YouTube Dairy of a Scientific Researcher

Go to our synBIOcarb YouTube Channel and you will find a first chapter of videos in our Diary of a Scientific Researcher series. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our ESRs were trained in professional video making. In spite of the many restrictions, over the summer of 2020 they have been able to achieve a fantastic set of short films aimed at a broad public audience.

BiochTech NIGHT in Austria

A European Researchers Night (MSCA-NIGHT) called Life is Science took place in Austria on 27th November 2020. It welcomed about 1,400 visitors to a virtual live-show broadcast from a pop-up studio at ACIB GmbH in Graz.

From pop up studio…

… to online broadcast!

52 stations in total aimed at showing the general public where science meets our daily life in 3 main topics: health, food and renewable resources. Visitors could either listen and discuss with researchers in lectures, play online games or participate in quizzes. They were instructed in experiments they could do at home or they were taken on virtual lab tours. During the day visitors could watch the SynBIOcarb video series Diary of a Scientific Researcher where ESRs introduced themselves and explained their work. All videos and recorded sessions from the day are still available at Life is Science.

52 channels …

… including DIY experiments!

synBIOcarb presents at SJEZD 2020

Posters were presented by our synBIOcarb ESRs in the Institute of Chemistry at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Well done to Juvissan Ariza and Paras Kundalia who both had their abstracts accepted for poster presentation the 72nd Congress of Czech and Slovak Chemists in Prague on 6-9 September 2020.


.. for a happy team

Poster proud

.. and covid-safe

It wasn’t without the COVID-19 influence familiar to us all now. But the eyes have it! The rainbow of masked faces didn’t dampen the academic buzz or deter collaborative discussions outside in the beautiful Czech sunshine. Only one regret – Paras was very much missed. The timing meant he must stay confined to Slovakia due to self-isolation rules. Let’s hope for a better scenario next time.

Read Juvissan’s abstract. Read her poster

Read Paras’ abstract.

Transatlantic French Glycobiology

From Grenoble …

… to Alberta!

Simona Notova, ESR6 based at CERMAV-CNRS in Grenoble, took her science across the ocean in June 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be a virtual trip which she mixed with moments of imagining deep maple forest. Real or surreal, this was a fantastic opportunity for Simona to share her synBIOcarb work and practice her presentation skills. Virtual communication has been the norm for 2020 but let’s hope stepping onto a podium becomes reality again in 2021.

TE3 goes Virtual

On 17th and 18th June our synBIOcarb Training Event 3 took place virtually in conjunction with the Structural Glycoscience Summer School at the University of Grenoble Alps.

30 students including our synBIOcarb ESRs participated in a series of lectures and practical sessions. The comprehensive programme of activities, devised by Dr Anne Imberty and Simona Notova (ESR6) at CERMAV-CNRS, covered important topics such as Protein X-ray Crystallography, Sugar Building, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Solid-Phase Binding Assays. Students also engaged in live desk based practical work where they experimented with Sugar Molecular Dynamics and using databases such as a Protein-Ligand Interaction Profiler. 

So many enthusiastic participants!

Virtual TE3

Beautiful working environment we missed so much!

TE3 Grenoble Alpes

Productivity in a time of Pandemic

Europe went into lockdown in Spring 2020 but our synBIOcarb ESRs are continuing with their research wherever they can. These two recent papers are associated with our synBIOcarb work and show that even the extreme restrictions of a pandemic can’t stop our thirst for more knowledge in the field of synthetic glycobiology.

Lina Siukstaite (ESR4) in Dr Winfried Romer’s lab at the University of Freiburg contributed to this paper in Frontiers in Physiology. It looks at the effect of the lectin LecA on stretch-activated ion channels, mechanical sensors in the heart. LecA is a virulence factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacillus which is a major cause of infection in patients with underlying or immunocompromising conditions.
enGenes Biotech CEO, Dr Juergen Mairhofer, co-authored this paper in ACS Synthetic Biology about the enGenes-X-press Technology. It explains their novel approach for improved recombinant protein production (RPP) using Escherichia coli (E. coli) by decoupling recombinant protein synthesis from cell growth. This technique has profound implications for biotechnology and bioengineering and helps to establish more cost-effective and generic manufacturing processes.

ESRs get virtual with SARS-CoV-2 courses

Our synBIOcarb ESRs at the University of Freiburg, Lina Suikstaite and Francesca Rosato, have been busy participating in these coronavirus online training sessions organised by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and streamed from Geneva. They have found them an especially thought-provoking and useful course which has informed their project work with topical material during these exceptional times living through the Covid-19 pandemic.

ARTESC engages online with key soft skills

We are extremely grateful to ARTESC’s Gijs Meeusen for providing a number of our ESRs with his new online training course teaching advanced level writing and presenting skills. This six week course is a fabulous opportunity for our researchers to continue developing the skills they began to perfect during our synBIOcarb Training Event 1 (TE1) in Leeds.

15th Bratislava Symposium on Saccharides coming June 2020

UPDATE – March 2020 – This event has been postponed due to global travel restrictions related to the Coronavirus. It may be rescheduled, at best to dates in Autumn 2020 or otherwise in 2021 or 2022. Further updates will be posted when received from the organisers.

The 15th Bratislava Symposium on Saccharides (15th BSS) will be held from June 8 to June 12, 2020, in Smolenice Castle, Slovakia. BSS have been regularly organized since 1978 by the Institute of Chemistry, Center for Glycomics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, the renowned Central-European center for saccharides research.

SynBIOcarb supervisor Dr Jaroslav Katrlik is Chairing the Organising Committee for this excellent event.

The scientific program of the 15th BSS covers principal aspects of recent advances in the areas as Chemistry & Synthesis of Saccharides, Glycobiology & Glycomics, Glycans & Health, Glycoconjugates & Glycomaterials and Structure & Analyses. Keynote speakers confirmed up to date are Alexei Demchenko (University of Missouri–St. Louis, USA), Maria Hrmova (University of Adelaide, Australia, and Huaiyin Normal University, China), Wei Huang (Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, China), Anna Imberty (University of Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, France), Jaroslav Koča (Masaryk University, Czechia), Vladimír Mastihuba (Institute of Chemistry, SAS, Slovakia), Katarína Mikušová (Comenius University, Slovakia), Gordon A. Morris (University of Huddersfield, UK), Veronika Ostatná (Institute of Biophysics, CAS, Czechia), Serge Perez (University of Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, France), Evangelos Topakas (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Igor Tvaroška (Institute of Chemistry, SAS, Slovakia), Dušan Uhrín (University of Edinburgh, UK), Paula Videira (University NOVA, Portugal) and others. The scientific program will include oral presentations, flash communications and posters. Posters can be introduced also during short one minute lightning talks session and best posters will get award.


The Symposium will be traditionally held at the Congress Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in the Smolenice Castle (situated 50 km north-east of Bratislava) at the foot of Small Carpathian Mountains, the prominent wine region of Slovakia. The participants can be accommodated at the conference venue. The social events will include also welcome dinner on Monday evening, sightseeing tour and Symposium Dinner on Wednesday afternoon and farewell party on Thursday evening. Attractive interiors of the Castle and beautiful natural surroundings provide a special atmosphere for scientific discussions, relaxation and meeting friends. The friendly informal atmosphere together with high scientific standard of the Symposium make BSS popular among scientists from various fields interested in glycosciences. The meetings also provide an unique opportunity for young researchers to make their presentations and to establish the first international contacts.

For more information go to