Human genetics in Lübeck

This year the German society for human genetics meeting (GfH) took place in Lübeck last week. So we did not have to travel far and almost all the IIEGs Scientists attended.

Even though it was a small meeting, compared to the international meetings as the ESHG and ASHG, the quality of the talks and the invited speaker were equally good.

Plenary room
One of the many interesting sessions was on epigenetics, where Bernhard Horsthemke gave a talk on: "Epigenetics - Why its Impact on the Development of Disease is Underestimated". He also got the honory GfH medal in the evening session.

There were a lot of sessions on the varying fields of human genetics, not only great international names but also talks from PhD and post docs with high impact science. Jaafar from the IIEG also gave a terrific talk presenting his Ph.D. project on the CAD candidate gene ZC3HC1.

Jaafar presenting his work

Mariana, Benedikt, Krishan, Steffie and Ingrid presented posters in a session very well visited. This is not always the case so we were happy about this. Ingrids poster on "Novel coronary artery disease loci identified by studying the pleiotropic effects of coxibs" also won a poster prize and we hope to publish the data very soon.

The GfH award for the best selected presentation was awarded to Alex Hoischen from Nijmegen for his talk on "Ultra-sensitive mosaic mutation detection for clinical applications". They made use of a technique called "molecular inversion probes (MIPs)". We coorporate on a large MIP project with him as well and hope to present some data on it soon.

One of the first highlights on the meeting was the public keynote lecture by Eckard Altenmüller from the "Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover". He gave a fantastic talk about the genetic influence on musicality. Being a physician and a trained musician, he combined his scientific talk with live demonstration on his flute.

In the elevator on our way to the next session
Despite very many good talks, we have to point out the two outstanding plenary sessions of Sir John Burn from Newcastle University and Y. M. Dennis Lo from Hong Kong Prince of Wales Hospital. It was really interesting to hear about their career path and how they developed all their great ideas. For instance who thought that miso soup could be an inspiration for new prenatal diagnostic tests.

Also, it was a fun experience to have a meeting like this in a hotel instead of a conference center. Originally the meeting was planned to take place in the Musik- und Kongresshalle (MUK). Due to unforeseen statical problems the venue had to be changed on short notice. We think the GfH committee lead by Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach did a really good job here.

In summary, we had fantastic meeting days hearing a lot about late breaking results and new methods, and how others struggle with the same problems as we do. This is one reason why we love working in science.

The GfH attendants


  1. Looks like a very nice congress! I hope you enjoyed! And hope to see some of you in Barcelona ;)


Post a comment