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Genes, Epigenetics and Evolution in Eye Development and Disease 2014

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GED Conference 2014


PAX6-driven reporter expression in E17.5 mouse eye

The eye is an organ of extreme perfection” said Charles Darwin, concerned that his theories of evolution may falter for such a finely tuned organ, which exists in many different forms in the animal kingdom.  The vertebrate eye forms as an extension of the developing brain; with its intricate retinal architecture it provides a uniquely accessible system to study neural development and function.  Model organisms give us detailed insight into the mechanisms of eye development, while modern technology allows us to explore human visual function in detail, with non-invasive methods. Abnormalities of eye development and function are also readily documented.  Molecular genetic approaches permit the identification of genes implicated in genetic eye diseases and elucidation of the regulatory and signalling pathways necessary for eye development and regeneration. Components of such complex gene networks are highly conserved in evolution.  Different model systems are useful for studying different aspects of eye development and function – often at single cell resolution, capable of delivering a coherent picture of the process.  New genomic approaches provide tools to understand phenotypic variation in genetic eye disease and, to study epigenetic changes and gene-environment interactions. Insight into the molecular basis of eye development and disease provides new approaches for targeted treatments. These special features of the eye provide our expert speakers with a great platform to present the story and their latest discoveries and ideas, with many facets including the application of the latest technologies in molecular developmental biology and big data genomic studies.

This 4 day meeting, held in the beautiful Hotel Parador Oropesa in Spain, will provide ample opportunities for discussion with a dozen or more contributed talks selected from registrants, a poster session, poster highlights and student prizes.

Conference Programme

Conference Programme

A copy of the conference programme can be viewed by using the above link. Please note that this programme shall be updated as information is received and is liable to change. We strongly recommend periodically reviewing this document.

Conference Sponsors



The Conference Chairs


Veronica van Heyningen

University of Edinburgh &
University College London


Jane Sowden

University College London


Talk Consideration Deadline: 18th August 2014        Poster Submission Deadline: 18th August 2014
For general abstract information or to download a copy of our abstract template please follow the links below.

Abstract Information Abstract Template Word Format Abstract Template .pdf Format

If you have already registered for this conference and now wish to submit your abstract or send a revised version, please use the link below

Submit My Abstract

The Venue

Parador de Oropesa
Oropesa, Spain



Please Note: While this Parador is situated in Toledo Province, it is not located in the town of Toledo. The town of Toledo and the Parador Toledo are 165Km from Oropesa.

28th September 2014 – 1st October 2014

The Parador Oropesa is majestic in every sense of the word. Located in the beautiful Castillian countryside to the west of Madrid; it is spacious, elegant, and imposing. Set in the former ancestral home of the Counts of Oropesa and located in the shadow of the Sierra de Gredos mountains, over the centuries, its Medieval cloisters and towers have accommodated aristocracy, bishops and soldiers.

There are two castles separated by an immense wall that is crowned by a magnificent machicolated parapet and an awesome tower. At one time the castle complex was controlled by Don Francisco de Toledo – Duke of Alba, and the Viceroy of Peru.  He and later lords added an extended set of palatial rooms and quarters to create what remains today.

The bedrooms are large and spacious with simple Castilian styled, dark wood furniture, with all rooms offer inspiring views – either to the castle tower, the Gredos plains, or the Gredos peaks. There are fine views from any table in the restaurant, with those located against the glass wall on the north side offering particularly stunning panoramic views.

Venue Rating****
Nearest AirportMadrid Barajas
Transfers & Tours Click Here


Headline Speakers

Detlev-Arendt-150x150Detlev Arendt
EMBL Heidelberg
The evolution of opsin phototransduction and melatonin signaling
RuthRuth Ashery-Padan
Tel Aviv University
Regulatory interaction between PAX6 and Mitf controls the pigmentation program within the RPE lineage
banfi-150x150Sandro Banfi
The Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine
Noncoding RNAs regulating eye function

Foto2-150x150Paola Bovolenta Nicolao
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Cdon and Boc act as decoy receptors for Hh signalling in vertebrates

Tiffany-Cooke-150x150Tiffany Cook
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Molecular basis of photoreceptor development and maintenance: Conservation between flies and mammals

Joe-Corbo-150x150Joe Corbo
Washington University in St. Louis
Reprogramming photoreceptors

D.FitzPatrick-150x150David Fitzpatrick
MRC Human Genetics Unit
The UK10K Coloboma Study: Comparing Exome Sequencing Strategies to Identify Developmental Disease Genes

Katsanis-150x150Nicholas Katsanis
Duke University
Mutational burden as a predictor of disease severity in ciliopathies

mardon2-150x150Graeme Mardon
Baylor College of Medicine
Spata7 is a retinal ciliopathy gene critical for correct Rpgrip1 localization and protein trafficking

buddBudd Tucker
The University of Iowa
Production of clinical grade, genetically corrected, autologous iPSC derived photoreceptor precursor cells for interrogation and treatment of RP

Andrea_Streit160x-150x150Andrea Streit
King’s College London
Coordinating lens and optic vesicle formation

wilson_s_large-150x150Steve Wilson
University College London
Specification, morphogenesis and growth of the zebrafish optic vesicle

Sylvie-Rétaux1Sylvie Rétaux
Eye development and degeneration in the blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus

prochiantzAlain Prochiantz
Collège de France
Assembling and regulating visual networks through homeoprotein signalling

cveklAles Cvekl
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Gene regulatory networks and their control of lens placode formation and lens fiber cell differentiation

gottlobIrene Gottlob
University of Leicester
Normal and abnormal development of the retina and optic nerve. Phenotyping In vivo using optical coherence tomography (OCT)

emersonMark Emerson
The City College of New York
Probing the developmental origins of vertebrate cone photoreceptors with cis-regulatory modules

uweUwe Wolfrum
University of Mainz
Function and Dysfunction of the Photoreceptor Cilium

blackGraeme Black
The University of Manchester
Eye development and function through large scale identification of molecular disease

Lang-Photo-150x150Richard A. Lang
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
A melanopsin-dependent, fetal light response regulates retinal development and has implications for retinopathy of prematurity

martinezJuan Ramón Martínez Morales
Optic cup morphogenesis: a model to study the cellular and molecular bases of basal constriction

del-torioKatia Del Rio-Tsonis
Miami University
Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Reprogramming during Retina Regeneration

Rob-Lucas-150x150Rob Lucas
The University of Manchester
Visual Functions of Melanopsin

Trevor-Lamb-150x150Trevor Lamb
The Australian National University
Evolution of vertebrate phototransduction and the retinoid cycle: Clues from agnathans

bergerWolfgang Berger
University of Zurich
Understanding the molecular basis and pathophysiology of retinal and vitreoretinal disease

perron-150x150Muriel Perron
Université Paris-Sud
Retinal stem cells and the Hippo pathway

Thomas-MunchThomas Münch
Centre for Integrative Neuroscience
Rods support light responses at photopic light levels

Conference Programme

Conference Programme

A copy of the conference programme can be viewed by using the above link. Please note that this programme shall be updated as information is received and is liable to change. We strongly recommend periodically reviewing this document.

Conference Fees

Event Pass – No Accommodation
Optional Extra
Gala Dinner Attendance€35

Price includes conference registration and attendance, lunches, evening meals and coffee breaks.

This option does not include evening meals or accommodation at the venue.

Conference Fees
EarlybirdStandardAccompanying Adult Accompanying ChildExtra Night AdultExtra Night Child
Registration & Payment DeadlineMar 22 2014July 28 2014July 28 2014July 28 2014July 28 2014July 28 2014

Delegate Fees: Include conference registration and attendance, accommodation, all meals on a specially negotiated full-board package and The Gala Night (including any accompanying persons).

Accompanying Adult Fees: Include the same specially negotiated full-board package as delegates excluding conference attendance.

Additional Night Fees: Prices are per person per night.

Accompanying Children: Persons aged 12 and above are regarded as adults by the hotel. Children under the age of 2 years can stay free of charge.

To ensure maximum safety at our conferences, registered attendee’s children under the age of 18 are not permitted in the conference room, poster room or exhibitors room at any time including during the conference hours and poster sessions.

Registered attendee’s children must be 18 or older to attend the Welcome Reception

The Gala Night is open to all children of registered attendees as long as the child is under the supervision of the parent(s) at all times. Children of attendees who are aged 12 – 17 may attend the Gala Reception if they purchase a reduced cost ticket. Registered attendees children 18 or older must purchase a full price Gala Reception ticket to attend. Please email info@zingconferences.com for information on prices or to book a ticket.


Additional Information

Group Discounts: We offer group discounts to 2, 4 or 6 attendees from the same lab (based on sharing a twin room), please contact us for more information
Please Note: Your accommodation will not be reserved and conference registration is not confirmed until Zing Conferences Ltd have received full payment of all outstanding fees.