A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Mechanisms of Organismal Evolution

Satellite Short Course of the Sixth International Meeting of the

Latin American Society for Developmental Biology

Universidad de la Republica & Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay

April 16—25, 2012

Organizers:  Mike Levine, Ida Chow, Flavio Zolessi, Nibia Berois




In 2003, the Latin American Society of Developmental Biology (LASDB), led by Roberto Mayor, then at the University of Chile, organized its First International Meeting in Valle Nevado, Chile. Just before the meeting, the LASDB offered a short laboratory course to a number of student participants from Latin American institutions and it was taught by some of the invited speakers. Both meeting and practical course were remarkably successful and provided additional opportunity for the students to learn new lab protocols and to interact with the speakers.


In 2005, at the request of local organizer José Xavier Neto the second satellite short course of the Second International Meeting of LASDB was organized jointly by the Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) and LASDB and held in Juquehy, Brazil. It was on Model Organisms and Innovative Approaches in Developmental Biology. Ruth Lehmann (NYU School of Medicine, SDB President 2004-2005), José Xavier Neto (University of São Paulo), Ida Chow (SDB) and Roberto Mayor (LASDB President 2005) were the organizers of this course which received major funding from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF and US Department of Energy) Pan American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) program. Additional support came from the National Institute of Child and Human Health and Development (NICHD/NIH, USA), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, Brazil), Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa (CNPq, Brazil), International Society of Developmental Biologists (ISDB) and SDB (including proceedings from Developmental Biology). Fifteen students from Latin American institutions and fifteen US-based students were selected for this course. The final program with links to lectures and protocols is available at:


In 2008, the third course was held at Instituto Leloir in Buenos Aires, Argentina, organized by Eric Wieschaus (Princeton Univ., SDB President 2007-2008), Pablo Wappner (Instituto Leloir) and Ida Chow (SDB). Frontiers in Developmental Biology: Concepts, Techniques and Model Organisms was designated a PASI course as it was primarily supported by this NSF-Dept of Energy (USA) program. It was followed by LASDB’s 4th International Meeting. Additional support was provided by NICHD/NIH (USA), UNO-Biolac and Instituto Leloir. The program, lectures and lab protocols are found on the short course website: http://www.sdbonline.org/2008ShortCourse/course.htm


In 2010, SDB and LASDB jointly organized the fourth short course, which took place just before the 5th International Meeting of LASDB and it was on Concepts and Model Organisms in Regenerative Biology. The organizers of the short course were: Richard Harland (UC Berkeley, SDB President 2009-2010), Juan Larrain (PUC), Ida Chow (SDB) and Miguel Allende (UChile). It was held at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with zebrafish and fly lab sessions held at Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Major funding was provided by a PASI grant  from NSF-DOE. Additional support was from: CARE (Center for Aging and Regeneration-Chile), CGC(Center for Genomics of the Cell-Univ de Chile) and ICM (Iniciativa Cientifica Milenio). The program, lectures and lab protocols are found on the short course website:



Aims of the 2012 Short Course


This course will provide a hands-on experience to the students from the Western Hemisphere to integrate genomics, system biology and gene regulatory networks with standard experimental approaches to explore basic mechanisms in evolutionary biology and to embolden them to take on the future challenges of experimental biology.


The goals of the course are to:

·       Train young investigators in the Americas eager to use innovative approaches and a variety of model organisms to expand their knowledge base of evolutionary processes. 

·       Foster a culture of borderless collaboration among senior and junior investigators in mutually supportive alliances that will promote advances in our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms.

·       Provide an open forum for discussion of evolutionary biology issues topical to health, science policy and education in the participating countries and the Western Hemisphere.











For additional information please contact Ida Chow at ichow@sdbonline.org

For subject title use "2012 short course"


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