Previous Editions

Since 2015, we have organised the Science for Life conference, a conference that shows high-level interdisciplinary research in fundamental Life Sciences. Almost 500 Utrecht scientists, students, policy makers and entrepeneurs in the fields of molecular, cellular, pharmaceutical sciences and plant biology, interact during this event. Outstanding international keynote speakers share their latest work and insights. Young Utrecht researchers present their work during the Poster Session and Parallel Sessions.

Science for Life Conference 2023

discussing research at S4L poster session

The 2023 meeting was very well-attended with over 550 participants, enjoying inspiring keynotes and lively discussions during poster- and networking session.

Keynotes speakers:
Nassos Typas, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
Dissecting the interface of medication and the human gut microbiome

·  Hailing Jin, University of California, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, USA
Cross-kingdom RNA trafficking between Plants and Fungal Pathogens

·  Corné Pieterse, Utrecht University, Institute of Environmental Biology
Host-microbiome interactions and plant immunity

·  Andrea Pauli, Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria, 
Fundamental principles during the egg-to-embryo transition

·  David Jones, University College London, UK
The Amazing Impact of AI on the Modelling of Protein Structures

Science for Life 2022

S4L Conference 2022
keynote talk by Julie Law (photo B. van Breukelen)

The conference was attended by about 500 mostly early career scientists from Utrecht Life Sciences.

Next to a parallel program with presentations from the Utrecht campus and a poster session with over 100 posters, invited keynote speakers were:

  • João Mano, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Jan van Hest, TU Eindhoven, NL, Spinoza laureate 2020
  • Julie Law, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
  • Takashi Hiiragi, Hubrecht Institute, NL
  • Charles Rice, The Rockefeller University, USA, Nobel laureate 2020

Science for Life 2021

Keynote talk at Science for Life Conference 2021
Keynote talk by Marion Koopmans

At the Science for Life Conference 2021, there were keynote presentations by:

  • Willem Mulder (Radboud UMC & TU/e | Dept. of Biomedical Engineering)
  • Andrea Ablasser (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL, Switzerland)
  • Jijie Chai (Max Planck Institute Cologne, Germany)
  • Jürgen Knoblich (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
  • Tuncay Baubec (Genome Biology and Epigenetics, Department of Biology, Utrecht University)
  • Marion Koopmans (Erasmus MC Rotterdam and Dutch Governmental Outbreak Management Team)

Science for Life 2020

Screenshot of the virtual conference
Screenshot of the virtual conference

Due to Covid restrictions, the 2020 Science for Life conference was a half-day,  online edition.


Opening Keynote by Anna Akhmanova (Cell Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University)


Round table on COVID19 research @USP with 
- Berend Jan Bosch (Veterinary Medicine)
- Lukas Kapitein (Faculty of Science)
- Maarten Geurts (Hubrecht Institute)
- Marc Bonten (UMCU, expert to the governmental Outbreak Management Team)

Closing Keynote:  David Baker (Institute for Protein Design, Washington University)


Science for Life 2019

Doris Wagner - photo by Bas van Breukelen
Doris Wagner

Key note presentations by:

Jan van Deursen  (Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota)

Helen Saibil (Department of Biological Sciences, ISMB,  Birkbeck College, London)

Ton Schumacher (The Netherlands Cancer Institute)

Andrew Jackson (MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh)

Doris Wagner (Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania)


Science for Life 2018

Emmanuelle Charpentier - photo by Bas van Breuekelen
Emmanuelle Charpentier

Key note presentations by:

Emmanuelle Charpentier (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin)

Edward Boyden (Synthetic Neurobiology group, MIT, Cambridge)


Sheng-Yang He (MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab, Michigan State University)

David Mooney  (Laboratory for Cell and Tissue Engineering, Harvard University)

Peter Reddien (Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, MIT, Cambridge


Science for Life 2017

Alexander van Oudenaarden
Alexander van Oudenaarden

Key note presentations by:

Wojciech Chrzanowski (University of Sydney)

Ulrich Hartl (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry)

Jan Hoeijmakers (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Christine Mummery (Leiden University Medical Centre)

Alexander van Oudenaarden (Hubrecht Institute)

Jos Raaijmakers (University of Leiden)


Science for Life 2016

Frank Bradke

Key note presentations by:

Pamela Bjorkman (California Institute of Technology (Caltech))

Frank Bradke (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn)

Julia Bailey-Serres   (Center for Plant Cell Biology, UC Riverside)

Michael Snyder (Department of Genetics, Stanford University)

Peter Seeberger (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam-Golm)

Ralf Bartenschlager (Department of Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University)


Science for Life 2015

Science for Llife conference

Key note presentations by:

Tony Hyman (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics)

Michel Steinmetz (Paul Scherrer Institut)

Cyril Zipfel (The Sainsbury Laboratory)

Erin Schuman (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research)

Martin Fussenegger (ETH Zurich)

Ed Boyden  (MIT Media Lab)