The aim of this EMBO Workshop is to bring together outstanding scientists and clinicians from diverse fields to discuss the functions and mechanism-of-action of semaphorins. Members of the semaphorin family of cell signaling proteins have important roles in the development and plasticity of many different organ systems and are implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and immune disease, regeneration and neurodegenerative disorders.

The Semaphorins are the largest family of guidance molecules, with more than 25 distinct genes characterized in many diverse animal species and also in mammalian viruses. Although originally identified as neuronal growth cone collapse factors and axon repellents, Semaphorins participate in a wide variety of developmental and pathological processes. These include apoptosis, tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, neurodegenerative disease and axonal regeneration. Work on Semaphorins spans many fields, ranging from developmental neurobiology to immunology, and incorporates many model organisms. Recent progress in Semaphorin function has led to invaluable insight into basic cell biological principles such as the stratification and organization of cellular contacts, polarization of cells and topographic connectivity. This third EMBO workshop on semaphorins will provide a unique opportunity to and share results from scientists with diverse interests who study this family of molecules. Furthermore, this meeting will mark the twentieth anniversary of the identification of the very first Semaphorin, Therefore, it will be timely to reflect on how far this field has come, particularly given the remarkable surge of high profile papers over the past few years, and also to consider future research directions. A main objective of this meeting is to foster discussion, cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas, and the establishment of new collaborations among scientists working on different experimental systems involving semaphorins and their receptors. Though multifaceted, the disparate interests of scientists working on how semaphorins influence cellular development and function are united by conserved molecular and cellular principles that define how semaphorins impart their important functions.

Four sessions are planned focusing on the cellular contexts in which semaphorins function prominently: neuronal development and plasticity, signalling, immunity/cancer and angiogenesis. Within each session, speakers who are leaders in the field will present their most recent observations and address these topics from their unique perspective. In addition, each session has a number of short talks on the most timely topics in the Semaphorin field, selected from the submitted abstracts.





Vaux de Cernay Abbey, located in the Chevreuse valley in the Rambouillet state-owned forest, is an enchanted place and the perfect spot to recharge your batteries.read more

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