Thank you to all sponsors, invited speakers, judges and all the people involved in the organisation of the 7th Young Embryologist Meeting (YEM:2015).


9.15- 9.55       Registration

9.55                 Welcome Address

First Session: Early Embryonic Development

Chair: Matteo Molè

10.00               Vanessa Chong (University of Oxford)

Biotagging: A novel genetically encoded toolkit for high-resolution transcriptomics of migrating neural crest in zebrafish

10.15               Antonio Miranda (University of Oxford)

Calcium handling precedes cardiac differentiation in the initiation of the first heartbeats

10.30               Lizzy Ward (Dept. of Cell & Developmental Biology, UCL)

The role of the notochord in vertebral column segmentation 

10.45               Nicolas Treen (University of Tsukuba)

A linear cascade of transcription factors controls ascidian notochord cell number

11.05-11.25                             Coffee Break & Poster Session

Second Session: Stem Cells and Differentiation

Chair: Sara Pozzi

11.30               Rebecca McIntosh (Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, KCL)

Basal progenitors in zebrafish neural tube development: Characterisation of their spatial organisation

11.45               Emily Welby (Institute of Child Health, UCL)

Cell therapy for congenital retinal dystrophies: isolating and characterising human cone photoreceptors from pluirpotent stem cell cultures

12.00               Anika Offergeld (Cardiff University)

The effects of Axin loss on embryonic development in an allelic series of Axin mutant embryonic stem cell lines

12.15               Harry Lietch (NHS East of England/ University of Cambridge)

                       Nanog, pluripotency and the germline revisited 

Q&A Session: Funding Opportunities for Young researchers in Science

Chair: Oleksandr Nychyk

12.30               Prof Jon Clarke

(Professor of Anatomy, Centre of Developmental Neurobiology, KCL)

12.45               Dr Sophie Liddell

(Grants Adviser in Cellular, Developmental and Physiological Sciences, Wellcome Trust).

13.05 – 13.55                            Lunch Break & Poster Session

Life of PI: a YEN guide by two inspiring PIs

Chair: Hong-Ting Kwok

14.00               Dr Sarah Woolner

(Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research, University of Manchester)

Dr Melina Schuh

(MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge)

Third Session: Forces in Morphogenesis

Chair: Theory of Living Matter group, University of Cambridge

14.45               John-Robert Davis (The Francis Crick Institute)

Inter-cellular forces orchestrate cell repulsion and embryonic pattern formation

15.00               Naiara Nazin Lopez (University College London)

                         Morphogenesis of choroid fissure fusion

15.15               Edouard Hannezo (University of Cambridge)

A cortical instability drives periodic supracellular actin pattern formation in epithelial tubes

15.30               Dr Alexander Fletcher (University of Cambridge)

An open source tool for simulating cell-based models of
epithelial morphogenesis

15.50-16.10                             Coffee Break & Poster Session

The Sammy Lee Memorial Lecture

Chair: Alex Widger

16.15               Prof Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

(Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology, University of Cambridge)
Mapping the Route from Totipotency to Lineage Specification in the Mouse Embryo

17.15                                  Presentation of Talk and Poster Prizes

17.25               Closing Address

17:45               Drinks Reception

Young Embryologist Network Annual Meeting 2015

The 7th Young Embryologist Network (YEN) AGM was held at King’s College London. The AGM is the largest YEN event of the year, bringing young scientists together from across the UK, Europe and even Japan! The meeting aimed provide delegates with the opportunity to forge new collaborations and give young scientists an opportunity to present their data, which may otherwise not be available to them. All 155 tickets were sold during registration, and we had a total of 36 poster entries from across the UK and Europe.

This year, young scientists gave talks on Early embryonic Development, Stem Cells and Differentiation and Forces in Morphogenesis.

During 1st session Antonio Miranda (the second best talk) from Srinivas’ group caught everybody’s attention by showing a series of striking time-lapse movies by calcium imaging of the mouse heart and showed how spontaneous calcium transients underlie initiation of cardiac contractions.

The projects presented in the Stem Cell and Differentiation session showed the audience how stem cells play an important role in different model organisms from Zebrafish, to mouse and humans.

Interdisciplinary science is becoming increasingly important, and a collaborative session with the Theory of Living Matter group in Cambridge aimed to promote discussion about Forces in Morphogenesis. Individuals from Biology, Physics and Mathematical backgrounds presented their diverse research. The Sammy Lee medal for the best talk went to John Robert-Davis, who discussed the molecular and mathematical basis of contact inhibition in Drosophila hemocytes.

As well as presenting a wide range of topics throughout developmental biology, we also aim to promote discussion on scientific careers. During Q&A session we discussed funding opportunities for young researches in science. Prof Jon Clarke (KCL) discussed how to diversify your skill set to raise you above your peers, including teaching skills, finding an effective niche and research question. Additionally, Wellcome Trust and MRC representatives highlighted what funding opportunities are available for young researches.

A new “Young PI” session was added this year, to provide opportunities for delegates to ask questions to PIs who have recently established their labs. Melina Schuh and Sarah Woolner both presented their own exciting research and provided tips, based on their experience, for budding researchers.

Our free event has always been fortunately that such talented and successful scientists have been willing to present. This year was no exception as Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz inspired the room with excellent explanations of the science, accompanied with tangible relatable moments detailing the progress within her career.

Next year we hope to continue expanding and evolving our network. Throughout the year we organise seminars across the country to promote the network and our AGM. YEN spread to the USA this year, and several seminars have already taken place in Boston.

A key part of the feedback we obtained from attendees was how YEN provided a free accessible meeting for attendees and gave an excellent opportunity to communicate with each other. With the generous support of our sponsor, Company of Biologists, we hope to keep this event free in years to come.