IST Colloquium speakers

Here you can find a collection of all past IST Colloquium speakers sorted by the year their talk took place.


2020

2019

  • Alex Badyaev, University of Arizona – Control theory in evolution
  • Subhash Khot, New York University – Hardness of approximation: From the PCP Theorem to the 2-to-2 Games Theorem
  • Nir Shavit, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Tissue vs silicon: How neurobiology can save machine learning hardware
  • Adrian Bird, The University of Edinburgh – Reading DNA methylation in the brain
  • Edward Boyden, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Tools for Analyzing and Controlling Complex Biological Systems
  • Jay T. Groves, University of California, Berkeley – Phase transitions and molecular timing in T cell signaling
  • Taekjip Ha, Johns Hopkins University – Revisiting and Repurposing the Double Helix
  • Zeev Rudnick, Tel Aviv University – Quantum chaos, eigenvalue statistics and the Fibonacci sequence
  • Eve Marder, Brandeis University – Differential resilience to perturbation of circuits with similar performance
  • Richard Murray, California Institute of Technology – Synthetic biology: Building molecular scale machines
  • Gordon Wetzstein, Stanford University – Computational single-photon imaging
  • Josh Sanes, Harvard University – Cell types as building blocks of neural circuits
  • Magdalena Götz, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich – Novel mechanisms of neurogenesis and neural repair
  • Roger Heath-Brown, Oxford University – All about prime numbers
  • Andrew Mackenzie, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids – Electrical transport and spectroscopy studies of the delafossite layered metals
  • Silke Bühler-Paschen, Vienna University of Technology – Quantum phases and fluctuations driven by strong correlations
  • Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University – The second kind of impossible
  • Charles Nunn, Duke University – Shining evolutionary light on sleep and health
  • Michelle Simmons, University of New South Wales – Atomic qubits in silicon

2018

  • Arthur D. Lander, University of California – Control of growth, form and scale in biology
  • Molly Przeworski, Columbia University – An evolutionary perspective on meiotic recombination in vertebrates
  • Monika Henzinger, University of Vienna – Dynamic graph algorithms: What they are and why they are needed?
  • Michel Milinkovitch, University of Geneva – Patterning of the vertebrate skin through mechanical and Turing instabilities
  • Immanuel Bloch, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich – Realizing Feynman’s dream of a quantum simulator
  • Grant Jensen, California Institute of Technology – Electron cryotomography: present capabilities and future potential
  • Wolf Singer, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research – The cerebral cortex, a substrate for computing in high dimensional dynamic state space
  • John O’Keefe, University College London – How rats navigate: Recent studies on hippocampal place and entorhinal grid cells
  • Orna Kupferman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Examining classical graph-theory problems from the viewpoint of formal-verification methods
  • Gil Kalai, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Puzzles about trees, high dimensions, election, computation and noise
  • Alysson Muotri, University of California San Diego – Applications of brain model technology: Using brain organoids in neurosciences
  • Edvard Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology – The brain’s positioning system: How do we find our way?
  • Walter Fontana, Harvard University -How did that happen?
  • Jürg Fröhlich, ETH Zurich – Quantum dynamics of systems featuring long sequences of events
  • Yukiko Goda, RIKEN Brain Science Institute – Information transmission across synapses: Controlling the efficacy and its diversity
  • Luca Cardelli, Microsoft Research – Programming with chemical reactions
  • Lieven Vandersypen, TU Delft – Quantum computation and simulation – spins inside
  • Mark Pauly, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – Light, matter, form – Computational design of functional geometry
  • Adam Summers, University of Washington – #ScanAllFishes – how, why, and whatever will you do with all those data
  • Kathryn Hess, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – Topological vistas in neuroscience

2017

  • Cosma Shalizi, Carnegie Mellon University – Learning to predict with dependent data
  • Alexey Kondrashov, University of Michigan -Studying natural selection at the level of genotypes
  • Jean-Michel Raimond, Kastler Brossel Laboratory – Quantum measurements and simulation with Rydberg atoms
  • Marcos Gonzalez-Gaitan, University of Geneva – Asymmetric signaling endosomes in asymmetric division
  • David Schneider, Stanford University – Defining the resilience of hosts to infections
  • Kenneth Birnbaum, New York University – From insult to organization: Regeneration of the plant root meristem
  • Tobias Walther, Harvard University – Phase of fat: Mechanisms and physiology of neutral lipid storage
  • Vinod Vaikuntanathan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Lattices and cryptography: A match made in heaven
  • Christine Jacobs-Wagner, Yale University – How to achieve cellular replication without fail: Lessons from bacterial cells
  • Robert Tarjan, Princeton University – Zip trees
  • Irit Dinur, Weizmann Institute of Science – Local to global, high dimensional expansion, and probabilistically checkable proofs
  • Dianne Newman, California Institute of Technology – The importance of growing slowly: Roles for redox-active “antibiotics” in microbial survival and development
  • Konrad Lehnert, University of Colorado Boulder – The sound of quantum mechanics
  • L Mahadevan, Harvard University – Shape: Mathematics, physics and biology
  • Ottoline Leyser, University of Cambridge – Thinking without a brain: Feedback and feedforward in the bud activation switch
  • Claudia Bagni, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Brain wiring and social behaviour: Insights into autism and schizophrenia
  • Daniel A. Fletcher, University of California, Berkeley – New perspectives on disease diagnosis: From mobile phones to molecular engineering
  • Erik Sahai, The Francis Crick Institute – Cancer cell invasion in complex environments
  • Fiona Doetsch, University of Basel – Stem cells in the adult brain: Identity and niches
  • Frank Jülicher, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft – Shaping a fly wing
  • Elaine Ostrander, National Institutes of Health – Dog genes tell surprising tales: A story of canine morphology, behavior and disease susceptibility
  • Patricia Wittkopp, University of Michigan – Evolution of gene expression: from mutation to polymorphism to divergence
  • Laure Saint-Raymond, École Normale Supérieure – Propagation of chaos and irreversibility in gas dynamics

2016

  • Matthias Troyer, ETH Zurich and Microsoft Research – What will we do with a quantum computer?
  • Tanya Zelevinsky, Columbia University – High-precision physics and chemistry with ultracold diatomic molecules
  • Felix Otto, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences – Effective behavior of random media
  • Frank Morgan, Williams College – Soap bubbles
  • Alfonso Martinez Arias, University of Cambridge – Genetically supervised axial (self) organization in aggregates of mouse embryonic stem cells
  • Marcel Salathé, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – Digital epidemiology: opportunities & challenges of an evolving field
  • Erik Jorgensen, The University of Utah – Ultrafast synaptic vesicle endocytosis: Revisiting Heuser and Reese in the 21st century
  • Ryohei Yasuda, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience – Biochemical computation in single dendritic spines: Implication in synaptic plasticity
  • Kenneth S. Suslick, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Inside a collapsing bubble: sonochemistry and sonoluminescence
  • David Nelson, Harvard University – Population genetics, on land and at sea
  • James Briscoe, The Francis Crick Institute – The logic of cell fate decisions in vertebrate development
  • Garret Stuber, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Dissecting the neural circuits that mediate motivated behavior
  • Peter Schröder, California Institute of Technology – Schrödinger’s smoke
  • Lai-Sang Young, New York University – The visual cortex as a complex dynamical system
  • Richard Losick, Harvard University – Stochasticity and cell fate
  • Aneil Agrawal, University of Toronto – Theoretical and empirical examination of genetic diversity within a facultatively sexual diploid
  • Gloria Corruzi, New York University – The 4th dimension of transcriptional networks: TIME
  • Stefan Wolf, Università della Svizzera italiana – Causality, consistency, complexity
  • Richard Tsien, New York University – Signaling from synapse to nucleus for synaptic and behavioral plasticity
  • David DiVincenzo, Aachen University – Update on the solid state quantum computer
  • Ana Maria Rey, University of Colorado – Building with crystals of light and quantum matter: From clocks to computers
  • Naama Barkai, Weizmann Institute of Science – Expression homeostasis during DNA replication
  • David Forsyth, University of Illinois – Relighting pictures
  • Eske Willerslev, University of Coppenhagen – What we can learn from past genomics?
  • Renato Renner, ETH Zurich – How much work does it cost to process information?

2015

  • Daniel Choquet, University of Bordeaux – Interplay between glutamatergic synapse nanoscale organization and function
  • Eric van Nimwegen, University of Basel – The role of noise in the evolution of gene regulation
  • Andrew Goldberg, Amazon.com Inc. – Hub labeling algorithms
  • Harry Swinney, University of Texas at Austin – Collective dynamics, deadly competition, and phenotype switching in bacterial colonies
  • Julie Theriot, Stanford University – Cells on the move: Large-scale mechanical coordination in rapid cell motility
  • Judith Mank, University College London – The evolution of sexual dimorphism and the effects of sex-specific selection on genome evolution
  • Yves Barde, Cardiff University – Neurotrophins in development and disease
  • Steve Marschner, Cornell University – Fibers and the appearance of materials
  • Daniel Geschwind, University of California Los Angeles – Integrative genomics in human neuropsychiatric disease
  • Susan Murphy, University of Michigan – Micro-randomized trials and mobile health
  • Adrienne Fairhall, University of Washington – Learning and variability in birdsong
  • Karl Sigmund, University of Vienna – Partners and rivals: Strategies for reciprocity
  • Stanislas Leibler, The Rockefeller University – On the (un)reasonable (in)effectiveness of mathematics in biology
  • Mark Estelle, University of California, San Diego – Auxin: Molecular glue that drives plant development
  • Pierre Hohenberg, New York University – Do we need so many interpretations of quantum mechanics?
  • Rebeca Rosengaus, Northeastern University – The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: emergent properties of insect immunity
  • Fred Hamprecht, University of Heidelberg – (Joint) segmentation and tracking with applications in biology
  • Jan Born, University of Tübingen – Sleep’s role in memory
  • Mark Krasnow, Stanford University – Probing lung stem cells and cancer at single cell resolution
  • Sarah Otto, The University of British Columbia – Genomic scope of adaptive mutations in the face of an environmental challenge
  • Bill Freeman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – The motion microscope and the world of tiny motions
  • Aurélien Roux, University of Geneva – Role of lateral compression of ESCRT spiral springs in membrane remodeling
  • Ming C. Lin, The University of North Carolina – Fast visual simulation of complex multiscale phenomena
  • Martin Schwab, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich – Fiber growth, formation of new circuits and functional repair after brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Felix Randow, University of Cambridge Medical Research Council – How cells use autophagy to defend against bacterial invasion
  • Chris De Zeeuw, Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience – It takes two to tango: Differential processing in olivocerebellar modules

2014

  • Nathan Linial, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – How to read large graphs?
  • Matthieu Piel, Institut Curie – Deforming the nucleus during cell migration: Mechanism, consequences on cell survival and more
  • Pascale Ehrenfreund, Austrian Science Fund – Cosmic carbon chemistry and the search for life in the universe
  • Anne-Claude Gavin, EMBL Heidelberg – Expanding the cellular interactome: Protein-lipid networks
  • Ralf Schneggenburger, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – Function and specific development of brain synapses
  • Gershon Kurizki, Weizmann Institute of Science – The observer and the world: Does science teach us about reality?
  • Moni Naor, Weizmann Institute – Physical zero-knowledge
  • Jean Dalibard, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel – Ultra-cold atoms: a unique playground for quantum physics
  • Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, University of Calgary – Geometry of morphogenesis
  • Michael Savageau, The University of California, Davis – Strategy for deconstructing complex systems by phenotypes
  • George Zweig, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Listening to the ear
  • Jonathan Dorfan, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology – OIST Graduate University: A 21st Century Approach to Research and Education
  • Lior Pachter, University of California Berkeley – High-throughput analysis for sequencing based molecular biology
  • Tom Muir, Princeton University – When bugs talk: virulence regulation in Staphylococci
  • Magnus Nordborg, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology – Exploring the genotype-phenotype map in Arabidopsis
  • Tony Hyman, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden – Liquid-like state of cytoplasm
  • Michisuke Yuzaki, Keio University – The more the merrier: Complement family of synaptic organizers
  • Monika Ritsch-Marte, Innsbruck Medical University – Shaping up optical imaging and trapping with synthetic holography
  • Natasha Raikhel, University of California Riverside – Chemical biology and endomembrane trafficking in plants
  • Tobias Meyer, Stanford University – Cell polarization in cell migration
  • Mustafa Khammash, ETH Zurich – Cybergenetics: Real-time control of the dynamics of living cells
  • Joachim Spatz, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Stuttgart -Geometric and mechanical material constraints guide collective cell migration
  • Ivan Bjerre Damgård, Aarhus University – Secure distributed computing – from theory to practice
  • Lotte Søgaard-Andersen, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology Marburg – Regulation of dynamic cell polarity in bacteria
  • Niloy J. Mitra, University College London – Capturing and encoding shape variations
  • Jan Philip Solovej, University of Copenhagen – Stability and instability of matter
  • Martin Fussenegger, ETH Zurich – Prosthetic networks: Synthetic biology-inspired treatment strategies for metabolic disorders
  • Deborah Gordon, Stanford University – The ecology and evolution of collective behavior
  • Tomas Bohr, Technical University of Denmark – The rise and fall of the sap: Mechanisms of fluid flow in trees
  • Emo Welzl, ETH Zurich – When conflicting constraints can be resolved — the local lemma and satisfiability

2013

  • Silvia Arber, University of Basel – The ups and downs of motor circuit organization
  • Thomas Marlovits, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Vienna -Molecular machines in action: architecture, structural plasticity, and rewiring
  • Kate Carroll, Scripps Institute – Painting the Cysteine Chapel: New tools to probe oxidation biology
  • Tomas Jungwirth, Acacemy of Sciences of the Czech Republic – Physical principles and applications of spintronics
  • Spencer Barrett, University of Toronto – Demographic and evolutionary genetics of polymorphic sexual systems in plants
  • Bernard Chazelle, Princeton University – Why the life sciences are different
  • Howard Eichenbaum, Boston University – The hippocampus in space and time
  • Barry Hall, Bellingham Research Institute – Predicting future evolution: Experimental approaches, practical considerations, and applications
  • Brian Chait, The Rockefeller University – Hybrid methods for defining the structure and function of cellular machines
  • Jos Stam, Autodesk Research – Nucleus: A dynamics solver, from cloth to DNA strands
  • Carol A. Barnes, University of Arizona Tucson – Normal brain aging: Impact on circuits critical for memory
  • José Manuel Sanchez Ruíz, Universidad de Granada – Protein evolution and protein engineering
  • Thierry Emonet, Yale University – Trade-offs and phenotypic diversity in bacterial chemotaxis
  • Andrew Murray, Harvard University – Thinking versus drinking: Evolving social interactions in the brewer’s yeast
  • Jack Taunton, University of California San Francisco – Electrophilic love: Cellular secrets revealed with covalent kisses
  • Didier Stainier, University of California San Francisco – Imaging the development of cardiac form and function in zebrafish
  • Martin Feinberg, The Ohio State University – Understanding the behavior of complex chemical reaction networks
  • Stephan Sigrist, Freie Universität Berlin – Shedding light on synapse formation
  • Steve Smale, City University of Hong Kong – New string kernels for immunology with better predictions for binding
  • Niels Birbaumer, University of Tübingen – Brain-Machine-Interface (BMI): Clinic, mechanisms, ethics
  • Stephen Kent, The University of Chicago – Through the looking glass – reimagining the natural protein world
  • Enrico Coen, John Innes Centre – Constrained Freedom: The evolution and development of phenotypic diversity
  • Anne Ridley, King’s College – Rho GTPases: Signalling in cell adhesion and migration
  • Immanuel Bloch, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics – Probing and Controlling Ultracold Quantum Matter
  • Ruth Lehmann, The Skirball Institute New York University – Making and protecting the germline
  • Elad Schneidman, Weizmann Institute of Science – A thesaurus for a neural population code
  • Jiri Matas, Czech Technical University Prague – On visual tracking
  • Martina Havenith, Ruhr-University Bochum – Solvation: New answers to an old problem

2012

  • Ilya Nemenman, Emory University – Of Exactitude in Science Coarse-grained models of cellular signaling
  • Virgil Widrich, University of Applied Arts Vienna – tx-transform: Looking at space and time upside down
  • Gábor Tamás, University of Szeged – An unorthodox inhibitory neuron in the cerebral cortex: the function of neurogliaform cells
  • Brian Charlesworth, The University of Edinburgh – Natural selection and the genome
  • Jan Peters, TU Darmstadt – Towards motor skill learning for robotics
  • Nicholas Eriksson, 23andMe – Interactive web-based genetic research at 23andMe
  • Vijay Balasubramanian, University of Pennsylvania – The maps inside your head: How the brain represents sensory and cognitive spaces
  • Jerry Coyne, The University of Chicago – Two flies on an island: speciation in African Drosophila
  • David Bannerman, University of Oxford – Everything you ever wanted to know about the hippocampus but were afraid to ask!
  • Idan Segev, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem -Design principles for dendritic inhibition
  • Karsten Kruse, University of Saarland – Cellular protein self-organization
  • Daniel E. Gottschling, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle – Organelle deterioration with age: The limits of an interconnected cellular system
  • Terence Hwa, University of California San Diego – Growth laws: Origins and consequences
  • Liberato Manna, Italian Institute of Technology – Colloidal nanocrystals: Synthesis, properties, assembly
  • Stephanie Wehner, National University of Singapore – Uncertainty determines the non-locality of quantum mechanics
  • Barry Dickson, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna – Wired for sex: the neurobiology of Drosophila mating behaviour
  • Jürgen Knoblich, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna – Dare to be different: Asymmetric cell division and tumorigenesis in fly and mouse neural stem cell lineages
  • Maria Leptin, European Molecular Biology Organization – The genetic control of cell shape
  • Laurence Hurst, University of Bath – Why there is more to gene evolution than protein function: Splicing, nucleosomes and dual-coding sequence
  • Nikos K. Logothetis, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics – In vivo connectivity: Paramagnetic tracers, electrical stimulation & neural-event triggered fMRI
  • Thomas J. Silhavy, Princeton University – Outer membrane biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria
  • Thomas Lecuit, Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille – Biomechanics of tissue morphogenesis: from local to global scales
  • Andrew Read, Pennsylvania State University – The evolution of drug resistance and the curious orthodoxy of aggressive chemotherapy
  • Ian Osborne, Science Magazine – Physics in Science Magazine: Hot areas, spotting trends, and finding surprises
  • Valentina Emiliani, University Paris Descartes – Two-photon optogenetics
  • Jacobus J. Boomsma, University of Kopenhagen – Life-time commitment and the evolution of altruism and mutualism’
  • Richard Benton, University of Lausanne – The evolving social network of Drosophila
  • Edo Kussell, New York University – Populations in lineage perspective: Ages, phenotypes, and bacteria

2011

  • Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna – Information and the foundations of quantum physics
  • Lance Davidson, University of Pittsburgh -Reverse engineering the physical mechanics of embryonic morphogenesis
  • Dieter Ebert, Basel University – Genetics of antagonistic coevolution
  • Markus Gross, ETH Zurich – Modeling and animation for entertainment
  • Martin Ackermann, ETH Zurich – Individuality in bacteria: on the biological significance of phenotypic heterogeneity
  • Mike Boots, University of Sheffield – The role of ecology in the evolution and maintenance of genetic diversity in hosts and parasites: from red queen to red king
  • Pascal Fries, Ernst Strüngmann Institute in cooperation with Max Planck Society – Inter-areal synchronization and attention
  • Jean-Francois Raskin, Université Libre de Bruxelles – Hybrid automata: modeling and reachability analysis
  • Paul Schmid-Hempel, ETH Zürich – Why are parasites so interesting?
  • John Lisman, Brandeis University – An episodic memory buffer organized by grid cells of the entorhinal cortex
  • Helmut Pottmann, KAUST Saudi Arabia – Geometric computing for architecture
  • Francios Nedelec, EMBL Heidelberg – Dynamic organization of fibers in living cells
  • Daniel A. Fletcher, University of California Berkeley – Mechanical regulation of cell shape change: Lessons from in vitro reconstitution
  • Michael Turelli, University of California at Davis – How good luck, great collaborators, pretty mathematics and a maternally inherited bacterium (Wolbachia) may stop the spread of dengue fever
  • Botond Roska, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research – Seeing with and without photoreceptors
  • Alex Mogilner, University of California at Davis – Mechanics of cell crawling: from 2D to 3D
  • Frank Schnorrer, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Munich – The making of flight muscle
  • Horst Bischof, TU Graz – On-line learning for computer vision
  • Jose M.G. Vilar, University of the Basque Country Bilbao – From components to systems: modeling and designing biological interactions at the molecular, cellular, and cell-population levels


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