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Westlake-Science Joint Online Symposium: Biomolecular Condensates

Cellular compartmentalization is a key feature of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Lipid membrane-bound organelles comprise most of the well-studied organelles. More recently, membrane-less organelles, or biomolecular condensates, have emerged as another key organizing principle within cells. The study of biomolecular condensate and related phase separation processes has become a vibrant, multi-disciplinary research field. The first demonstration of P granule as a liquid droplet a decade ago heralded the explosion of condensate research in both physiological processes and human disease-related processes. Biomolecular condensate research has provided mechanistic explanations for basic biology and has potential implications in designing new therapeutics for human disease. In the second event of the 10-session symposium series organized by Science/AAAS and Westlake University, Biomolecular Condensates, we invited three pioneers in this field to share their cutting-edge research and their insight in condensate research and future directions in the field.


Session I 

Liquid phase separation and organization of cytoplasm

Tony Hyman, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Session II

Sequence-encoded environmental responses in condensates

Amy Susanne Gladfelter, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Session III

Calcium transients on the ER surface trigger liquid-liquid phase separation of the autophagosome-initiating FIP200 complex

Hong Zhang, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Session IV

Panel discussion