This week IBEC group leader Elena Martinez is in Toulouse for the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe, where she is taking part as a speaker.
Elena, who heads IBEC’s Biomimetic systems for cell engineering group, was invited to take part in the ‘Growing mini-organs on a petri dish: myth or reality’ session by the ERC, which funds her COMIET project with a Consolidator grant. COMIET aims to engineer epithelial tissue models that mimic the physiological characteristics found in the human intestine. Around 40 of the ERC’s grantees have been invited to take part in the funding body’s sessions at ESOF this year.
The other speakers in Elena’s session, which took place on Wednesday, were Jürgen Knoblich from Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) and Jens Puschlof from Utrecht’s Hubrecht Institute. They discussed the recent development of organoid culture models for drug testing, modelling tumour, disease and infection, toxicity screening, personalised and regenerative medicine and organ replacement, and the limitations and challenges that still need to be overcome.
ESOF, which comprises more than conferences, workshops and scientific sessions including more than 200 events open to the general public, takes place every two years in a different European city and attracts delegates from more than 80 countries, including 400 journalists and science communicators, and is attended by about 35,000 people.