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16th International Conference on Limb Development and Regeneration


ABSTRACT The vertebrate limb stands as one of the premier models of development, evolution, and regeneration. Limb-focused research has flourished over past several decades, largely owing to the breadth of biological questions the limb can address and the ease of experimentation of the model in many diverse species. Much of the cellular and molecular biology behind how the limb primordia develops into a complex, multi-tissue structure has been elucidated by scientists dedicated to understanding the limb. Moreover, much progress has been made on understanding the genetics of how limbs form properly, how this can change with evolutionary pressure, and how this relates to human congenital diseases. Importantly, there are still outstanding questions and we are now on the cusp to finally fully understand these processes at a deeper and more granular level than ever before. Recent technological developments allow for probing the gene expression of individual cells, defining the chromatin architectures that drive cellular- and tissue-level decisions, making meaningful molecular comparisons across diverse species, and understanding how the physical environment interacts with cells. Applications of these new technologies within limb models is transforming the field. For over the past 30 years, an international group of researchers focused on the limb convene biennially for the International Conference on Limb Development and Regeneration. This meeting draws top scientists from across the globe to spend 4 days immersed in the newest research surrounding limb development, regeneration and evolution. The 16th meeting of this conference is scheduled for August 9th-12th, 2021, on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This meeting will have an open registration and is expected to draw over 150 participants. It will feature three keynote speakers (representing each of limb evolution, development, and regeneration), over 20 invited speakers, and over 30 speakers chosen from participant abstracts. Notably, all talks other than the keynotes will be the same length, allowing trainees and junior investigators to showcase their ideas and progress with as much time as more established investigators. The overall program will be balanced by gender, and participation by members of underrepresented groups will be encouraged through several planned routes. Financial support is being sought to offset the costs of conference venue and travel for invited speakers. A portion of the support will also be allocated toward travel assistance for trainees and underrepresented groups. The conference co- organizers are Jessica Lehoczky, PhD (Brigham & Women?s Hospital/Harvard Medical School) and Jessica Whited, PhD (Harvard University); both are investigators in the field of limb regeneration.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.