an other person’s arm. For this and other field-breaking work Warwick was selected by the Institute of Physics for the ethical impact of his work. Up till today only 6 other eminent scientist were selected by this instutue: Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Nobel, Opperheimer and Rotblat.

Jeroen Raes

Jeroen Raes Jeroen Raes currently is a professor at the VUB and group leader within the VIB. His lab combines next-generation sequencing with computational approaches to analyze the composition of the gut flora in humans. His recent work revealed, surprisingly, that regardless of diet, ethnicity and sex all humans can be classified in three large enterotypes. Furthermore, his research focuses on the link between diseases, such as Inflammable bowl syndrome, and the microorganisms present in the gut.

Alessandro Sette

Dr. Sette is the head of the Center for Infectious Disease; Allergy and Asthma Research at La Jolla Institute. His laboratory investigates anti-pathogen immune responses with the focus on pathogen recognition mechanisms and definition of the epitopes recognized by the immune system. The goal of this work is to develop new intervention strategies against infectious diseases such as influenza, arena viruses (a family of viruses responsible for hemorrhagic fever and meningitis), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as well as diseases, which pose a potential bioterrorism threat such as smallpox.

Sir David Baulcombe

Sir David Baulcombe currently is a professor at Trinity College in Cambridge. Together with Andrew Hamilton he discovered small interfering RNA (siRNA) and their role in RNA-mediated gene silencing. Furthermore, his group observed virus-induced gene silencing in plants for the first time. For these breakthrough achievements he received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Wiley Price (Rockefeller University), Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science (Franklin institute) and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. Additionally, he received the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 2006 and was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 for his contributions to plant science.

Ben Lehner

Dr. Ben Lehner is a ICREA Research Professor at Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) Barcelona, Spain. Currently his group in Spain aim to identify, understand and predict when genetic variation results in phenotypic variation, both at the level of the typical outcome in a population and also in each particular individual. Using both experimental and computational approaches his group is trying to find answer to very interesting questions like: When do genetic changes result in phenotypic change? When do they not? Why is this? And how can this be predicted?

Can I read his mind? by Roel Beckers of Silverpolis

The workshop will put you in a fictive world where you are able to read your boss' and colleagues' mind. The take-home message is a bit abstruse and actually yours to determine. Sounds compelling enough?

Jan Hoeijmakers

Jan H.J. Hoeijmakers is professor of Molecular Genetics and head of the Genetics department of the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Hoeijmakers is a world-renowned expert in the field of DNA repair and its relation to cancer and aging.

Hoeijmakers has been awarded many prizes, including the Cancer Research Prize of the Charles Rudolph Brupbacher Stiftung (Zürich). Last year, he was appointed KNAW Academy Professor as a lifetime achievement award.

Sir Philip Cohen

Philip Cohen received his B.Sc (1966) and Ph.D (1969) from University College London and then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA with Edmond Fischer (the 1992 Nobel Laureate for Medicine or Physiology).

Philip’s research has been devoted to studying the role of protein phosphorylation in cell regulation and human disease, a process that controls almost all aspects of cell life. His contributions to this topic include working out the signaling pathway downstream of PI 3-kinase by which insulin stimulates glycogen synthesis in muscle, the classification and characterization of serine/threonine-specific protein phosphatases and the elucidation of MAP kinase cascades.

Ignace Lasters

Ignace Lasters has more than 20 years of experience in the life science industry.  He has published over 60 internationally peer-reviewed articles and is named inventor on numerous patent applications. His research experience involves various aspects of biochemistry, physico-chemistry and computer modeling techniques, applied to protein engineering and drug discovery.

Jonathan Yewdell

Jonathan Yewdell received his MD and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, in 1981.After 4 years as an Assistant Professor at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, USA, he joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1987. Since then, Yewdell and his long time collaborator Dr. Jack Bennink are leaders in the Cellular Biology Section, Laboratory of Viral Diseases.

Bart De Moor

Bart De Moor is currently a full professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the K.U.Leuven.  In 1983, he obtained his Master (Engineering) Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and a PhD in Engineering at the same university in 1988. His research interests are in numerical linear algebra and optimization, system theory and system identification, quantum information theory, control theory, data-mining, information retrieval and bio-informatics, areas in which he has (co-)authored several books and hundreds of research papers. His work has won him several scientific awards, such as the FWO Excellentie Prijs.

David Allan Drummond

David Allan Drummond

D. Allan Drummond (USA) is Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. Ever since his PhD, which he obtained in 2006 at the at the California Institute of Technology, Drummond focuses his research on protein misfolding. Although protein misfolding can have dramatic effects—think of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease—not much is known about what causes proteins to misfold, not only in disease but also in normal cells. Drummond and his team are exploring why misfolded proteins are toxic, and how cells sense and deal with misfolded proteins, using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model. 

Peter Casteels

Peter Casteels is currently Section Head of Process Development in Ablynx. He obtained his PhD at the University of Gent in 1989 with a lecture on antibacterial peptides from Insects. His presentation will follow a postdoc’s journey from academic research (University Gent) to PGS (Biotech Gent) to MSKCC (Cancer Research Institute, NYC) to VIB (Plant Systems Biology, Gent) and finally back to Biotech (Ablynx, Gent).

Adam Ruben

Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, storyteller, and molecular biologist. For over a decade, he has performed at clubs, colleges, and private venues across the country, including at some of the best-known storytelling shows and comedy clubs. He is the author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010), a satirical guide to the low points and, well, lower points of post-baccalaureate education.

Jiri Friml

Jirí Friml (Czech) currently is the head of the research Auxin, polarity and patterning in the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology at Ghent University. Where he studies what the mechanisms underlying differential distribution of the plant hormone auxin within plant tissues are, and how  these processes regulate plant growth and architecture.

Ed Louis

Professor Ed Louis is the Director of the Center for Genetics and Genomics (Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences) at the University of Nottingham. The overall scientific focus of Ed Louis’s lab is mainly on genome dynamics and evolution in Saccharomyces yeasts. In 2008, Ed Louis was awarded with the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and since 2009 he has the honor to call himself a “Fellow of the Society of Biology”.

People Management by Dr. Marc Buelens

Prof Dr Marc Buelens is Partner and Full Professor at Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. He is Doctor in Industrial Psychology (Ghent University). He has worked previously as a scientific staff member (Ghent University) and as an executive for the Artois breweries. In the past, he served as the General Manager and Managing Director of Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.