BETHESDA, MD – Nearly 900 scientists from 27 countries will attend the 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics organized by the Genetics Society of America (GSA), June 24–28, 2014, in Madison, Wisconsin. The conference will feature 600 presentations of cutting-edge research results on topics including embryonic and adult development, functional genomics, regenerative medicine, chemical biology, emerging technologies, evolution, and cancer as well as cardiovascular, digestive, and infectious diseases. In addition to the scientific programming, the GSA has organized several sessions designed to provide career development for the 60% of student and postdoctoral attendees; this includes a daylong pre-conference 'Trainee Bootcamp' that will provide guidance on obtaining research funding and pursuing careers within and beyond academia.
One of the highlights of the meeting will be the Chi-Bin Chien Award lecture on Thursday, June 26th, which is presented by an outstanding graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or recently appointed faculty member. This award honors zebrafish researcher Dr. Chi-Bin Chien (1965–2011) and his enthusiasm for the discussion of scientific ideas and the synergistic ideas that arise from interactions and open conversation among researchers, his efforts to mentor and support young scientists, and the collaborative and generous spirit with which he contributed to advances in zebrafish research. The 2014 awardee and only the second recipient of this award is postdoc Andrea Pauli, PhD (Harvard University), who will speak about her work on developmental genomics: "From genomics to novel gene functions in zebrafish."
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a popular model organism for studying vertebrate development and genetics, because it is : 1) well-characterized at the molecular and behavioral levels, 2) practical to work with in a laboratory setting, 3) able to regenerate several of its organs, and 4) large and transparent during embryonic development. Because of its genetic similarity to humans, the zebrafish is also a common model for human disease and toxicity testing. As with other model organisms around which GSA organizes conferences, research using zebrafish has enabled breakthrough discoveries in genetics that have advanced our understanding of fundamental biology and provided valuable insights into human disease. The biennial conference brings together leading laboratories using this important organism, and will showcase some of the latest significant developments in genetics research.
For additional information, please see the conference website at http://www.genetics-gsa.org/zebrafish/2014/.
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