Thinking Beyond the Dish: Taking In Vitro Neural Differentiation to the Next Level

Organisers: Denis Jabaudon and Madeline Lancaster

Date: 4 - 7 February 2018

Location: Wiston House, UK

The past few years have seen an explosion in techniques allowing in vitro neuronal differentiation from undifferentiated cells. These include both 2D and 3D approaches such as neural rosettes, cortical spheroids, and cerebral organoids. Although these approaches have been successful in providing the first in vitro models of certain neurological disorders, they are only currently able to recapitulate very early stages of brain development. Thus, their potential to model later events and give rise to in vivo-like neuronal circuits remain uncertain.

This Workshop aims to bridge developmental neurobiology, bioengineering, materials science, and computational biology to identify and address upcoming challenges in in vitro models of the brain, including early patterning, long-term survival, vascularization, 3D-structure, and circuit assembly.

Specific aims:
1. Brain and circuit development: what can we emulate in vitro?
2. New techniques in 3D brain organoids
3. Bioengineering and materials science: patterning tissues in vitro
4. Microfluidics and vascularisation in neural tissue engineering

Technologies allowing in vitro neuronal differentiation are relatively new and still actively being developed. A bottleneck in the development of these technologies has been the difficulty to bridge basic developmental cell biology with the fields of bioengineering and tissue engineering. These areas rarely meet at existing conferences, but there is increasing recognition that to move the field forward will require multidisciplinary approaches encompassing these various disciplines. This Workshop aims to bring together a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the fields of tissue engineering, developmental neuroscience, stem cell biology, and bioinformatics to discuss emerging strategies in this field, identify common aims, and develop translational approaches.


About Wiston House

Wiston House

The Workshops will be held at the beautiful Wiston House, which is a 16th century Grade I listed building located at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex. The house is surrounded by over 6,000 acres of parkland with magnificent views from the mile-long drive.

Wiston House is the home of Wilton Park, one of the world’s leading centres for the discussion of key international policy issues. Wilton Park was created in 1946 to help re-establish peace and democracy in Europe as part of an initiative inspired by Winston Churchill. Wiston House has an amazing history and appears in the Domesday Book, the register of English possessions made by William the Conqueror in 1086, 20 years after he won the Battle of Hastings.

Wiston House is 32 miles from Gatwick Airport and 60 miles from Heathrow Airport. The nearest train station is Shoreham-by-Sea, which is a 20 minute taxi ride from Wiston House and takes 1 hour 10 minutes from London Victoria.

Wiston House
Steyning Road
West Sussex
BN44 3DZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1903 815020


About our Workshops

The Company of Biologists is widely known for its excellence in scientific publishing and it now runs a successful high level series of Workshops. The Workshops provide leading experts and early career scientists from a diverse range of scientific backgrounds with a stimulating environment for the cross fertilization of interdisciplinary ideas. The programmes are carefully developed and are intended to champion the novel techniques and innovations that will underpin important scientific advances.

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