SY-Stem - a symposium focusing on the next generation of stem cell researchers – is an annual meeting, located in the beautiful city of Vienna. It is organized jointly by the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA).

In this two-and-a-half-day event, recognized keynote speakers, as well as aspiring young group leaders will discuss the latest advances in stem cell biology in an informal and collaborative setting. Our goal is to strengthen a cooperative and dynamic spirit in this research area.

The 2022 sessions include the following topics:

Controlling Dynamics & Size Control

Synthetic Biology





All participants planning to attend in-person will be required to provide documentary proof of full vaccination according to the EU regulations.

During our symposium, we ask all participants to wear a mask in closed rooms, especially during the lectures.

In addition to this we would like to encourage all participants from Vienna / Austria, as well as those arriving the day before, to make use of Vienna’s testing system "alles gurgelt” (everybody gargles) that offers free PCR testing to everybody. Further details can be found online: https://allesgurgelt.at/en/wien/

For participants arriving only on the day of the meeting, we offer free antigen self-testing, which can be done at registration.

Please make sure to check your health status before you come. Note that we will refund the registration fees even at short notice if you have to cancel your participation.

Become part of the symposium

⇒ the registration is open, check here

We especially invite young scientists to participate in this symposium, to connect with and shape the future of the stem cell community in Europe. 

As every year, we give PhD students, postdocs and junior PIs the opportunity to present their work with a talk during the symposium.

In addition, all symposium participants are invited to contribute to the conversation by presenting a poster during one of the two poster sessions.


Abstract submission to be considered for a talk from abstract: February17th2022.

Registration deadline & deadline for poster presenters: March 09th 2022

Stay Updated

To get updates about SY-Stem, please provide us with your email address here and look out for the official event # on twitter: #SYStem2022 

We will regularly update this website with new details on speakers, registration, poster sessions, sponsors and networking opportunities.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Kathrin Plath- UCLA

James Briscoe - Francis Crick Institute


Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid - Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics

Kevin Chalut - University of Cambridge

Siddharth Dey - UC Santa Barbara

Sven Falk - FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Agnete Kirkeby - University of Copenhagen

Marlen Knobloch - University of Lausanne

Simona Lodato - Humanitas University

Moritz Mall - DKFZ

Federico Mauri - Boehringer-Ingelheim

Naomi Moris - Francis Crick Institute

Leonardo Morsut, University of Southern California

David Oriola Santandreu - EMBL Barcelona

Mercedes Paredes - UCSF

Marta Shahbazi - MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Katharina Sonnen - Hubrecht Institute

Cornelia Schwayer - Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI)

Antoine Zalc - Cochin Institute


Scientific Organizers

Elly Tanaka (IMP) - Juergen Knoblich (IMBA)

Christa Bücker (Max Perutz Labs) - Sofia Grade (IMBA) - Nicolas Rivron (IMBA) - Noelia Urban (IMBA)


Program 2022

Day 1: Wednesday March 23rd

13:00   welcome & introduction

13:15   keynote lecture 1 - James Briscoe About Time: The Dynamics of Neural Tube Development
14:15   coffee break & group picture

14:45  Katharina Sonnen - Signaling dynamics in the control of embryonic development and tissue homeostasis 
15:15  Diana PinheiroMorphogen gradient orchestrates pattern-preserving morphogenesis via motility-driven (un)jamming
15:45  Yasuhiro Takashima Modeling in vitro embryonic development using naive human pluripotent stem cells

16:05   break
16:35   Leonardo MorsutLearning to Program Tissue Development with Artificial Genetic Circuits
17:05   David Oriola SantandreuTowards a mechanochemical basis of symmetry breaking in a mammalian embryo-like system
17:35   Naomi MorisIn vitro 3D gastruloid models of mouse and human development

17:55   break

18:25   Harunobu KagawaFour features of human blastoids that model human blastocysts
18:45   Siddarth DeyIntegrated single-cell sequencing reveals principles of epigenetic regulation of human gastrulation and germ cell development in a 3D gastruloid model

19:15   Symposium dinner


Day 2: Thursday March 24th

09:00   Kevin ChalutMechanobiology of cell fate transitions
09:30   Marta Shahbazi - Coordinating cell fate decisions and tissue shape changes during mammalian development
10:00   Charisios TsiairisMechanical tissue stretching drives Wnt organizer establishment in Hydra
10:20   coffee break

10:50   Cornelia SchwayerSymmetry breaking in intestinal organoid formation
11:10   Alexandre MayranCell-specific coordination of epithelial to mesenchymal transition potentiates gastruloids self-organization
11:30   coffee break

12:00   Federico Mauri -  Switching to the dark side: role of NR2F2 in regulating tumor malignant progression, stemness and maintenance.
12:30   Mercedes ParedesLate to the Game: Human Cortical Interneuron Development
13:00   Marcella BirteleThe autism-associated gene SYNGAP1 modulates human cortical neurogenesis

13:20   lunch

14:00   meet-the-editor session
14:20   poster session 1

16:20   Agnete KirkebyRepairing and modelling the human brain with stem cells
16:50   Oliver Harschnitz Human stem cell models to study host-virus interactions in the central nervous system
17:10   Aleksandra SavinaSingle-cell transcriptomics reveals age-resistant maintenance of cell identities, stem cell compartments in naked-mole rats
17:30   Simona Lodato - 3D Human Cortical Organoids to investigate early cortical activity and developmental and epileptic encephalopathy
18:00   end of talks – free evening for attendees


Day 3 – Friday March 25th   

09:00   Nina Cabezas-WallscheidRegulation of dormant hematopoietic stem cells
09:30   Marlen Knobloch - How lipid droplet availability affects neural stem cell behaviour  
10:00   Noelia UrbanA full, dynamic view of neural stem cell quiescence
10:20   coffee break

10:50   Sven FalkMolecular control of cellular identity acquisition
11:20   Merrit RomeikeStem cell specific interferon stimulated gene expression is regulated by the formative pluripotency network through IRF1
11:40   Tom Wyatt - Patterning from the bottom up: hPSC patterning via spatially controlled stimulation from the basal side

12:00   coffee break

12:30   Moritz MallTranscriptional safeguarding mechanisms enable development and prevent disease
13:00   Antoine ZalcMurine cranial neural crest cells reawaken pluripotency programs 
13:20   Irene TalonPolycomb repressive complex 2 restricts human trophoblast induction
13:40   lunch

14:40   poster session 2

16:10   keynote lecture 2 - Kathrin PlathDosage compensation of the X chromosome: An epigenetic phenomenon that teaches us how functional nuclear compartments form and how pluripotent cell states differ
17:10   closing remarks

17:25   networking with snacks & drinks


We would like to thank all companies that have kindly sponsored this symposium. 
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please contact: lea.klement@imba.oeaw.ac.at

Previous Meetings

SY-Stem 2020

Cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak