4th European Meeting on Planarian Biology


We are pleased to announce the 4th European Meeting on Planarian Biology (EMPB2016) that will take place from September 25th to 27th, 2016, at Hotel Eden Roc in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Catalonia. The meeting continues the tradition of the Münster meeting in 2010, the Kyoto meeting in 2011, the Dresden meeting in 2013, and the planarian workshop within the ISFB at Oxford in 2015(external link).

The aim of the meeting is to gather all European laboratories working on planarians to share their recent advances in flatworm biology and regeneration as well as to strengthen the links and foster collaborations between all labs. This meeting should also promote discussions about how to improve and implement community resources that would benefit all the laboratories. In addition, the meeting will be open to all research groups worldwide working on planarian regeneration aiming to continue our efforts to build up a collaborative community. In this sense, we are really pleased to announce that our Invited Keynote Speaker to open the EMPB2016 will be Dr. Peter Reddien, from MIT (USA) whose numerous contributions have improved significantly our understanding on planarian regeneration. In addition, we are also delighted to be able to invite Dr. Norito Shibata from the National Institute of Technology, Tsuyama College (Japan), who has made important contributions to understand the function of planarian stem cells

Finally, we also expect to have some attendants working on parasitic flatworms as exchange of ideas and discussions will benefit both communities.

We will encourage talks by postdocs and graduate students and we will allow plenty of time for discussions. The program includes sessions on stem cells, signaling pathways, patterning and polarity, transcriptomic and genomic approaches, phylogeny and evolution together with poster sessions and a round-table discussion about how to strengthen our community. The final program and sessions will be determined by the abstracts submitted by the participants.

We hope to see you all there!!!

Conference Program

Meeting Abstracts Book PDF file
is already available from above link (9.69 Mb)


  • Teresa Adell, University of Barcelona, Catalunya.
  • Francesc Cebrià, University of Barcelona, Catalunya.
  • Jochen Rink, MPI-CBG, Dresden, Germany.

Final Program


13:00 – 15:30 Registration at Hotel Eden Roc
16:00 – 17:00 Welcome and Opening Session
Keynote Lecture by Dr Peter Reddien
Dpt. of Biology, Whitehead Institute, HHMI(external link)
Regulation of the fates of specialized neoblasts
17:00 – 18:30 Session I – Growth Control
Chair: Alessandra Salvetti
17:00 – 17:20 Óscar Gutiérrez
Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute
Mechanisms of planarian stem cell regulation during starvation
17:20 – 17:40 Eudald Pascual
Dpt. Genetics, Microbiology & Statistics, University of Barcelona
Smed-BS is a novel secreted peptide with an essential role in the control of cell number in planarians
17:40 – 18:00 Albert Thommen / Steffen Werner
MPI Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics / MPI Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden
There and back again—towards a quantitative model of planarian growth and degrowth
18:00 – 18:30 "Explain your Poster" Session
19:30 – Welcome Cocktail
20:00 – Dinner (buffet)
21:00 – Poster session I


09:00 – 09:45 Invited Speaker: Norito Shibata
National Institute of Technology, Tsuyama College(external link)
Coordination of expression of genes by PIWI during differentiation of neoblasts
09:45 – 10.25 Session II – Neoblasts I
Chair: Luca Gentile
09:45 – 10:05 Sounak Sahu
University of Oxford
Radiation sensitivity and DNA damage response mechanism in planarian stem cells
10:05 – 10:25 Aziz Aboobaker
University of Oxford
The planarian ortholog of the tumour suppressor Mll3/4 prevents stem cell hyperplasia and controls differentiation programs
10:25 – 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 – 12:30 Session III – Neoblasts II
Chair: Kerstin Bartscherer
11:10 – 11:30 David Schmidt
MPI Molecular Biomedicine, Münster
Neoblast maintenance requires Integrator complex-mediated processing of Uridine-rich snRNAs
11:30 – 11:50 Luca Gentile
Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Sulzbach/Saar
6/9.2 a potential surface protein marker for planarian pluripotent stem cells
11:50 – 12:10 John M. Allen
San Diego State University
A screen to identify RING E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in stem cell regulation in vivo
12:10 – 12:30 Stijin Mouton
European Research Institut-Biology of Ageing, Groningen
DUF2366 a novel gene essential for neoblast functionality
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:10 Session IV – Evolutionary & Phylogenetic Perspective
Chair: Emili Saló
14:30 – 14:50 Laia Leria
Dpt. Genetics, Microbiology & Statistics, University of Barcelona
Why Dugesia flatworms would be Gaudi’s favorite animals
14:50 – 15:10 Lisandra Benítez
Dpt. Genetics, Microbiology & Statistics, University of Barcelona
Multiple introductions of Girardia in Europe; a molecular evidence
15:10 – 15:30 Miquel Vila-Farré
MPI Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
Why some animals regenerate while others cannot: tracing the evolution of regeneration in planarians (Order Tricladida)
15:30 – 15:50 Jakub Wudarski
European Research Institut -Biology of Ageing, Groningen
Efficient transgenesis in Macrostomum lignano, the flatworm model organism for stem cell research
15:50 – 16:10 Peter D. Olson
The Natural History Museum, London
Strobilar development in tapeworms involves a novel intercalary process regulated by Wnt and Hedgehog
16:10 – 16:50 Coffee break
16:50 – 18:10 Session V – Signaling in the Nervous System
Chair: Karen Smeets
16:50 – 17.10 Christian P. Petersen
Northwestern University, Evanston
Integrin regulates brain tissue assembly in the planarian regeneration blastema
17:10 – 17:30 Kerstin Bartscherer
MPI for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster
Integrins are required for blastema organization and restriction of neurogenesis in regenerating planarians
17:30 – 17:50 Bret Pearson
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Nu thoughts on neurogenesis in planarians
17:50 – 18:10 José Ignacio Rojo-Laguna
Dpt. Genetics, Microbiology & Statistics, University of Barcelona
WNT5-ROR2 and SLIT-ROBO-c signals generate a mutually dependent system to position the CNS along the medio-lateral axis in planarians
18:10 – 19:30 Discussion in Groups
20:00 – Dinner (buffet)
21:00 – Poster Session II


09:00 – 10:00 Session VI – Omics
Chair: Aziz Aboobaker
09:00 – 09:20 Katja Hüttner
MPI Molecular Biomedicine, Münster
Translational control of regeneration initiation in planarians
09:20 – 09:40 Jordi Solana
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
The histone methyltransferase DOT1L has a conserved stem cell-specific alternative splicing switch in planarians
09:40 – 10:00 Jochen Rink
MPI Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
High quality de novo assembly of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea genome using PacBio SMRT sequencing and in vitro long-range linkage
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:30 Session VII – Environmental Signals
Chair: Marta Riutort
10:30 – 10:50 Jason Pellettieri
Keene State College
Light-induced depigmentation in planarians—an animal model of acute porphyrias
10.50 – 11:10 Andrea Degl’Innocenti
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pisa
Chlorophyll Derivatives Enhance Planarian Vision
11:10 – 11:30 Annelies Wouters
Hasselt University
Planarian stem cells’ defence to genotoxic exposure depends on the cellular environment and stem cell subtype
11:30 – 13:00 Where do we go & what to improve as a community?
13:00 – 13:15 Closing Remarks and Farewell
13:15 – Lunch



Registration is Now Closed

You can register to the EMBP2016 meeting from this link: meetings/EMPB2016/registration.php
You will find there instructions for the accommodation and the abstract submission of your talk/poster.
We have tried to keep the registration fee as low as possible. The total fee including registration, all meals and accommodation will be 156 euros in a shared room and 196 euros in a single room.


We are grateful to the EMPB2016 sponsors:


Page last modified on Thursday 22 of September, 2016 11:11:15 CEST