03.05.2011

The CEXS holds an EMBO symposium on sensory developmental biology

From 3 rd to 6 th May, the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park Auditorium will host the Symposium of the European Organization of Molecular Biology (EMBO) "Frontiers on Sensory Development", co-organized by Berta Alsina, researcher in the Developmental Biology Unit at CEXS-UPF , together with Andy Groves, of the Baylor College of Medicine in the USA. This symposium will gather together 120 participants and forty seven international speakers.

This is an International symposium of European, American and Asian experts that aims to present and debate the latest advances in the study of sensory systems. For living beings, sensory mechanisms are essential to survive in a specific environment. For this reason, through evolution, they have developed a series of different strategies to percei ve and communicate with their habitat.

There are many lines of research within this area, among them, the acquisition by sensory cells of their cellular function, how they control proliferation, how they interconnect with each other to generate neuronal circuits and even what impact these studies can have on other areas such as regenerative biology, cancer, neurosciences, cellular reprogramming and genetic control.

The symposium program is structured in fourteen sessions, each including three or four seminars chaired by an expert in the subject. The CEXS is taking part in several sessions as speakers or chairs.

Fernando Giráldez, Head of the Developmental Biology Unit of the CEXS and member of the symposium's Scientific Committee, will chair a session devoted to the sensorial system of the lateral line in fish.

Berta Alsina will chair a board devoted to sensory neurogenesis in which, among others, Cristina Pujades is participating as a guest expert, with a presentation on the latest work carried out in genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of nervous cells in the inner ear.

Joana Neves, postdoctoral researcher in the Developmental Biology Unit of the CEXS, is taking part with a presentation that will deal with the sensory receptors that respond to mechanical stimulus, and Brandon Invergo, pre-doctoral researcher at the UPF is participating in a session devoted to shared neuronal networks presenting a paper on how sensory cells able to capture light stimulus in mammals have evolved at a molecular level.