Annual BDR Symposium 2023 held in Kobe
May 26, 2023
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the annually held RIKEN BDR Symposium returned to an in-person format and was held March 7 to 9, 2023 at the BDR Kobe Campus. The RIKEN BDR Symposium 2023 “Transitions in Biological Systems” was attended by 131 researchers and students from Japan and other countries around the world including, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Canada, U.S.A, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K. This year’s meeting was organized by Irene Miguel-Aliaga of Imperial College London, UK, and BDR team leaders Ichiro Hiratani, Wataru Kimura, Li-Kun Phng, Yoshihiro Shimizu, Genshiro A. Sunagawa, and Yu-Chiun Wang.
Living organisms undergo a number of significant transitional processes throughout their life cycle, from embryogenesis to postnatal maturation, homeostasis, disease and aging. While many transitions, whether intrinsically regulated by pre-programmed mechanisms or externally driven by factors such as environment or diet, are perceptible to our eyes, defining or characterizing all the underlying mechanisms involved within specific transitions has been challenging. Recent technological advances, however, are now helping to reveal new insights into known transitions as well as uncover and identify novel biological transitional processes.
This year’s symposium covered a broad spectrum of topics related to transitions in biological systems from mechanisms underlying the transition of genomic states, cellular transitions within tissues and organisms, to mechanical phase transitions, metabolism-driven life-stage transitions, behavioral transitions and technologies for studying cell state transitions. The program included a total of 37 talks, featuring 28 leading international scientists who were invited by the organizing committee, as well as nine other researchers who were selected from the submitted abstracts. There were also poster sessions with 54 presenters on hand, ready to share and discuss their work with other symposium participants.
“It was fantastic to be able to hold the BDR Symposium in-person in Kobe once again,” said Hiratani, one of the symposium organizers. “We received some feedback from the attendees saying that they enjoyed the wide diversity of high-quality talks presented at the symposium, which ranged from basic research on classical as well as novel transitional processes at different scales to the latest technological developments for deciphering transitions in living systems.”
This year’s symposium was held as part of the RIKEN Symposium series and was also kindly supported by the Company of Biologists and the journal Development, Growth & Differentiation.
The RIKEN BDR Symposium is BDR’s flagship meeting that is held annually and is open to the international scientific community. The theme of each symposium is related to the research conducted at the BDR. Next year’s RIKEN BDR Symposium is scheduled to be held March 4 to 6, 2024, in Kobe, with the theme “Time across scales: development, homeostasis, and aging.” Details on the upcoming symposium will be posted on the BDR website in the fall.