... CRISPR-Cas9_NIH_Crop
Credit: Ernesto del Aguila III, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

Journal of Experimental Biology Symposium 2019:

Genome editing for comparative physiology

Organisers: Leslie Vosshall, Michael Dickinson, Julian Dow

Date: 23-27 March 2019

Location: Il Cicalino, Massa Marittima, Italy

For almost 100 years, biology has relied on a relatively small number of genetic model organisms in which to link mechanisms from the genetic to the organismal level. While providing fundamental breakthroughs, this past research has been limited to a handful of model organisms that are not representative of the rich diversity found in nature. In recent years, however, the use of gene editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 have made it possible to ask mechanistic questions in a wide range of new organisms. Expanding the menagerie of model species increases not only the taxonomic breadth of current research but also the scope of biological problems that are now amenable to study.

Gene editing techniques have utility in areas outside basic research, such as population control of invasive species, management of disease vectors such as mosquitoes, the creation of chimeric animal hosts to grow human organs and even the possibility of resurrecting extinct species such as passenger pigeons and mammoths. As these research techniques improve, the impact into all areas of biology will undoubtedly increase.

This symposium will examine research across a broad spectrum of biological problems, emphasizing topics in non-model organisms. This organismal perspective will highlight the utility of genetic editing techniques across levels of complexity from development and physiology to behaviour and evolution. We will bring together investigators representing a wide array of disciplines addressing provocative questions, united by their use of emerging techniques.



The symposium is open to invited speakers and delegates only. However, all presentations will be published as a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2020.


The nearest international airport to the conference venue is Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (81 miles, 130 km).

Alternatively, you can fly to either of the airports in Rome – Leonardo Da Vinci/Fiumicino  (140 miles/225 km) or Ciampino (149 miles/240 km) .

Transport (by taxi/minibus) will be provided from Pisa, Roma Fiumicino and Roma Ciampino Airports to/from the conference venue for delegates arriving/leaving at similar times (to arrange this, all flights must be confirmed by 1 February 2019). Journey time to the venue is approx. 1.5 hours by taxi/minibus from Pisa and approx. 2.75 hours from Roma Fiumicino and 3 hours from Roma Ciampino, but allow extra time, where possible, as we aim to coordinate transport for flights arriving at similar times so you may have to wait at the airport for other delegates to arrive.

Alternatively, you can travel from the airports in Pisa or Rome by train to Follonica, which is a 20-min taxi ride to the conference venue. Details of train timetables and prices can be found on the TrenItalia website. Train tickets can be purchased online (type either ‘Pisa Fermata Aeroporto’, ‘Fiumicino Aeroporto’ or ‘Ciampino’ in the ‘From’ field and ‘Follonica’ in the ‘To’ field) or from the Information Office in the airport Arrivals Hall. Allow approx. 2 hours from Pisa and approx. 3-3.5 hours from Rome.

Delegates should book their travel to ensure they arrive at the conference venue by 17.00 on Saturday 23 March 2019

Earliest check-in time at the conference venue is 10.00.


Accompanying persons

Spouses/domestic partners are welcome to accompany invited delegates to the meeting. To cover the costs of the accommodation, catering and social event, the registration fee will be €540 (euros). The fee assumes two people sharing a double room and that accompanying persons will NOT attend the scientific sessions.

Registration fee (540 euros) for accompanying persons includes:

  • Accommodation for four nights (23-26 March)
  • Welcome Reception on 23 March
  • Breakfast on 24-27 March
  • Lunch on 24-26 March
  • Dinner on 23-26 March (including conference dinner on 26 March)
  • Social event on 25 March

To register an accompanying person, please email us as soon as possible, and by  1 February 2019 at the latest. Charges may be incurred for cancellations after 1 March 2019.


Sponsored by:

Journal of Experimental biology logo


About JEB

Journal of Experimental Biology is the leading journal in comparative physiology. JEB publishes papers on the form and function of living organisms at all levels of biological organisation, from the molecular and subcellular to the integrated whole animal.

About JEB Symposia

The JEB Symposia were launched in 1978 at the suggestion of the then Editor-in-Chief John Treherne. Their aim was, and still is, to review knowledge and stimulate further research in an expanding topic of experimental biology and to bring together scientists from different areas to encourage cross-fertilization of techniques and knowledge across specialization boundaries. Since the first symposium on ‘Cellular oscillators’, the annual JEB symposia have covered a diverse array of topics within experimental biology, highlighting the relevance and power of the comparative approach to mainstream physiology.

The main aim of the JEB Symposia is to unite outstanding biologists and bring together their varied expertise on one particular subject.  It is a leisurely meeting with enough time to talk and to discuss. The number of symposium delegates is limited to invited speakers only.

In order that the proceedings of each symposium are made available to the community as soon as possible, speakers are invited to contribute a Review article to a ‘special issue’ of the journal. These special issues are freely available on the journal website at the time of publication.

Contact us

For questions regarding the symposium, please click on the link below

Manuscript submission

As part of the journal’s editorial strategy, all oral presentations will be published in the form of a Review article  in a special issue of Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2020.

Manuscripts should be a maximum of 7000 words (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 8 display items, and comply with our Submission Guidelines and Manuscript Preparation guidelines.

All invited Review articles for the JEB special issue should be submitted by Friday 3 May 2019.

Experience a JEB symposium

To get a feel for what a JEB symposium is really like, view the movie from the 2017 JEB Symposium on The biology of fat

Visit our journal websites

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