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Evolution of Multicellularity

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Evolution of Multicellularity

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October 19 - 20, 2021
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Organized by Zev Gartner (UCSF), Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (Janelia), Wallace Marshall (UCSF) and Manu Prakash (Stanford), this is the ninth in a series of planning workshops that will serve an important role in shaping Janelia's new 15-lab, 15-year research program in 4D Cellular Physiology.  

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This workshop will focus on the mechanisms and selective pressures driving the transition from unicellular to multicellular life, and the fundamental differences between them. Investigators working across a variety of model systems will address questions such as: What are the general principles of multicellularity, and what are the advantages and costs? How can theoretical models be applied to understanding of multicellular lifestyles? What new tools and approaches are needed to understand multicellular regulation? How does the role of development and aging differ between single cell and multicellular machines? And how can a better understanding of general mechanisms of multicellular regulation advance engineering and biomedical applications?

The virtual format will include ~5 hours of short talks and discussion each day, open to the broad scientific community. Presentations by invited speakers will focus on current challenges in the field and exciting new directions that could lead to transformative advances.

This workshop will serve an important role in shaping Janelia’s ongoing research program, providing critical background for a new approach to collaboratively tackle some of the most important problems in modern biomedical research. 

Graduate students, postdocs and other trainees are invited to submit an abstract for consideration for a short talk on your work.

Short talk applications are closed


Zev Gartner, University of California, San Francisco
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, HHMI/Janelia Research Campus
Wallace Marshall, University of California, San Francisco
Manu Prakash, Stanford University


Karen Alim, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Buzz Baum, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Otger Campàs, PoL - TU Dresden 
Amy Gladfelter, UNC Chapel Hill
Sarah Guest, UC Davis
Gáspár Jékely, University of Exeter
Stefania Kaspetaki, Arizona State University
Fredrick Keijzer, University of Groningen
Tatiana Mayorova, NINDS
Eduardo Moreno, Champalimaud
Andrew Murray, HHMI/Harvard University
Jacob Musser, EMBL
Celeste Nelson, HHMI/Princeton University
Lucy O'Brien, Stanford University
Louis Prahl, University of Pennsylvania
William Ratcliff, Georgia Tech
Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF)
Florentine Rutaganira, UC Berkeley
Allyson Sgro, Boston University
Wenying Shou, University College London
Eric Siggia, Rockefeller University
Sebastian Streichan, University of California, Santa Barbara
Corina Tarnita, Princeton University
Keiko Torii, HHMI/UT Austin