The Physical Biology Circle Meeting is an annual series of meetings bringing together researchers in experimental and theoretical biological physics from its node institutions throughout Europe. Current nodes include, among others, MPI-PKS in Dresden, Institut Curie in Paris, EMBL Heidelberg, IST Austria, IBEC Barcelona, and the newest node, the Gulbenkian Institute in Lisbon. The 2023 meeting in Dresden gathered 87 on-site participants and 45 virtual participants who attended the talks via zoom.
The scientific focus of the Circle Meeting is broad, with contributions ranging from tissue mechanics to stochastic thermodynamics and from phase separation to cell signalling physics. Two keynote talks were presented by Otger Campás and Maximina Yun from TU Dresden who spoke, respectively, about the multiple role of mechanics in morphogenesis and the biophysics of regeneration and ageing in salamanders.
The main emphasis was, however, on the active participation of postdocs and PhD students, who presented the contributed talks of 20 minutes duration, which were followed by lively discussions. Poster sessions in the evenings concluded the scientific programme.
After the fully hybrid Circle Meeting in 2021 (also hosted at MPI-PKS), we were very happy to be able to offer a "semi-hybrid format", with all speakers and poster presenters on-site, but some virtual attendance at the talks (which enabled those participants whom we had to reject due to space limitatons to attend the meeting).
This Physical Biology Meeting, the largest meeting organised at MPI-PKS since the start of the pandemic, enabled early-career researchs from the key European bophysics institutions to get to know each other and each others' work, which we are confident will lead to future collaborations.