About The Event

In light of restrictions caused by COVID-19, the Small Protein Meeting will be held as a hybrid conference and allows also non-SPP2002 members to participate virtually.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept contributions in the form of presentations or posters. However, we would be happy to welcome you virtually and enrich our conference with your presence and exciting discussions.

Over the past decade, modern genomics and transcriptomics have discovered a wealth of hidden small genes containing short open reading frames (sORFs) in many prokaryotic genomes. These sORFs encoding small proteins of <50 amino acids in length are typically missed by automated gene predictions. Recent efforts focusing on their functions have discovered small proteins impacting disparate cellular processes, running the gamut of energy generation, transport, virulence, symbiosis, sporulation, and photosynthesis.

Besides, new emerging technologies (e.g. riboprofiling, new proteomics/peptidomics techniques) now enable profiling and systematic investigation on physiological roles of small protreins.

This conference in the frame of the priority program SPP2002 “Small Proteins in Prokaryotes, an Unexplored World” aims at showcasing small proteins in Prokaryotes from different angles: in method development for detection and analysis as well as investigating physiological roles of small proteins in diverse bacteria and archaea. This meeting will bring together researchers at all career stages with the goals of sharing new insights, establishing collaborations and cross-fertilization of ideas. In addition to invited talks and talks from members of the priority program SPP2002 there is the opportunity of presenting posters digitally. We are looking forward to welcome you digitally to the Kiel fjord in September 2021.


Kiel and in a digital format


19.-21. September, 2021


Speakers from Europe

Udo Bläsi (Max F. Perutz Laboratories/University of Vienna, Austria)
Monika Fuxreiter (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
Frank Sobott (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Reinhard Sterner (University of Regensburg, GER)
Roman Sobatka (Czech Academy of Sciences, CZE)
Ben Luisi (University of Cambridge, UK)

Speakers from outside Europe

Gisela Storz (National Institute of Health, USA)
Joseph Wade (New York State Department of Health, USA)
Kumaran Ramamurthi (National Institute of Health, USA)
Elizabeth Fozo (University of Tennessee, USA)


„Please note that the times correspond to the CEST.“

Sunday - September 19th
18:00-18:15 Ruth Schmitz-Streit  Welcome by SPP2002 speaker
18:15-19:30 Gisela Storz Small, regulatory proteins expressed from INTRAgenic sequences
Monday - September 20th
9:00 – 9:35 Sandra Maaß (Becher lab) and Andreas Tholey Z1: Proteomics and peptidomics for the identification and functional characterization of sORF encoded proteins
9:35 – 9:55 Lydia Hadjeras (Sharma lab) Z2: Mapping prokaryotic translatomes with ribosome profiling and its derivative approaches
9.55 – 10:15 Rick Gelhausen (Backofen lab) Bioinformatics of Ribosome profiling: The next chapter
10:15 – 10:35 Rotem Sorek Small proteins that direct communication in phages and bacteria
10:35 – 10:50 Refreshments
10:50 – 11:10 Franz Narberhaus The elusive function of small DUF1127 proteins
11:10 – 11:30 Jessica Grube (Engelmann lab) N-terminomic analysis in Staphylococcus aureus enables identification of misannotated N-termini and proteoforms
11:30 – 11:50 Bork Berghoff Type I toxin-dependent persister formation in Escherichia coli
11:50 – 12:10 Deniz Üresin (Soppa lab) Important roles of zinc finger µ-proteins in Haloferax volcanii.
12:10 – 12:30 Tim Habenicht (Schmitz-Streit lab) Small proteins involved in nitrogen metabolism in Methanosarcina mazei
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:05 Monika Fuxreiter Versatile interaction behaviors of proteins in complexes and condensates
14:05 – 14:40 Reinhard Sterner Analysis of allosteric communication in a multi-enzyme complex by ancestral sequence reconstruction
14:40 – 15:00 Dennis Pyper (Schwalbe lab) How we use NMR spectroscopy to determine the structure and dynamics of small proteins
15:00 – 15:15 Refreshments
15:15 – 15:50 Kumaran Ramamurthi SpoVM: a small protein that builds a mighty structure
15:50 – 16:25 Frank Sobott Mass spectrometry approaches to dynamic protein structure: from disordered peptides to membrane pores
16:25 – 16:45 Jing Yuan A small membrane protein that inhibits the virulence regulator PhoQ
16:45 – 17:05 Kavyaa Venkat (Papenfort lab) A dual-function RNA balancing carbon uptake and central metabolism in Vibrio cholerae
Tuesday - September 21st
11:00 - 11:35 Johanna Bosch (Clavel lab) and Qingyin Pu (Gulder lab) Ecology and functions of small SCIFF proteins in the gut microbiome
11:35 – 11:55 Jakob Meier-Credo (Langer lab) Small protein discovery in Pseudomonas stutzeri using combined bottom-up and top-down proteomics and proteogenomics
11:55 – 12:15 Hans-George Koch Small membrane proteins in bacteria: exploring their membrane insertion and function
12:15 – 12:50 Ben Luisi  The small transmembrane protein AcrZ and its role in bacterial drug efflux
12:50 – 13:50 Lunch
13:50 – 14:10 Luna Alvarenga-Lucius (Hagemann lab) Is the small protein HliR1 participating in photosystem I (super)complex formation in Synechocystis?
14:10 – 14:30 Vanessa Krauspe (Hess lab) Analysis and characterization of small proteins and their function in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
14:30 – 14:50 Marc Nowaczyk Small proteins in cyanobacterial membrane protein complexes
14:50 – 15:25 Roman Sobotka Photoprotection of photosynthesis by (small and green) High-light inducible proteins
15:25 – 15:40 Refreshments
15:40 – 16:15 Elizabeth Fozo This conference in the frame of the priority program SPP2002 “Small Proteins in Prokaryotes, an Unexplored World” aims at showcasing small proteins in Prokaryotes from different angles
16:15 – 16:50 Joseph Wade Pervasive translation of short ORFs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
16:50 – 17:10 Ileana Salto (Dersch lab) Identification and characterization of small proteins implicated in Yersinia virulence and physiology
17:10 – 17:30 Elisa Venturini (Vogel lab) A global data-driven census of Salmonella small proteins and their potential functions in bacterial virulence
17:30 – 18:05 Branislav Lilic (Bläsi lab) Pseudomonas aeruginosa
18:05 – 18:25 Kathrin Froschauer (Sharma lab) Exploring small proteins in the food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni
18:25 Ruth Schmitz-Streit Closing Remarks

Career Workshop

SPP2002 Talent Management Workshop

It is our goal to continuously work on the professional qualification of our young scientists for which we offer a talent management workshop especially for PhD students in the course of this conference

In the frame of this workshop we will start with Professional Networking in Module 1 (including exercises, theory and practical tips) and will focus on the ability and necessity to give constructive feedback in Module 2. Moreover does the implementation of the workshop in our conference offer a good opportunity to apply and deepen what has been learned and exchange content and experiences between the participants during the duration of the event.

Ute E. Jülly, our “Talent Management”- Coach, will be around for further spontaneous interactions.

The workshop will be integrated into the conference and will take place in person in Kiel for all SPP2002 members.

Our Coach, Ute E. Jülly, earned her Masters Degree in Intercultural Communication/Anthropology and Romance Languages, Freiburg University, Germany. With more than 25 years of experience and research Ute E. Jülly is a specialist for International Scientific Personal Development. In her book “Haptik wirkt”, i.e.: “The relevance of haptics” she developed a brand new method in coaching and consulting. Since 2018 Ute strengthens the SPP 2002. For more information please visit her website:


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