26 July

The Zebrafish Disease Models conference 2018 in Leiden

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In July 2018, Jeroen den HertogĀ from the Hubrecht Institute and colleagues from the Institute of Biology Leiden (Herman Spaink, Marcel Schaaf, Ewa Snaar-Jagalska, Annemarie Meijer and Fons Verbeek) hosted the 11thconference of the Zebrafish Disease Models Society (ZDMS), an international association dedicated to the advancement of basic and clinical research using zebrafish disease models. More than 350 researchers from all over the world gathered in Leiden, to foster international relationships and diverse interactions in the zebrafish academic, clinical and industrial research communities.Speakers showcased the best work in research on cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation, neurological disorders, cardiac and skeletal muscle disease, metabolic diseases, and diseases of the blood, vasculature and digestive organs.

The ZDMS conference was held over four days at the Gorlaeus Laboratories of the Faculty of Science, with one special afternoon session in the historical Pieterskerk in the Leiden city center. The invited speakers of the conference included eighteen leaders in the field of zebrafish disease modelling and a number of other excellent speakers were selected from abstracts. Christine Mummery, Professor of Developmental Biology and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at the Leiden University Medical Center, and Alexander van Oudenaarden, Director of the Hubrecht Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Quantitative Biology of Gene Regulation at the University Medical Center Utrecht and Utrecht University, were the keynote speakers.

Mummery discussed the current state-of-the-art of stem cells with a focus on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and cardiovascular disease in the exhilarating ambiance of the Pieterskerk, where this special session was located. Van Oudenaarden discussed in his keynote address new developments in single cell sequencing technologies, which facilitates identification of cell types, based on the repertoire of genes that are being expressed in these cells.

ZDM11 in Leiden was a great success. In 2019 the 12th edition of the Zebrafish Disease Models Societyconference will be held in Boston.