International Workshop on Biomembranes: The consequences of complexity

August 16, 2016 to August 19, 2016
Location : CECAM-FI, Finnish IT Center for Science, Espoo, Finland. Address: Life Science Center Keilaniemi, Keilaranta 14, Espoo, Finland Web:


  • Mikko Karttunen (Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Canada)
  • Ilpo Vattulainen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Jan Astrom (CSC - Finnish IT Centre for Science, Finland)
  • Edward Lyman (University of Delaware, USA)



Tampere University of Technology

Academy of Finland


Click here to get the program.

New: Click here for lunch restaurants around the conference site.

  • Notes: 
    D: Workshop site + two restaurants in the same building (soup-and-salad bar and a traditional lunch restaurant)
    A,B,C: Traditional lunch restaurants (xx marks entrances)

New: How to reach the conference site:

  • Location: The premises of CSC at Keilaranta 14, Espoo, Finland.
    (CSC is the IT Center for Science Ltd is administered by the Ministry of Education & Culture). The conference site can be reached by bus very easily from downtown Helsinki (CSC is at
    the edge of the Aalto University (formerly Helsinki University of Technology) campus and is served by very frequent bus connections:
  • How to get there.
  • Note: If you stay in downtown Helsinki, the best option is to buy a multi-day "Regional Ticket". They can be bought in any of the ticket machines at the bus terminal and at any of subway terminals (see the above link).

Additional info:

  • Dining: Helsinki has numerous excellent restaurants including 6 with Michelin stars (Demo,Luomo, Olo, Chef & Sommelier, Ask and Postres) and 5 Bib Gourmand ones (Farang, Gaijin, Boulevard, Social, Emo, Pure Bistro), and of course lots of Helsinki classics such as Kosmos, Sea Horse, and so on.
  • Museums:Here is the top 10 by
  • The historic Suomenlinna Fortress. Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


If you wish to use your own laptop, please use one of the breaks to check that it connects with the projector. You can also bring your talk (pdf, Powerpoint, LibreOffice) on a memory stick and use our computer.


- Chemical interactions, lateral heterogeneity, and the lipid zoo. Lipidomic studies of membranes reveal a huge diversity of lipid types, the composition of which varies with cell and membrane type. All-atom models have recently been shown to quantitatively capture the chemistry of laterally heterogeneous mixtures, and a coarse-grained representation of the plasma membrane has just been published.

- Quantitative modeling of transport dynamics of lipids, proteins, and probes. Many experiments infer lateral structure from the observed dynamics of fluorescent lipid analogues or labeled proteins, but to what extent are the dynamics of probes good proxies for the unlabeled species? Ultimately, the dynamics of proteins in the membrane governs the stochastic encounters that are necessary for signaling. Direct simulation of the diffusive dynamics of membranes is therefore of keen interest, but requires careful attention to modeling protocols. Particle based models, whether coarse-grained or atomically detailed, must respect the underlying physics, including hydrodynamics.

- Complex transport and subdiffusion. The emerging consensus from both simulation and experiment is that transport in the membrane is not well characterized by simple diffusion. Diffusion, subdiffusion, and compartmentalization are observed on different length and timescales, and depending on the protocol. Looking forward, it is important to unify the disparate experimental results, and modeling is expected to play a key role. Modeling diffusion in complex environments is requires careful consideration, and thus will be a major focus of the workshop.

Registration/application: The registration fee is 200 Euros (with the exception of invited speakers). We are limited to 100 participants and thus early applications are encouraged. Applications/registrations will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.

Use the form here under 'Apply' or email your appication to elyman [at] The application should include a short resume (text or pdf), and a note if you want to present a poster or a short talk. 

There will be poster sessions and a very limited number of contributed talks. Please indicate if you prefer one or the other. Posters are encouraged.

Current number of participants (July 20): 71 (limited to 100). The list of participants will not be posted here.

Accommodation and travel: For hotels, please see, for example, and other usual ones. Helsinki has a good number of hotels. The closest one is Radisson Blu at Otstranden 2, Espoo. If you prefer downtown, connections by bus are excellent and frequent. The bus ride from downtown (Kamppi station) takes about 15 minutes and the bus stop is right in front of the conference site.

Visas / letters of invitation: If you have been accepted and need a letter for visa or other purposes, please let us know as soon as possible. Finland is a member of the European Union so there is no need for a visa for most countries, but please check your country's Embassy of Finland web sites if in doubt.

Invited speakers and their title:

(detailed program will be available about a month before the meeting, but top help your travel arrangements, we plan to start around 12:30 on aug 16 and finish around 12:30 on Aug 19).

  1. Georg Pabst (University of Graz) "Sub-nanometer structural properties of lipid domains and asymmetric membranes"
  2. Luca Monticelli (INSERM, Lyon)
  3. Christian Eggeling(University of Oxford) "Biophysics of membranes - New insights from super-resolution STED microscopy"
  4. Ralf Metzler (Dept. for Physics, University of Potsdam): "Anomalous diffusion in membranes"
  5. Friederike Schmid (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Institute of Physics): "Monolayer curvature-induced nanoscale structures in lipid membranes"
  6. Matthias Weiss (Experimental Physics I, University of Bayreuth)"From protein clusters to functional membrane domains"
  7. Madan Rao(Bangalore, India): TBA
  8. Siewert-Jan Marrink (University of Groningen)"Lipid-protein interactions in complex membranes"
  9. Carsten Mim (Karolinska Institutet): "Structural Biology at the Membrane Interface: Electron Microscopy to the Rescue"
  10. Chia-Lung Hsieh (Academia Sinica) "High-speed imaging reveals single-molecule nanoscopic diffusion in heterogeneous membrane"
  11. Martin Ulmschneider (Johns Hopkins) "How membrane active peptides partition into bilayers and spontaneously assemble into functional membrane proteins"
  12. Cameron Abrams (Drexel University) "The Roles of Intrinsic Curvature and Lipid Sorting on the Stability of Hemifusions via Coarse-Grained Molecular Simulations"
  13. Frank Brown(UCSB, USA) "Influence of periodic boundary conditions on lateral diffusion in membranes"
  14. Markus Deserno(Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA): "What can we learn about membranes by stressing them out?"
  15. Jerry Feigenson(Cornell University): )"Lipid bilayer structure: What do we know, and what would we like to know?"
  16. Mikko Haataja (Princeton University) "Compositional lipid domain growth, coarsening, and alignment dynamics in planar bilayer membrane systems"
  17. Mary Kraft (University of Illinois) "Cholesterol and Sphingolipid Distributions in the Plasma Membrane: Implications for Control of Plasma Membrane Organization"
  18. Erwin London(Stony Brook University)"Using lipid exchange to explore the principles and functions of lipid domain formation"
  19. Richard Pastor (LCB, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health) "TBD"
  20. Ilya Leventhal (U. Texas Houston Medical Center) "The Biophysics of Living Membranes"
  21. Ben Machta (Princeton University): TBA
  22. Tomek Rog (University of Helsinki): TBA
  23. Himanshu Khandelia (U. Southern Denmark, Centre for Biomembrane Physics): "Measurements of Flexoelectricity and Cholesterol Re-distribution in the Bilayer"
  24. Gerrit Groenhof (University of Jyvaskyla): "Proton Power"


(1) Simons, K.; Ikonen, E. Nature 1997, 387, 569.
(2) Di Rienzo, C.; Gratton, E.; Beltram, F.; Cardarelli, F. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2013, 110, 12307.
(3) Shelby, Sarah A.; Holowka, D.; Baird, B.; Veatch, Sarah L. Biophysical Journal, 105, 2343.
(4) Andrecka, J.; Spillane, K. M.; Ortega-Arroyo, J.; Kukura, P. ACS Nano 2013, 7, 10662.
(5) Hsieh, C.-L.; Spindler, S.; Ehrig, J.; Sandoghdar, V. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2014, 118, 1545.
(6) Eggeling, C.; Ringemann, C.; Medda, R.; Schwarzmann, G.; Sandhoff, K.; Polyakova, S.; Belov, V. N.; Hein, B.; von Middendorff, C.; Schonle, A.; Hell, S. W. Nature 2009, 457, 1159.
(7) Honigmann, A.; Mueller, V.; Ta, H.; Schoenle, A.; Sezgin, E.; Hell, S. W.; Eggeling, C. Nat Commun 2014, 5.
(8) Heberle, F. A.; Petruzielo, R. S.; Pan, J.; Drazba, P.; Kuèerka, N.; Standaert, R. F.; Feigenson, G. W.; Katsaras, J. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013, 135, 6853.
(9) Kraft, M. L.; Weber, P. K.; Longo, M. L.; Hutcheon, I. D.; Boxer, S. G. Science 2006, 313, 1948.
(10) Gerl, M. J.; Sampaio, J. L.; Urban, S.; Kalvodova, L.; Verbavatz, J.-M.; Binnington, B.; Lindemann, D.; Lingwood, C. A.; Shevchenko, A.; Schroeder, C.; Simons, K. The Journal of Cell Biology 2012, 196, 213.
(11) Sodt, A. J.; Sandar, M. L.; Gawrisch, K.; Pastor, R. W.; Lyman, E. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014, 136, 725.
(12) Ingólfsson, H. I.; Melo, M. N.; van Eerden, F. J.; Arnarez, C.; Lopez, C. A.; Wassenaar, T. A.; Periole, X.; de Vries, A. H.; Tieleman, D. P.; Marrink, S. J. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014, 136, 14554.
(13) Brown, F. L. H. Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics 2011, 44, 391.
(14) Javanainen, M.; Hammaren, H.; Monticelli, L.; Jeon, J.-H.; Miettinen, M. S.; Martinez-Seara, H.; Metzler, R.; Vattulainen, I. Faraday Discussions 2013, 161, 397.
(15) Burov, S.; Jeon, J.-H.; Metzler, R.; Barkai, E. Phys.Chem. Chem. Phys. 2011, 13, 1800.