Florencia di Pietro, 62rd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, March 23rd to April 1st 2021
62rd Annual Drosophila Research Conference organized by GSA
→ 200 € Prize
Postdoc with Yohanns Bellaiche, Institut Curie, Paris
I participated in the GSA Annual Drosophila Research Conference (#Dros21), an international broad meeting that covers all topics of Drosophila research. I was particularly interested in a series of talks where an integrated view of distinct cellular and tissue events during specific developmental contexts become apparent. These talks presented for instance, novel links between epithelial folding and proliferation in the embryo and larval stages, a role of cell division as a permissive cue for invasion, or still the contribution of two different tissues to a morphogenetic process like dorsal closure. Other subjects that I find relevant for our research were a novel connection between different cytoskeleton networks during polarization and migration, as well as several research lines on the function of junctional proteins in maintaining epithelial integrity and their response to tissue tension. In addition, it was interesting to hear about the biology of tissues that are less represented in the literature I follow, e.g. the fat body cells.
During this meeting, I had the opportunity to share my last research advances, by presenting an optogenetic method that we newly developed, in the plenary session of Techniques and Technology. This provided my collaborators and me, with very useful feedback and comments, both during the talk and following it via emails and social networks; this has been very helpful before the submission of our article. In addition, this was a very useful training to give talks in front of large – virtual- audiences. In parallel, the meeting allowed me to perceive the increasing needs of optogenetics to understand cellular dynamics in developing tissues, highlighting the potential applications of the approaches we are developing in our lab.
Finally, I liked very much to see so many young and diverse researchers presenting their work, and the fact that there were sessions especially focused on equity and inclusion.
Overall, the meeting has been a very positive experience, particularly relevant at this stage of my postdoc, and I am grateful that the SFBD awarded my application.