Julie Firmin, Shaping Life 2, Online Conference, 7-9 April 2021
Shaping Life 2
→ Boarding Pass
PhD student, College de France/Institut Cochin/Institut Curie, Paris
The Shaping life Conference is a meeting co-organized by the French Society of Developmental Biology (SFBD) and the Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille (IBDM), taking place every 4 years. For this second edition, it brings together experts, as well as young scientists, to share their latest data and expose how recent approaches of developmental biology elucidate the questions that shape life. I had the opportunity to present the results of my thesis work in progress during the “mechanics and self-organization” oral communication session.
I thus took advantage of this 3-day virtual meeting, to follow hot topics in many different fields of developmental biology such as stem cell and organoids, neuro-development or evo-devo… The Alfonso Martinez-Arias’s opening lecture on organoids gave us insight into their advantages and limits on discovering and understanding developmental processes. I found that interesting particularly for people working on human development, when in vivo samples could be challenging. Andrea Pauli’s talk also caught my attention with her lab work on Bouncer, a newly discovered short protein that acts as the gatekeeper of the oocyte in fish by allowing sperm from their own species to enter while keeping foreign sperm out. Interestingly, in mice, Bouncer’s closest homologue, SPACA4, is restricted to the spermatozoa and implicated in zona pellucida interaction. As a clinician embryologist I found it potentially relevant for human fertilization defects with classical IVF. Furthermore, the two virtual sessions of posters and the talk questions session allowed us to discuss results, to interact with many attendees, and to have great feedback. This was an enriching experience, given the high diversity of backgrounds and fields that were represented.
I am very grateful to the SFBD to have given me this opportunity to attend for the Shaping life conference… With only one small regret due to the pandemic: not seeing Cassis other than by beautiful wallpaper!
→ Julie presented a short talk entitled: “Mechanics of human compaction”