Maria Leptin is full Professor at the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne and Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. In 2010 she was appointed Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She received her PhD in 1983 and carried her postdoctoral work at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK. From 1989-1994 she was Group leader at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen. The Leptin group studies the mechanisms and forces that determine cell shape in Drosophila and uses zebrafish to analyse innate immune signalling.
Mónica Bettencourt-Dias is Group Leader and Director of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal. Her research involves cell cycle regulation, for which she has been recognized as the recipient of the Pfizer Award for Basic Research (2007 & 2012), the Keith Porter Prize (2012) and the Eppendorf Young European Investigator Award (2007). She was also selected as a 2009 European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigator Fellow and inducted as a member of the EMBO in 2015.
Marian Ros is Full Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Signalling at the IBBTEC, Spain. She is member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Cantabria and the awardee of the 2013 Prize of Investigation Consejo Social de la Universidad de Cantabria. Prof. Ros completed her MD degree with honours at the University of Cantabria in 1982 and received her PhD degree from the same university in 1986. After a postdoctoral stay at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, she established her own research group devoted to the study of the regulation of gene expression during development.
Ramón Muñoz Chapuli
Ramón Muñoz Chapuli is Professor of Animal Biology at the University of Málaga since 1980. He is teaching graduate and posgraduate courses on developmental biology, Evo-Devo, animal phylogeny and evolution. His research is focused on Cardiovascular Developmental Biology. He has published about 100 papers and book chapters on these topics. Currently, he is director of the Doctoral School at the University of Málaga.
Naoki Irie currently works as an Associate Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at University of Tokyo where he studies the relationship between ontogeny (embryogenesis) and phylogeny (evolution). In parallel, he is an Associate editor in Zoological Letters and in Journal of Experimental Zoology. From 2009-2013 he was a Research Scientist in the Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology. Previously, he worked as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Congenital Anomaly Research Center at Kyoto University.
Miki Ebisuya is a Group leader at EMBL Barcelona since 2018. From 2013-2019 she was a Unit leader at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan and from 2009-2013 she worked as a Group leader at Career-Path Promotion Unit at Kyoto University. She obtained her PhD in 2008 at the University of Tokio. The Ebisuya lab is focused on reconstituting developmental mechanisms by making artificial gene circuits, and studies interspecies differences by comparing organoids of different animals.
Elisa Marti is a Group leader in the Instituto de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona since 2001. Following her PhD research at the Hammersmith Hospital (Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London University), she undertook postdoctoral training at Harvard University, USA. In 1998, she joined CSIC, as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cajal Institute (Madrid). Her current research interest include the role of extracellular signals and the genetic networks that control cell numbers, cell identity and cell shape changes during the embryonic development of the neural tube.
Tatjana Sauka-Spengler is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford since 2014. From 2012-2014, she worked as a Group Leader in the same institution and from 2008-2011 as an Associate Professor at California Institute of Technology. She was awarded the prestigious Lister Institute Research Prize (2013) and the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Research Award (2013). Having obtained her first graduate degree in Solid State Physics at the University of Paris (1999), she pursued a PhD in Biology at the University of Paris. The Sauka-Spengler lab explores the dynamics of gene regulatory networks in development, regeneration, disease and evolution.
Florenci Serras is an Associate Professor of Genetics at the Universitat de Barcelona since 1993. From 1991-1993 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands and from 1990-1991 he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Irvine, USA. He obtained his PhD Degree in Biology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. His research is focused on studying the coordination between proliferation, differentiation and organization of cells into functional tissues using Drosophila melanogaster as animal model.