Speakers

We are pleased to announce the following confirmed speakers:

Amaya Snip'The Role and Regulation of ROS during Development and Regeneration'
Enrique Amaya, UK

Enrique is the Healing Foundation Professor of Tissue Regeneration at the University of Manchester. His research interests are focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for tissue formation, repair and regeneration in amphibians and fish. His lab is also investigating the mechanisms used by embryos to heal wounds without scars. It is hoped that these studies will help pave the way toward the development of novel therapies, which will enable humans to heal and regenerate tissues better.
Aulehla.jpg snip'Oscillatory Signals Controlling Mesoderm Patterning - A Quantitative Approach'
Alexander Aulehla, Germany

Alexander Aulehla is a group leader in the Developmental Biology Unit at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg since 2009. He did his postdoctoral research with Olivier Pourquie at the Stowers Institute, Kansas City, USA, completed his PhD in 2008 at Paris VI University and his medical studies in 2002 in Freiburg, Germany. In addition, Alexander previously worked with Bernhard Herrmann at the Max-Planck Institute, Freiburg, Germany and with Randy L. Johnson at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.
Since 2015 Alexander Aulehla is an ERC Starting Grant Investigator. Research concentrates on the temporal control of embryonic development. In particular, his lab addresses how information for embryonic patterning and cellular differentiation is encoded at the level of signalling dynamics and oscillations.
Benfey snip'Underground Signalling Networks'
Phil Benfey, USA

Philip Benfey is an HHMI Investigator and the Paul Kramer Professor of Biology at Duke University. His research focuses on plant developmental genetics and genomics. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Benfey received his PhD from Harvard University and a DEUG (Diplome d'Etudes Universitaire Generale) from the University of Paris.
Bergmann'Coordination of Cell Polarities at Multiple Scales in a Plant Stem Cell Lineage'
Dominique Bergmann, USA

Dominique Bergmann (PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder) is a Professor of Biology at Stanford University and a GBMF/HHMI investigator. Her research group uses stomata (cellular valves on the surfaces of plant leaves) to understand fundamental mechanisms of cell fate, asymmetric cell division and cell-cell communication within stem-cell populations, and how stem cells perceive environmental cues that enable them to build organs optimized for the local conditions.
Briscoe'On The Growth and Form of The Vertebrate Neural Tube'
James Briscoe, UK

James Briscoe is a senior group leader at The Francis Crick Institute. He obtained a BSc in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick, UK. Following his PhD research in Ian Kerr's laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) he undertook postdoctoral training at Columbia University, New York, USA, with Thomas Jessell. In 2000 he moved to the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) to establish his own research group. His research interests comprise the molecular and cellular mechanisms of graded signalling by morphogens and the role of transcriptional networks in the specification of cell fate. To address these questions his lab uses a range of experimental and computational techniques with model systems that include mouse and chick embryos and embryonic stem cells.
cellerino'The Annual Fish Nothobranchius furzeri as Model System for Developmental Arrest and Aging' 
Alessandro Cellerino, Germany

Alessandro Cellerino is assistant professor of Physiology at Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy and head of a cooperation group at Leibniz Institute on Aging, Jena Germany. Alessandro Cellerino has proposed the annual fish Notobranchius furzeri as a model organism for aging research and has investigated early embryonic development, diapause regulation, adult stem cells and regulation of longevity in this novel model organism.
Dr. Cheng-Ting Chien'Epidermis-dendrite Adhesion promotes Dendrite Growth and prevents Dendrite Bundling'
Cheng-Ting Chien, Taiwan

Dr. Cheng-Ting Chien graduated from Stony Brook University, New York, and did his postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco. In 1996, he joined Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, and is now Distinguished Fellow in Academia Sinica. He also serves as coordinator for Neuroscience Program of Academia Sinica (NAPS) since 2008. Dr. Chien’s long-term interest is in neural development, and he is now focusing on dendrite arborization. His lab has shown how facilitated endocytosis promotes dendrite growth, and how Golgi outpost dynamic in dendrites is regulated.
Chourrout'An Alternative Fate of Chordate Genomes Exemplified by The Rapidly Evolving Larvaceans'
Daniel Chourrout, Norway

Daniel Chourrout, educated in Paris, is since 1997 the founding director of the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, in Bergen (Norway). This partner institute of E.M.B.L. is mostly interested in evo-devo research, using marine invertebrates. His research group is studying the evolution of tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and more particularly the new model system Oikopleura dioica. Main projects are on rapid changes of genome features and on the emergence of evolutionary novelties.
Desplan snip'Evolution of Colour and Motion Vision'
Claude Desplan, USA

Claude Desplan, Silver Professor in the Department of Biology at New York University, received his DSc at INSERM in Paris in 1983 working with Moukhtar and Thomasset on calcium regulation. As a postdoc with Pat O’Farell at UCSF, he demonstrated that the homeodomain is a DNA binding motif. His lab investigates the neural basis of color vision in Drosophila as well as the development and function of the optic lobes. Recently, his lab has also provided a functional understanding of the neuronal and computational mechanisms underlying motion detection. He also uses the ant Harpegnathos and other insects to study the evolution of the visual system as well as ‘evo-devo’ approaches to show how insect embryos pattern their antero-posterior axis through extensive rewiring of a network of evolutionarily conserved genes.
He is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected foreign member of EMBO, and an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Duboule'The Mechanism of Hox Gene Colinearity in Developing Limbs'
Denis Duboule, Switzerland

Denis Duboule, PhD, ForMemRS, studied biology at the University of Geneva, where he obtained a PhD in mammalian embryology in 1984. He then moved to Strasbourg (France) as a group leader in the medical faculty and then to the European Laboratory for Molecular Biology (EMBL) in Germany. In 1993, he was appointed full professor at the University of Geneva, where he has chaired the department of Genetics and Evolution since 1997. He is also a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne since 2006. His research activities are in the fields of embryology, genetics and developmental genomics of mammals, in an evolutionary context. In particular, his laboratory has been closely associated with the structural and functional studies of mammalian Hox genes, by using mouse molecular genetic approaches. He is also active in the communication of science, is a member of the Academia Europea as well as several academies in Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. He is a foreign member of the Royal Society and of the National Academy of Sciences USA and has received various scientific prizes and awards.
Ephrussi'Assembly and Transport of Oskar mRNPs in the Drosophila Germline'
Anne Ephrussi, Germany

Anne Ephrussi is Head of the Developmental Biology Unit at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany; she is also Head of the EMBL International Center for Advanced Training. She obtained her PhD in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985, and carried out her postdoctoral studies at Harvard and at the Whitehead Institute (MIT). Combining genetics, cell biology and biochemistry, her research is focused on understanding how RNA molecules are transported, localised and translationally controlled within the cytoplasm for proper cell function and organismal development. As her main model, she uses the Drosophila oocyte, in which mRNA localisation and localised translation underlie patterning of the future embryo. She is a member of EMBO, of the Academia Europaea, and of the French Académie des Sciences.
ghazi-1-002'Fat, Fertility and Aging in C. elegans'
Arjumand Ghazi


Arjumand Ghazi is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Developmental Biology and Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The Ghazi lab studies the genetics of aging and reproduction using C. elegans as a model system. We focus on genes that define the interactions between an animal’s reproductive system and its rate of aging, using molecular-genetic, genomic and proteomic approaches. These interests have led us to explore transcription factors that regulate metabolism and the balance between lipid anabolism and catabolism. The lab also studies proteostasis mechanisms that impact aging, including the proteasomal pathway of protein degradation. Research in the Ghazi lab is funded by the National Institutes on Aging and the Lawrence Ellison Foundation.
Alex Gould'Coping with a Stressful Start in Life'
Alex Gould, UK

Alex Gould, Senior Group Leader and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator at The Francis Crick Institute, London, graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University before doing research for his PhD on Drosophila Hox genes with Rob White. As a Beit Memorial Fellow he undertook postdoctoral research on vertebrate Hox genes with Robb Krumlauf at the MRC NIMR in Mill Hill, London where he established his own research group in 1998. In 2012, he was appointed Head of the newly formed Division of Physiology & Metabolism at NIMR. His current research interests include the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms regulating growth and metabolism. He is an elected member of EMBO and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the Hooke Medal of the British Society for Cell Biology in 2011. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Development and PLOS Biology and is a member of the Wellcome Trust Peer Review College (http://www.agouldlab.com).
Gregor'Segmentation by The Numbers'
Thomas Gregor, USA

Thomas Gregor is a biophysicist and Professor at Princeton University. His Laboratory for the Physics of Life uses both Drosophila melanogaster and Dictyostelium discoideum as model systems to understand developmental processes from a physics perspective.
Guillemin'Microbial Modulation of Development: Insights from the Zebrafish'
Karen Guillemin, USA

Karen Guillemin is a Professor of Biology in the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon and the founding Director of the Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals (META) Center for Systems Biology. Guillemin received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College and her Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University, where she worked with Dr. Mark Krasnow studying organ development in Drosophila. She continued her postdoctoral training at Stanford in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, studying bacterial-host interactions with Dr. Stanley Falkow. In her own laboratory at the University of Oregon she has combined her interests in animal development and bacterial-host interactions to study how the resident microbiota promote normal development and under certain circumstances, pathology. She has pioneered the use of gnotobiotic zebrafish to study host-microbe interactions in a vertebrate and to investigate how host-microbe systems assembly, function, and evolve.
Hamada snip'Origin of Morphological Asymmetries in The Mouse Embryo'
Hiroshi Hamada, Japan

Hiroshi is currently at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology. His group has been investigating how body axes, left-right and anterior-posteior axes, are established in the mouse embryo. His current interests are the mechanism of symmetry breaking and the origin of body axes in the mouse embryo.
OlivierHamant'Mechanical Conflicts in Multicellular Systems Channel Growth and Forms'
Olivier Hamant, France

As a PhD student, Olivier Hamant studied the role of homeodomain transcription factors in Arabidopsis, with Véronique Pautot (INRA Versailles, France). He then analyzed sister chromatid cohesion during meiosis in maize in Zac Cande’s group (Berkeley, USA). Back in France, he started his current work on the role of mechanical signals in plant morphogenesis with Jan Traas, teaming up with Arezki Boudaoud at the Plant Reproduction and Development lab (Lyon), bridging molecular and cellular biology with modeling and biophysics.
Harvey Snip'Transcriptional Targets in Heart Development and Off-Targets in Congenital Heart Disease'
Richard Harvey, Australia

Professor Richard Harvey received his PhD in 1982 from the University of Adelaide, training in molecular biology. He undertook postdoctoral studies in embryology at Harvard University with Doug Melton, and then moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, establishing an independent group. In 1998, he relocated to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, where he is currently Co-Deputy Director and Head of the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Division. He holds the endowed Sir Peter Finley Professorship of Heart Research at the University of New South Wales. He is a member of the Australian Academy of Science and EMBO. His research has focused on the genetic basis of heart development and congenital heart disease mechanism. He also works on the origins of adult cardiac stem cells, and cardiac regeneration.
Has snipJim Haseloff, UK

Prof. Jim Haseloff is a plant synthetic biologist working at the University of Cambridge. His scientific interests are focused on the engineering of plant morphogenesis, using microscopy, molecular genetic, computational and synthetic biology techniques (www.haseloff-lab.org). He and his group have developed new approaches to RNA engineering, quantitative imaging and gene expression in plants, and promote the potential of synthetic biology as a tool to engineer new feedstocks for sustainable use. He chairs the Synthetic Biology Research Initiative at the University of Cambridge (www.synbio.cam.ac.uk), and is Director of the OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre, a collaborative venture between the University of Cambridge and the John Innes Institute and Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich (www.openplant.org).
Heisenberg'Cell and Tissue Mechanics in Zebrafish Gastrulation'
Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, Austria

Carl-Philipp Heisenberg is a Professor at the IST Austria. His research focuses on the molecular, cellular and biophysical mechanisms underlying gastrulation movements in zebrafish. He is a member of EMBO and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He received his PhD from the MPI for Developmental Biology/University of Tübingen and his Diploma in Biology from the LMU Munich.
Takashi'Symmetry Breaking and Self-organisation in Mouse Development'
Takashi Hiiragi, Germany

Graduated from Kyoto University in 2000, Takashi Hiiragi started his group since 2002 at Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg after his postdoc work with Davor Solter. He was an independent group leader at Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster, before moving to EMBL Heidelberg in 2011. A recipient of the ERC Starting Grant. Looking at the molecular, cellular and systems levels, the Hiiragi group studies how, early in mammalian development, the embryo is self-organised from a spherical mass of cells.
Higashiyama 3l'Live-cell Imaging of Plant Fertilization for Identification of  Key Molecules'
Tetsua Higashiyama, Japan

Tetsuya Higashiyama (Ph. D., University of Tokyo) is a Vice-Director of Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules at Nagoya University. He is a Research Director of ERATO Live-Holonics Project. His research focuses on cell-to-cell communication in plant reproduction. His unique approaches include live-cell imaging and interdisciplinary studies with synthetic chemistry and nano-engineering fields.
catarina-homemCatarina Homem, Portugal

Catarina Homem is a Principal Investigator at the Center for Chronic Diseases (CEDOC) at the University Nova of Lisbon, Portugal. Her main research interests are on how stem cell fate and proliferation are temporally and metabolically regulated during development. Her lab uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model.
Catarina Homem did her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Mark Peifer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and her Postdoct in the lab of Dr. Juergen Knoblich at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria.
vivian-irish'The Arabidopsis Petal: A Model for Plant Organogenesis'
Vivian Irish, USA

Vivian Irish is Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. For a number of years, she has focused on characterizing the genes and pathways regulating organogenesis and growth in the flower. Dr. Irish has also explored the extent to which these pathways are conserved across different flowering plant species. Using molecular, genetic and modeling approaches, her current research is centered on understanding how these processes are integrated in forming a petal, a simple laminar organ of few cell types, but whose form varies widely in different plant species.
Jones snip'Age-related Changes to Stem Cells and The Stem Cell Niche'
Leanne Jones, USA

Leanne Jones is a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California- Los Angeles. Dr. Jones received her PhD from Harvard University, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in the laboratories of Philip Ingham (University of Sheffield) and Margaret Fuller (Stanford University School of Medicine). Her lab is interested in uncovering fundamental mechanisms by which stem cell behavior is regulated, using Drosophila melanogaster and human cells as model systems. Recent work has also focused on how stem cell behavior is modulated in response to aging and metabolic switches.
Kingsley snip'Fishing for The Secrets of Vertebrate Evolution'
David Kingsley, USA

David Kingsley trained in somatic cell genetics and mouse genetics at MIT and the National Cancer Institute. In his lab at Stanford, he has pioneered the development of three-spine sticklebacks as a model organism for studying the molecular basis of vertebrate evolution. His research has shown that regulatory changes in key developmental control genes used repeatedly to evolve new traits in natural populations. These results can now be generalized to many other organisms, including the search for genomic changes that underlie classic biological traits in humans.
Krasnow'Elucidation of Lung Development, Stem Cells, and Cancer at Single Cell Resolution'
Mark Krasnow, USA
Kuratani snip'Acquisition of The Turtle Shell: Changes in Developmental Program behind The Evolutionary Novelty'
Shigeru Kuratani, Japan

Shigeru Kuratani received his Ph.D. from the Kyoto University Department of Zoology. He spent the period from 1988 to 1991 i the United States working in experimental and molecular embryological research. He returned to Japan in 1994 to take position as associate professor in the Kumamoto University, and moved to Okayama University to assume a professorship in 1997, where he remained until he was appointed in RIKEN. Kuratani has always been, and still is interested in vertebrate head development and evolution.
Leyser snip 2'Signal Integration and The Bud Activation Switch'
Ottoline Leyser, UK

Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Her research uses the control of shoot branching in Arabidopsis to understand the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity. She trained in Genetics at the University of Cambridge, followed by post-doctoral research at Indiana University, eventfully punctuated by the birth of her two children. In 1994 she took up a faculty position at the University of York, moving to the new Sainsbury Laboratory in 2011. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Member of EMBO and the Leopoldina, and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Little snip'Directing Stem Cells to Kidney: From Development to Regeneration'
Melissa Little, Australia

Melissa Little heads the Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies. The current focus of her work is the generation of kidney organoids from human pluripotent stem cells for use in drug screening, disease modelling, and bioengineering.
Livesey snip'Studying Primate Cerebral Cortex Evolution in Stem Cell Systems'
Rick Livesey, UK

Rick Livesey is a senior group leader at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, where he is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and directs the Alzheimer's Research UK Stem Cell Research Centre. A graduate of the Cambridge MB/PhD programme, he did his PhD at the MRC LMB with Steve Hunt and was a postdoctoral fellow with Connie Cepko at the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. His research group studies the cell and molecular biology of human cerebral cortex development, evolution and disease, using stem cell systems.
McMahon'Constructing The Human Kidney'
Andy McMahon, USA

My group has developed genetic approaches to examine signaling mechanisms and their transcriptional targets in mammalian development. Wnt and Hedgehog pathways have been of particular interest. Our research is focused now on the mammalian kidney. Through a development-based understanding we are exploring approaches to rebuild kidney structures. Further, by identifying mechanisms of injury and repair in the adult kidney we aim to develop strategies to prevent damage and augment renal repair processes.
Meng'Hulu, A Novel Transmembrane Protein, is Absolutely Required for Organizer and Body Axis Formation in Zebrafish'
Anming Meng, China

Anming Meng is currently a professor of developmental biology, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, China. He is elected member of Chinese Academy of Sciences and member of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He received the Ph.D. degree at Nottingham University in 1991. He was the director of the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, from 2008 to 2012. He is the president of China Zoological Society and currently editor-in-chief of Current Zoology, and is/was editorial/advisory board member of Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, Cell Research, Journal of Cell Science, Mechanism of Development, BMC Developmental Biology and Open Biology.
He has worked on molecular mechanisms controlling early development of vertebrate embryos using the zebrafish model. Major interests include germ layer induction, embryonic patterning, maternal factors, and signal transduction.
Aliaga snip'Sex, Reproduction and Intestinal Plasticity'
Irene Miguel-Aliaga, UK

Irene Miguel-Aliaga is Professor of Genetics and Physiology at Imperial College London and Programme Leader at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London. She obtained her DPhil in Genetics from the University of Oxford, and explored how neurons acquire their identity during postdoctoral work at Harvard, Linkoping University and NIMR (now Crick Institute), London. First at Cambridge and now in London, her research group is investigating the plasticity of internal organs, with a major focus on the gastrointestinal tract and its neurons. She was elected to the EMBO YIP programme in 2012 and is the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant.
Antónia Monteiro'The Origin and Evolution of Butterfly Eyespot Patterns'
Antónia Monteiro, Singapore

Antónia Monteiro is Associate Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore and at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. Her research focuses on the origin, development, and evolution of novel complex traits, and in particular butterfly eyespot wing patterns. Her lab integrates research on the ultimate functions of eyespots in sexual and natural selection, with research on the proximate genetic and developmental mechanisms that led to the origin and evolution of the gene regulatory network that differentiates these novel traits.
'The Brain Under Surveillance: The Role of Neuronal-microglial Interactions in The Development, Function and Repair of The CNS
Francesca Peri, Germany


Francesca Peri studied Biology at the University of Padua and received her PhD at the University of Cologne for her work on the establishment of dorsoventral polarity during Drosophila oogenesis. In 2002 for her postdoc she joined the laboratory of Christiane Nuesslein-Volhard in Tuebingen working on neuronal-microglial interactions in the living zebrafish brain. In 2008, she became a Group Leader in the Developmental Biology Unit at the EMBL in Heidelberg. The focus of her lab is to understand how microglia, the phagocytes of the brain, collectively scan the brain to identify dying neurons. Diffusible molecules such as lipids and nucleotides attract microglia in response to neuronal cell death and the lab investigates how the activity of these factors is controlled, both in space and time to trigger dynamic changes in microglial motility. In 2009 Francesca Peri has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her work on neuronal-microglial interactions.
Perrimon'Interorgan Communication in Drosophila'
Norbert Perrimon, USA

Norbert Perrimon is the James Stillman Professor of Developmental Biology in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a geneticist recognized for his work in signal transduction and the development of functional genomics methods. He is known particularly for the characterization of canonical signaling pathways and the development of methods, such as the FLP-FRT Dominant Female Sterile technique to generate germline mosaics, the Gal4-UAS method to control gene expression both spatially and temporally, and high throughput RNAi screening. Perrimon received a doctorate from the University of Paris in 1983. His recognitions include the George W. Beadle Medal, Genetics Society of America and elections to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, EMBO, and National Academy of Sciences.
Petretto'Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Connecting The dots in The Brain'
Enrico Petretto, Singapore

Dr Petretto is Associated Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, where he leads a multidisciplinary research program in Systems-Genetics. His research focuses on the systems-level integration of genetic, genomic and phenotypic data to identify causal determinants and pathways of complex traits, with a focus on cardio-metabolic, inflammatory and neuropsychiatric disease. His Systems-Genetics approach combines computational tools and statistical modeling of high-throughput genomics and phenotyping of disease systems with a focus on analysis of gene regulatory networks.
Poss snip'Dissecting and Enhancing Tissue Regeneration'
Ken Poss, USA

Kenneth Poss is the James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology at the Duke University School of Medicine. He discovered heart regeneration in the zebrafish model system, and his laboratory has identified key mechanisms of tissue regeneration in zebrafish over the past decade. His research goal is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of vertebrate tissue regeneration, and to use this information to improve the poor regenerative capacity of human tissues like the heart, spinal cord, and limbs.
Vijay'Semaphorins and other Signalling Pathways in The Development of Motor-neurons and their Target Muscles'
Vijay Raghavan, India

Vijay Raghavan is Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology (DBT). and Distinguished Professor in the area of Developmental Genetics at the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore. He was the NCBS Director before joining the DBT in 2013. Vijay Raghavan’s research is on nerves and muscles and how complex behaviour emerges during animal development. He is a Fellow of the Indian Science Academies, the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013.
Reversade'R(e)SPONDIN(g)-2 WNT Signalling for Lung and Limb Development without The need for LGR4/5/6'
Bruno Reversade, Singapore

Bruno was trained as an embryologist in the HHMI lab of Prof. De Robertis at UCLA. After his PhD in 2008, he was awarded the inaugural A*STAR investigatorship and set up his team at the Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore. There, he switched to human genetics, placing emphasis on monogenic, fully penetrant and unique genetic traits as a means to understand complex and common diseases. Combining the power of deep sequencing, patient iPSCs and careful animal modeling, his team has resolved numerous human disorders affecting embryogenesis, metabolism, ageing, cognition and familial cancers. Bruno is a joint Research Director at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology A*STAR, a fellow of the Branco Weiss Foundation in Switzerland, the first EMBO Young Investigator based outside Europe and a Professor of Genetics at AMC/VuMC in Amsterdam and Koç University in Turkey.
Robertson snip 2'Transcriptional Networks Regulating Cell Allocation in The Post-implantation Mouse Embryo'
Liz Robertson, UK

Liz Robertson is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Developmental Biology at the University of Oxford. Liz obtained her PhD in Genetics from Cambridge, before moving to the US in the late 1980s where she was a faculty member at Columbia University Medical School and then Harvard FAS before returning to the UK in 2004. Her lab has worked extensively on the roles played by TGF-b growth factor signaling pathways and down-stream transcription factors in patterning the early mouse embryo and in regulating cell fate decisions. Liz is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a member of EMBO and the Academia Europaea. She is a former Chair of the British Society for Developmental Biology.
Sudipta Roy'Three Greek Gods and Cilia'
Sudipto Roy, Singapore

Sudipto Roy is a Senior Principal Investigator with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore. His lab uses the zebrafish to study genes regulating development and their connections with human genetic disorders. He and his colleagues have made important contributions towards our understanding of many aspects of developmental biology such as the discovery of blimp1 as a selector gene for slow-twitch muscle, the genetics of myoblast fusion, the identification of Kif7 and Dzip1 as ciliary proteins in the Hedgehog pathway and the master regulator FoxJ1 in programming the biogenesis of motile cilia.
Dr  Hasham Sadek Pic-1'Redox Regulation of Cardiomyocyte Renewal
Hesham Sadek, USA
Sanes snip'Wiring up The Retina'
Josh Sanes, USA

Joshua R. Sanes is Director of the Center for Brain Science and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. He and his colleagues study the formation of synapses, the connections that transmit information between nerve cells. They have also pioneered new ways to mark and manipulate neurons and the synapses they form. Their work has been published in over 360 papers. Sanes is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
On the Growth and Form of The Zebrafish Myotome
Tomothy Saunders, Singapore

Dr. Timothy Saunders is an Assistant Professor at the Mechanobiology Institute and Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, and a Joint Principle Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore. His research focuses on understanding how embryogenesis is so robust despite the inherent noisiness of biological processes. He has published both experimental and theoretical developmental biology papers as well as microscopy methods.
Francois SchweisguthFrancois Schweisguth, France

Francois Schweisguth is a Research Director at the CNRS. He studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) and University Paris 6 in Paris (France). After a post-doc at the University of California San Diego, he joined the CNRS and became group leader at the ENS. He was appointed to a Unit Head position at the Institut Pasteur in 2008. His current research encompasses the molecular control of cell fate and epithelium morphogenesis and the cell biology of Notch in Drosophila.
Smith'Activating Transcription in the Xenopus Embryo'
Jim Smith, UK

Jim Smith is a Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute and Deputy Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council. He was previously Director of the Gurdon Institute at Cambridge University. He studies mesoderm formation in vertebrate embryos and in human and mouse embryonic stem cells, focussing particularly on signalling by TGF-b family members and on the functions of the T-box family of transcription factors.
Jim is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was awarded the Waddington Medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology in 2013.
Stainer snip'Cardiac Development and Regeneration in Zebrafish'
Didier Stainier, Germany

Didier Stainier is the director of the Department of Developmental Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim/Giessen/Frankfurt, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Harvard University where he studied the cellular basis of axon guidance and target recognition in the developing mouse brain with Wally Gilbert. After a postdoctoral fellowship with Mark Fishman at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) where he initiated the studies on zebrafish cardiac development, he spent close to 20 years at the University of California San Francisco, expanding his research to investigate questions of cell differentiation, tissue morphogenesis, organ homeostasis and function, as well as organ regeneration, in the zebrafish cardiovascular system and endodermal organs. In 2012, he moved to the Max Planck Institute where he continues to utilize both forward and reverse genetic approaches to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms of developmental processes during vertebrate organ formation, in both zebrafish and mouse.
Colin Stewart'Architecture of The Cell’s Nucleus in Aging'
Colin Stewart, Singapore

Colin Stewart is research and assistant director at the Institute of Medical Biology at the Singapore Biopolis. His research has centered on mammalian development, and reproduction, where he discovered the role of LIF in regulating stem cell development and embryo implantation. In the last decade research has centered the functional architecture of the cell’s nucleus in stem cells, regenerative biology and disease.
Storey'Mechanisms Regulating Neuronal Delamination'
Kate Storey, UK

Kate Storey is Head of the Division of Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Dundee, UK and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. She studies cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating vertebrate neural differentiation in embryos and embryonic stem (ES) cells. She is known for development of novel tissue imaging approaches and for discovery of a signalling switch that controls differentiation onset in the embryonic body axis. Her recent work addresses how key differentiation signals direct changes in chromatin organisation and she has also uncovered a new form of cell sub-division, apical abscission, which regulates neuronal differentiation.
Sanchez'Cell Competition in Mammalian Development and Tissue Homeostasis'
Miguel Torres, Spain

Miguel Torres is a biologist trained in Drosophila genetics during the Ph.D. (CIB-CSIC, Spain), and mouse developmental genetics during the Postdoc. at the (MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany). His group focuses on how transcription factors shape the vertebrate embryo and regulate tissue homeostasis and regenerative ability. Recent advances include the description of endogenous cell competition in the early mouse embryo and the identification of new roles for homeodomain transcription factors in heart development and adult physiology.
Ueno'A Novel Membrane Invagination Controls Oriented Cell Division in Ascidian Embryo'
Naoto Ueno, Japan

After I was engaged in the purification of FGFs and activin, I turned into developmental biology. Using Xenopus laevis, our group demonstrated that inhibition of BMP in the ventral side causes a secondary axis with neural structures and proposed that BMP is the endogenous factor essential for the dorsal-ventral patterning. Later, we studied Prickle, one of PCP core proteins, and found that it is required for a variety of processes throughout the vertebrate development. Currently, I am interested in cell and tissue dynamics and trying to understand how physical forces are involved in morphogenesis.
Warner'Strategies to Enhance The Regenerative Function of Aging Stem Cells'
Amy Wagers, USA

Amy Wagers is the Forst Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Senior Investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and a member of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory investigates how changes in stem cell activity impact tissue homeostasis and repair throughout life, and how stem cells may be harnessed for regenerative medicine. Her work is reported in more than 120 primary research and review articles and was recognized recently by the 2013 New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Prize and the 2015 Vincent Cristofalo Rising Star in Aging Research Award.
Yu Snip 3'N6-Methyladenosine RNA Modification in Plant Development'
Hao Yu, Singapore

Prof. Hao Yu is currently Executive Director of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory and Vice Dean for Faculty of Science in National University of Singapore. His lab focuses on molecular genetic studies on plant reproductive development and phytohormone signalling in the model plant Arabidopsis and economically important crops, such as rice and orchid.
Xiang Yu'Regulation of Neural Circuit Wiring by The Cadherin/Catenin Cell Adhesion Complex'
Xiang YU, China

Xiang Yu is Senior Investigator at the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Shanghai, China. Her laboratory uses the developing mouse brain as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms underlying experience-dependent neural circuit formation and plasticity. Recent works from her laboratory showed that the neuropeptide oxytocin mediated crossmodal plasticity in the mouse sensory cortices during early development, and demonstrated a critical role of the cadherin/catenin cell adhesion complex in activity-dependent spine pruning, through a competition-based mechanism.