Assembling matter

at all scales

from simple molecules to mighty materials

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symposium is canceled again. We plan to reschedule the meeting for early summer 2022 (end of May, beginning of June) under the same title. Updates will be posted on this site. Stay safe and healthy!


We are excited to invite you to the Max Bergmann Symposium 2020 in Dresden, Germany. The symposium will take place at the Steigenberger Hotel in the historic city center. The meeting will include talks by leading scientists from around the world.

The event aims to offer a cross-disciplinary perspective on molecular self-assembly and self-organization. The central topics are:

1. Artificial systems: assembling synthetic molecules into well-defined nanostructures and supramolecular polymer materials.

2. Biological systems: self-organization in model organisms from all trees of life.

3. Inspiration from nature: applying lessons from biological self-assembly and self-organization to create biomimetic systems.

4. Technological applications: translation toward smart nanomaterials and molecular machines with programmable functions. 

The Speakers

Confirmed speakers (alphabetical order)


Joanna Aizenberg (Harvard, USA) | Assembling liquid crystal elastomers at all scales

Rut Carballido-Lopez (INRAE, France) | Shaping bacteria: the actin-like cytoskeleton, from single molecules to morphogenesis

Leo Chou (University of Toronto, Canada) | RNA Extrusion from a DNA-Origami-Based Nanofactory

Stefan Diez (B CUBE, Germany) | Parallel computation with molecular-motor-propelled agents in nanofabricated networks

Knut Drescher (MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany) | Bacterial biofilm growth and disassembly

Andreas Fery (Leibniz-Institute of Polymer Research, Germany) | Multiscale assembly of colloidal materials for optical and electronic functionality 

Ethan C. Garner (Harvard, USA) | Kinases control the rate of peptidoglycan insertion and overall cell growth by measuring Lipid II levels and phosphorylating RodZ

Zemer Gitai (Princeton, USA) | The evolution of bacterial shape through a self-organizing curvature module

Stephan W. Grill (MPI for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany) | Guided mechanochemical self-organization

Robert Holyst (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland) | Diffusion and flow in soft matter: 100 years after Albert Einstein

Rafal Klajn (Weizmann Institute, Israel) | Dissipative self-assembly of nanoparticles

Yamuna Krishnan (University of Chicago, USA) | Quantitative Chemical Imaging in Live Cells

Thorsten Mascher (TU Dresden, Germany) | SporoBeads - functionalized endospores of Bacillus subtilis as a structured protein displaying platform

Egbert Meijer (TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands) | From supramolecular polymers to functional materials

Yael Politi (B CUBE, Germany) | Chitin-protein co-assembly in insect cuticle

Boris Rybtchinski (Weizmann Institute, Israel) | Noncovalent Aqua Materials

Eleonora Secchi (ETH Zürich, Switzerland) | The role of eDNA in the formation of biofilm streamers

Juliane Simmchen (TU Dresden, Germany) | Assembly through active matter - understanding interactions between particles

Barbara Sacca (Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany) | The effect of DNA boundaries on the kinetic linkage of a monomeric serine protease

Thorsten L. Schmidt (Kent State University, USA) | Triangulated wireframe structures: polymerase-assisted gap filling and assembly from single-stranded tiles

William M. Shih (Harvard, USA) | HiFi molecular transmission via crisscross cooperativity


Ye Tao (Harvard, USA) | From an atomic-resolution mill to a new engineering solution for the climate crisis-a call to action across 17 orders of magnitude in length

Christoph Tribet (Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, France) | Proteolipid assemblies with functionalized polymer corona prepared in a microbial cell factory

Tanja Weil (MPI for Polymer Research, Germany) | t.b.a.

Igor Zlotnikov (B Cube, Germany) | Tertiary structure of silicatein and ist role in sponge spiculogenesis



preliminary timetable

Day 1

08:00 – 09:00   —   Check-In

09:00 – 09.10   —   Welcome / Introductory Comments

09:10 – 10:00   —   Morning Keynote and Discussion

10:00 – 10:30   —   Coffee Break

10:30 – 12:00   —   Morning Session

12:00 – 13:00   —   Lunch

13:00 – 13:50   —   Afternoon Keynote and Discussion

13:50 – 14:40   —   Afternoon Session 1

14:40 – 15:10   —   Coffee Break

15:10 – 16:30   —   Afternoon Session 2

16:30 – 17:10   —   Rapid-Fire Talks

17:10 – 18:00   —   Poster Session

18:00 – 20:00   —   Dinner

Day 2

09:10 – 10:00   —   Morning Keynote and Discussion

10:00 – 10:30   —   Coffee Break

10:30 – 12:00   —   Morning Session

12:00 – 13:00   —   Lunch

13:00 – 13:50   —   Afternoon Keynote and Discussion

13:50 – 14:40   —   Afternoon Session 1

14:40 – 15:10   —   Coffee Break

15:10 – 16:50   —   Afternoon Session 2

16:50 – 17:00   —   Concluding remarks


Travel & Location

Symposium Venue

Steigenberger Hotel

Neumarkt 9

01067 Dresden


+49 351 43860


Contact Us


Dr. Lars Renner


Dr. Elisha Krieg


Scientific Committee

Prof. Dr. Carsten Werner

Dr. Andrea Meinhardt

Dr. Andre Nadler

Dr. Dora Tang

Max Bergmann Symposium 2021.