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Members' Meeting


The EMBO Members' Meeting 2015

28-30 October 2015, Heidelberg DE


The EMBO Members' Meeting is an annual event where newly elected members and associate members are welcomed to the organization. Participation in the meeting offers a unique opportunity to hear about some of the latest advances across the spectrum of the life sciences from the newly elected members as they present overviews of their research.


Registration: All EMBO Members are invited to participate in the meeting.

Registration link to follow.


Location: The meeting takes place at the Operon Conference Centre on the EMBL campus, to the left of the EMBO building in Heidelberg, Germany.



The 50th Anniversary EMBO Members' Meeting 2014

29-31 October 2014, Heidelberg DE


This special celebration took place in the auditorium and foyer of the EMBL Advanced Training Centre and in the EMBO Building in Heidelberg. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the EMBO Membership Office had designed a carpet with a diameter of 4 metres displaying a network map of all 1650 active EMBO Members, connected and clustered by shared keywords. Please see below for details.


Download high-resolution image (12.6 MB PDF)

Download A1-size poster with legend (21.6 MB PDF)


Several EMBO Members trying to find "their" spot on the map.


One EMBO Member, having found her spot on the map.



A network map of EMBO Members joined by shared keywords


SAMPLE : The map includes 1,650 EMBO Members and EMBO Associate Members who in July 2014 (i) had valid EMBO Keywords ( EMBO Words ) assigned to them and (ii) shared at least one of those EMBO Words with another EMBO Member.


DISTRIBUTION : The network parameters were adjusted to achieve a continuum of expertise rather than a strong clustering around dominant, general keywords such as “cancer” or “development”. The 208,222 unique joins (edges) between EMBO Members (nodes) were weighted by the number of EMBO Words people shared ( 1 ≤ n ≤ 10 ). Nodes were then clustered based on this weighting (MCL clustering) and layed out in Cytoscape 3 (Shannon et al, 2003) using an Allegro Edge-Repulsive Spring-Electric algorithm with a normalized linear-weight transfom of the mclCluster parameter.


NEIGHBOURS : Nearest neighbours in the resulting network need not be close neighbours in expertise. It may happen that people who belong to two or more scientific communities are drawn into the centre of the network although their peers in the respective communities are clustered much farther on the outside. The final rendering was adjusted to avoid overlap between nodes and retain readability of the names.


COLOUR CODING : Each node was coloured with hues corresponding to the two most relevant EMBO Subject Areas for the respective EMBO Member; the centre of each node represents the primary subject area and the perimeter corresponds to the secondary subject area. The smaller circles along the periphery of the map provide a key to where people from a particular EMBO Subject Area are located.


LIMITATIONS : EMBO Words are mapped to individuals semi-automatically, based on free-text keywords people choose for themselves; those keywords may not be up-to-date in all cases. 


For the purpose of this project, EMBO did not assign keywords independently.


EMBO Words do not form an ontology and are neither hierarchical nor equi­valent in scope; no weighting was applied that would take into account the relative frequency of keyword terms.


Individuals with fewer / rarer keywords are less likely to be joined to others and will end up in the periphery of the network.


ORIGINAL USE : On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of EMBO, the image above was printed as a circular carpet with a diameter of 4 m and displayed at the EMBO Members’ Meeting 2014.



Shannon P, Markiel A, Ozier O, Baliga NS, Wang JT, Ramage D, Amin N, Schwikowski B, Ideker T (2003) Cytoscape: a software environment for integrated models of biomolecular interaction networks. Genome Res. 13: 2498 – 2504