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2nd BEE workshop 28-29 March 2019


Electrical Cell Biology Workshop

28/29 March 2019
Radcliffe Conference Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

The theoretical and experimental inquiry within biological sciences has never fully embraced an electrical viewpoint. While important studies of bioelectrical processes have and are being conducted, such as the Nobel-winning chemiosmotic mechanism of energy generation on membranes and the chemical basis of neuronal electrical processes, these are commonly considered as confined processes not relating to other cellular functions or being specific to certain cell types only (e.g. neurons). Fragmented individual studies on a diverse range of biological systems, conducted over the last decade, however, show that electrical forces and electrochemical gradients are fundamental in maintaining all kinds of cellular functions and organising them across space/time.

We are at an exciting nexus, to develop a new theoretical and experimental framework that links electrical forces to the cell biological mechanisms that generate, sense, and use them. The goal of this international workshop is to facilitate this process through interdisciplinary scientific exchange.

Sponsored by:


BBSRC logo

  uow_logo.png EPSRC logo

*This meeting is sponsored by the EPSRC NetworkPlus "Physics out of Equilibrium" and is therefore subsidised for the members of that network (

FINAL PROGRAMME - click on the links to view the presentations!

28 March 2018:

9:30 – 10:20 Registration

10:20 – 10:30 Introduction and workshop motivation (O. Soyer)

10:30 – 12:00 Session 1: Electrochemistry meets biology

Shelley Minteer (U of Utah): ‘Mechanisms of Extracellular Electron Transfer: From Methods of Evaluation to Materials for Promotion’

Pat Unwin (U of Warwick): Lab-on-a-Tip: Multifunctional Nanoscale Electrochemical Probes for Single Cell Measurements

Andrew Marsh (U of Warwick): Bacterial adhesion and molecular interactions 

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Session 2: Mammalian cell bioelectricity

Mustafa Djamgoz (Imperial College London): Bioelectricity of cancer’

Sonia Antoranz Contera (U of Oxford): Electromechanical coupling in neurons, collagen and the extracellular matrix

Roland Knorr (Max Planck Institute): Membranes in electric fields

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee

15:30 – 17:00 Session 3: Bacterial electrical signaling

Minsu Kim (Emory University): ‘Tight regulation of electrically-charged substrate transport

Arthur Prindle (Northwestern University): Emergent metabolic dynamics in microbial communities

Munehiro Asally (U of Warwick): Electrically induced bacterial membrane potential dynamics

17:00 – 18:00 Coffee and Open discussion

18:00 – 19:00 Poster Session and Drinks

19:00 – Late Dinner

29 March 2019:

9:30 – 11:00 Session 4: Electro-biophysics and bioengineering

Robert Bradley (Imperial College London): 'Engineering electroactivity for signalling, energy, and electrosynthesis'

Dr Paulo Rocha (U of Bath): Detecting minuscule electrical activity of cell populations

Teuta Pilizota (U of Edinburgh): Single-cell bacterial electrophysiology

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 Session 5: Metabolism as an electron-flow system

Orkun Soyer (U of Warwick): Understanding metabolism as an electrical process

Matthias Heinemann (U of Groningen): An upper limit on Gibbs energy dissipation governs cellular metabolism

Joff Silberg (Rice University): Using synthetic protein electron carriers to control bacterial metabolism’

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Session 6: Plant bioelectricity

Murray Grant (U of Warwick): Do variation potentials underpin systemic plant immunity

George Bassel (U of Birmingham): Information processing and distributed computing in plant organs

Giovanni Sena (Imperial College London): Feel the force: root electrotropism in Arabidopsis’

15:30 – 17:00 Coffee/Cake and Open discussion



Event documents for download:

  Event Programme

  FAQ - Warwick Conferences

If you have any queries, please contact


The workshop will be taking place in RAD space 12

Speakers: Talks to be no longer than 25min to allow plenty of discussion time.

Posters: These can be A0 (Portrait) or A1 (Landscape or Portrait).

Parking: There is ample free parking at Radcliffe Conference Centre

Directions: Use postcode CV4 7SH

This postcode directs you to Scarman Road. You’ll need to follow directional signage to Lakeside Village. You’ll then find signposts for Radcliffe.

Public Transport: The closest train station is Coventry. A taxi to the Conference Venue will cost £10-15.