BioMed Central attended the Cambridge Neural Stem Cell Symposium last week. The meeting was co-hosted by the Cambridge Stem Cell Initiative to bring together a focus upon the recent advances the of field of neural stem cell biology and to encourage further collaboration and interaction between nearly 300 delegates. This gathering exposed the accelerating pace of discovery in the field of neurogenesis, especially in normal adults, and the role of defects in growth and differentiation in disease. There was much interest amongst the attendees in the recent Stem Cell thematic series published by BioMed Central’s flagship journals, BMC Biology, BMC Medicine and Genome Medicine.
An energetic kick-off was delivered in the opening talk by Gerd Kemperman, who reviewed convincing evidence to support the impact of exercise on the growth of hippocampal neurons. Several high profile Editorial Board Members of the journal Neural Development were amongst the strong line-up of speakers, including Jonas Frisen, Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, Andrea Brand and Francois Guillemot, as well as the meeting co-organizer, Bill Harris (Editor-in-Chief). The Plenary sessions were also delivered by Neural Development board members Fiona Doetsch (Stem Cell Biology, Cell Specification & Differentiation) and Fred ‘Rusty’ Gage. During the latter session, Fred presented exciting new work showing that LINE-1 retrotransposon “jumping gene” insertion into the adult brain leads to the enrichment of neuronal differentiation.
The event also brought together many students and young scientists in the area, who contributed to workshop presentations and posters. The Editorial Board of Neural Development presented an award for the best poster to Eva Porlan (University of Valencia) for her presentation of N-cadherin-mediated quiescence of subependymal neural stem cells in adult mouse brain. We wish Eva many congratulations on the impressive results of her hard work.