July 28 , 2008

CONTACT: Karen Kreeger
(215) 349-5658

Penn Experts to Present at Society for Developmental Biology Annual Meeting

67th Conference to be Held on Penn Campus

PHILADELPHIA – Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will be presenting at the annual meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, which will be held from July 26-30, 2008 on the Penn campus.

Highlights of Penn scientific presentations:

  • Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) - How does one tissue become another?

Eileen M. Shore, Departments of Orthopaedics and Genetics, and the Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders
Dr. Shore will discuss the molecular genetics of FOP and how its signaling pathway is now a specific therapeutic target not only for patients with FOP, but also an important new focus for developing applications to prevent other more common conditions of too much and too little bone formation.

Plenary Session III Tues. July 29, 2-5:30

  • The zebrafish unplugged - The role of zebrafish in understanding development
    Michael Granato,
    Department of Cell & Developmental Biology
    Dr. Granato will discuss the role of the zebrafish gene unplugged in guiding  neuromuscular development.
    Concurrent Symposia I, Sun. July 27, 9 am – 12:30 pm
  • The control of organ size in mice
    Benjamin Z. Stanger
    . Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and the Department of Medicine
    Dr. Stanger will discuss how embryonic tissues differ in their ability to sense size and how the presence or absence of such a sensor might underlie growth regulation during adult tissue regeneration.
    Concurrent Symposia III, Tues.  July 29, 9 am – 12:30 pm

Nearly 800 US and international developmental biologists are expected to attend the meeting. Nobel laureate Eric Wieschaus, current president of the society, has assembled a program of 45 invited speakers, 36 speakers selected from submitted abstracts, 350 posters, and 25 commercial vendors. Among the invited speakers is Nobel laureate Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Wieschaus and Edward B. Lewis in 1995 for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development.

For more information on the full program and venue locations, please visit the meeting website at: http://www.sdbonline.org/2008Mtg/webpage.htm


PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #4 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

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