Programme features

For this advanced course, four highly relevant and related topics have been selected:


Membrane Contact Sites as central hubs of cellular lipid logistics: What is the architecture of Membrane Contact Sites and how are lipids transported via membrane contact sites? How does membrane curvature affect lipid transport at Membrane Contact Sites? How do lipids play a role in a variety of cellular processes ranging from ER homeostasis to apoptosis and neurotransmission?

Lipid transfer proteins and novel functions: How do lipid-transfer proteins exchange lipids between membranes and how can they create a gradient of lipid species at the expense of other lipid species? How do lipid-transfer proteins function at Membrane Contact Sites? What is the role of lipid-transfer proteins in cellular processes such as signal transduction and cancer pathogenesis?

Membrane curvature and dynamics: How does membrane curvature affect the different types of lipid transport including lateral diffusion, vesicular transport, monomeric exchange by lipid-transfer proteins and at Membrane Contact Sites. An integrated view will emerge by studying these different mechanisms as they occur at the Golgi complex.

Neutral lipids and membrane contact sites: Neutral lipids form a special class of lipids that cannot be accommodated in lipid bilayers. What are the mechanisms for transport and storage of these essential neutral lipids? How do cellular mechanisms deviate from general lipid transport processes at membrane contact sites to allow neutral lipid transport between cellular organelles?

The lecturers will cover these topics by presenting an overview lecture of their field, followed by an in depth and state-of-the-art lecture on their current research:

Pietro de Camilli (New Haven, USA)

Membrane contact sites regulate lipid homeostasis in neurotransmission


Antonella de Matteis (Naples, Italy)

Regulation of the ER-Golgi contact sites in membrane trafficking and genetic disorders


Gia Voeltz (Boulder, USA)

Structure and function of MCS in relation to ER shape and dynamics


Joost Holthuis (Osnabrück, Germany)

Molecular dissection of ceramide-mediated apoptosis at membrane contact sites


Tim Levine (London, UK)

Intracellular traffic without vesicles and do lipid transfer proteins transfer lipids?


Sima Lev (Rehovot, Israel)

Role of phosphatidylinositol-transfer proteins at membrane contact sites and in cell function


Felix Wieland (Heidelberg, Germany)

Role of lipids and coat proteins in the formation of transport vesicles


Shamshad Cockcroft (London, UK)

PI-transfer proteins: participants in lipid transport and Phospholipase C Signalling


Karel Wirtz (Utrecht The Netherlands)

Lipid transfer proteins: an enigma to be solved


Daniela Corda (Naples, Italy)

Mechanisms of membrane fission: role of the lipid metabolism in post-Golgi carrier transport


James McNew (Houston, USA)

Determining the role of ER shaping and fusion proteins and lipids in neuromuscular function


Patricia Bassereau (Paris, France)

Membrane biophysics of sensing and inducing membrane curvature with proteins


Frank van Kuppeveld (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Enteroviruses hijack membrane contact site machinery to build their replication organelles


Doris Höglinger (Heidelberg, Germany)

The challenges of visualization of lipid transport across membrane contact sites


Tobias Walther (Boston, USA)

The cell biology of lipid storage in health and disease


Bernd Helms (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Lipid droplet dynamics in professional lipid storing cells

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