Royal Society Publishing regularly attends scientific meetings to exhibit our journals, meet our authors, editors and readers and answer any questions you might have about our content, publishing policies or the Royal Society. If you are you attending the upcoming Annual meeting of ASCB | EMBOOpen Biology will have a booth and we would like to meet you.


The American Society for Cell Biology and the European Molecular Biology Organisation have joined forces for the 2018 ASCB|EMBO Meeting, taking place on 8-12th December at the San Diego Convention Center in California. This conference will see leaders in the global cell biology community come together and is expected to bring together over 6000 biologists from around the world to connect, learn about new advances and discuss challenges facing the field. There will be a strong focus on stem cell biology throughout the meeting and symposia with the ASCB’s ‘Doorstep meeting’ focussing on ‘Beyond Homeostasis: Stem Cells Under Stress’, organised by Elaine Fuchs (Rockefeller University and HHMI) and Sean Morrison (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and HHMI). This will be followed by the ASCB|EMBO Keynote Lecture by Sean Morrison entitled ‘Niches for Stem Cells in Bone Marrow’.  To mark this year’s theme, Open Biology, our open access online only journal that been publishes high impact articles covering all aspects of molecular and cellular biology, has chosen a selection of exciting articles that explore breakthroughs and developments in cell biology.

Synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases: an overview of induced pluripotent stem-cell-based disease models
In this review, the authors address the overlapping mechanisms leading to synaptic dysfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, by thoroughly discussing the advancements made possible by the use of novel, disease-associated, human induced pluripotent stem cell-based models. This article also gives a thought-provoking overview on the potential for using patient sampled skin cells to develop neuron culture disease models for testing.

Wnt Ligand Presentation and Reception; from the Stem Cell Niche to Tissue Engineering

The authors of this review based at the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King’s College London describe how the stem cell niche is vital for regulating the stem cell compartment during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Within the niche, spatially restricted Wnt signals control the self- renewal of the stem cells. The article discusses the mechanisms of Wnt presentation and response within the stem cell compartment and highlights recent advances towards reconstructing the Wnt niche in vitro for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine purposes.

Induced pluripotent stem cell technology for modelling and therapy of cerebellar ataxia

Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has revolutionised the way in which we can study brain disorders. Up until now, research in this field has been hampered by the inaccessibility of the affected nerve cells in the human brain. In contrast, iPSCs can be easily generated from patients suffering from brain diseases and are capable to develop into any cell type including nerve cells. This was the first review for Postdoctoral Research Scientist Lauren Watson joining Esther Becker’s lab group at Oxford University and goes on to describe the progress and the challenges in using this novel technology to better understand the movement disorder cerebellar ataxia including an exciting exploration into first investigation using living human nerve cells from affected patients.

The Drosophila ZO-1 protein Polychaetoid suppresses Deltex-regulated Notch activity to modulate germline stem cell niche formation
Cell to cell communication is critical for proper development and maintenance of tissues. Using Drosophila as a simple model organism the authors of this research article identified the cell junctional protein ZO-1 as a hub mediating cross talk between different cellular control systems regulating cellular architecture, adhesiveness, protein transport pathways and signalling mechanisms that determine cell fate. ZO-1 regulates the endocytic trafficking and activation of the Notch signalling protein, providing an alternative means by which external influences can modulate signalling by this important pathway which determines the size of an important model stem cell niche in the Drosophila ovary.


Whether you are an editor, reviewer, author or prospective author, we look forward to seeing you at the ASCB | EMBO 2018 Meeting. The Open Biology Publishing Editor will be at Booth 742 – please stop by for a chat during the meeting and in particular during the dedicated Learning Center hours 12:00 – 3:00 pm in the Exhibit hall. You will be able to find out about our author services, pick up our merchandise and receive exclusive offers for delegates. We hope to see you in person and online at #ASCBEMBO18.


Open Biology is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Royal Society and welcomes submissions in biology at the molecular and cellular levels. Find out more about our author benefits and submission process.


Image credit: The San Diego Convention Corporation.

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