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18th International Congress of Developmental Biology (June 18 – 22, 2017): Hongyan Wang

As part of its mission to encourage engagement within the genetics community, PLOS Genetics is supporting a number of conferences and meetings this year. In order to raise awareness about these conferences and the researchers who attend them, we are featuring a number of these conferences on Biologue, with posts written by the organizers, or the PLOS Genetics editors who are involved.

PLOS Genetics will be supporting the 18th International Congress of Developmental Biology (ISDB2017), which will take place at the University Cultural Centre of the National University of Singapore from June 18th – 22nd. We asked Hongyan Wang, a member of the local conference programme committee and PLOS Genetics Associate Editor, about the event.

Organised by the International Society of Developmental Biologists (ISDB), the quadrennial ISDB congress will bring together over 700 developmental biologists from 35 different countries to share their exciting findings. The lead organiser of the 18th ISDB is Philip Ingham, current president of the ISDB, based in both Singapore and the United Kingdom. Singapore is now recognized as a leading biomedical research hub in Asia, and has a vibrant Developmental Biology research community. It was on this recognition that Philip’s bid to stage the 2017 Congress was enthusiastically approved by the ISDB Board when it last met in 2013 in Cancun, Mexico.

The scientific programme of ISDB2017 covers the full spectrum of contemporary developmental biology themes— from early development through cell biology, stem cells, neurobiology, tissue homeostasis and regeneration, and metabolism, to ageing and human diseases. Experts working with established model organisms such as Drosophila, zebrafish, mouse, and Arabidopsis, as well as emerging systems such as the tunicate Oikopleura and the African killifish, will present their latest research at the forefront of their fields.

Supertree Grove near the Flower Dome in the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Image Credit: Mike Enerio, Unsplash

The congress will start on the Sunday afternoon with the D’Arcy Thompson Symposium, followed by six plenary talks preceding the first Nobel Laureate lecture, delivered by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, celebrating the centenary of the publication of “On Growth and Form”. Over the next four days, a further five Nobel Laureate lectures will be delivered by Eric Betzig, Sydney Brenner, Martin Chalfie, Sir John Gurdon, and Eric Wieschaus. Amongst these lectures, talks by around 50 invited speakers and a number of speakers selected form submitted abstracts will be presented in two concurrent sessions.

The Singapore developmental biology community will be well represented by seven locally based speakers, with the remaining speakers being drawn from Europe, North America, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The invited speakers are all leaders in their research fields with many serving as members of the European Molecular Biology Organization, US National Academy of Sciences, Fellows of the Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, as well as editors of numerous scientific journals. PLOS Genetics Associate Editors Nobert Perrimon, Claude Desplan, and Hao Yu are all invited speakers at ISDB2017.

Pleasingly, the majority of meeting attendees will be postdoctoral fellows and graduate students coming from all around the world, with large contingents from Singapore and other Asian countries, but significant numbers also from Europe and North America. Most of them will present posters on their research projects, with some having the opportunity to give short talks. Awards will be presented to the best oral and poster presentations.

In addition to the outstanding formal scientific programme, the congress will provide beneficial networking opportunities for attendees to interact and socialize. The Congress Gala Dinner, the highlight of the social programme, will take place in Flower Field Hall in the Flower Dome, the largest glass greenhouse in the world, at the spectacular Gardens by the Bay.

For additional information, please contact or refer to the following conference page:

You can also follow ISDB2017 on Facebook and Twitter.

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