VLN will host a workshop at the International Liver Congress 2015 in Vienna

Every year in April scientific and medical experts from a broad range of fields including hepatology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, cell biology, transplant surgery, infectious diseases, microbiology and virology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology and imaging, come together from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Specialists share their recent data, present their studies and findings, and discuss about the hottest topics related to liver disease. Last year, the annual congress attracted almost 11,000 delegates and 250 media representatives from all corners of the planet making this a truly international networking opportunity!

From April 22-26 the 50th International Liver Congress will take place at the Reed Messe congress centre, Vienna, Austria. The VLN and the EASL will host a joint workshop on Wednesday 22 April (08:00 – 09:30) in Room Stolz 2:

08:00 – 08:20 “LPS showcase of the VLN: Feedback and feedforward signaling loops in the LPS mediated acute phase response of the liver” Speaker: Johannes Bode (Germany)

08:20 – 08:40 “LPS and cell cell communication in inflammatory and fibrogenic responses of the liver” Speaker: Sophie Lotersztajn (France)

08:40 – 09:00 “HGF showcase of the VLN: – Multi- (molecular-, cell-, tissue- and body-) scale, spatial & temporal model of HGF mediated liver regeneration” Speaker: Dirk Drasdo (Germany)

09:00 – 09:20 “EGFR mediated crosstalk in liver injury and hepatocarcinogenesis” Speaker: Matias Avila (Spain)

09:20 – 09:30 Discussion



“Regulation of EGFR signal transduction by analogue-to-digital conversion in endosomes” published in eLIFE

In this study we analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of activated EGFR (p-EGFR) using novel quantitative microscopy methods. We found that p-EGFR is not randomly distributed but packaged at constant mean amounts in individual endosomes, resembling intracellular signalling “quanta”. A mathematical model of p-EGFR endocytosis developed to explain quanta formation predicted an unexpected link between endosome fusion and EGFR activity. Different growth factors caused specific changes in endosome number and size in various cell systems, including hepatoblasts. Changing the distribution of p-EGFR between endosomes was sufficient to trigger a different cell fate in PC12 cells in response to EGF. We propose that cells perform an analogue-to-digital conversion by clustering signalling receptors in quanta, thus conferring robustness and specificity to signal transduction. The endosomal distribution could therefore be a predictive parameter of the signalling status of the cell.

You can read more about this study here.

Excess weight accelerates ageing of the liver

Being overweight and advancing age are core risk factors for a variety of common complex diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, but the fundamental mechanisms that are responsible remain unclear. Now members of the Virtual Liver Network from the University Hospitals in Dresden and Kiel have been able for the first time to explore the impact of being obese on the biological ageing of various tissues such as blood, muscles, fat tissue and the liver. The results are surprising: “A correlation between obesity and ageing could only be shown in liver” explains Prof. Jochen Hampe, head of Gastroenterology und Hepatology at the University Hospital in Dresden; the other tissues were unaffected. According to their studies, a 100 kg woman’s liver is “three years older” than the liver of a 30 kg lighter woman.

The work is based on 1200 patient’s data and has been undertaken in collaboration with the University of Los Angles. The results have now been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA(PNAS):

“Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver”

International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB)

The International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB) is the main event for the global Systems Biology community. The 15th ICSB (14–18 September 2014) continues the annual series of conferences launched by the International Society of Systems Biology (ISSB) in Tokyo in 2000 and have recently been held in Copenhagen (2013), Toronto (2012) and Heidelberg/Mannheim (2011).

The ICSB attracts top System Biologists from all over the world to an environment that encourages integration of biology, computer science, engineering and chemistry, and that spans leading areas of biomedical research. The conference brings together interdisciplinary researchers in order to advance biomedical research, health care, and drug development.

For registration and detailed information please visit www.icsb14.com.

Conference Announcement: 5th SBMC in Berlin


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We are delighted to invite you to the 5th Conference on Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells, this year being held in the Seminaris Conference Hotel complex in Dahlem, Berlin.

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