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Drosophila embryo showing the tracheal branches in green (Image: Gaëlle Lebreton, IRB Barcelona).

Developmental biology offers the key to finding solutions for paediatric cancer, metastasis, and regeneration

From today and until Wednesday,  around 20 speakers from around the world and 150 participants will debate cutting-edge research into plasticity and cell migration—two key aspects in paediatric cancer, metastasis, and regeneration, at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans on the occasion of the 18th Barcelona Biomed Conference, an event organised by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) –based at PCB– with the support of the BBVA Foundation.


How do paediatric cancers differ from those in adults? What makes a static cell migrate and promote metastasis? How do differentiated cells become tissue repair cells? These are all questions that can be answered through the study of cell biology and development in animal models such as flies, mice and zebra fish.

Jordi Casanova, IRB Barcelona scientist and CSIC researcher, and Jean Paul Thiery, from the University of Singapore, co-organisers of the event, which is entitled “Epithelial transitions and cell migration: learning from development to tackle disease”, have brought together scientists working on the transitions that certain static cells undergo to become migratory cells, and vice versa, to cover specific requirements.

The list of guest speakers includes Jaume Mora, a physician-scientist at the Hospital San Joan de Déuspecialised in paediatric cancer;   Maria Leptin, director of EMBO, the main organisation representing European biologists, and a specialist in epithelial transitions, and Jean Paul Thiery, who, together withÁngela Nieto, from the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, have laid the groundwork for international research in these fields.  Eduard Batlle, ICREA researcher at IRB Barcelona devoted to colon cancer, will be giving a talk on the progression of this kind of tumour.

• More information and Full programme for the 18th Barcelona Biomed Conference: IRB website [+]