This one-day conference will focus on stem cell-based models of development and disease. Taking place on Thursday 9th December 2021 the day will run from 9:00am – 5:00pm GMT and will take place virtually. There will also be a virtual conference social from 5:00 – 6:00pm GMT.

Stem cell-based models of embryo development have been flourishing over the past decade. These model systems recapitulate in culture fundamental aspects of mammalian development from gametogenesis, peri-implantation development to organogenesis. Critically, they enable experimental approaches to unravel the molecular basis of human developmental disorders including infertility.

This Genesis Research Trust Symposium aims to bring together and grow the community working in stem cell modelling and related fields to share ideas and discuss key topics for future research, including the opportunities and limitations of embryo models and the emergence of sophisticated bioengineering tools that can advance biomedical discoveries.

Registration fees: 

£100 for Academics/Clinicians (Early Bird Rate £75 until 31st October 2021)
£50 for Trainees (Students/Postdocs)
£15 for delegates in LMI countries (listed on tab)


The programme is currently being finalised, however, the conference will cover the following topics: 

  • Germ cell engineering
  • Peri-implantation engineering
  • Post-implantation engineering
  • Organogenesis engineering & Diseases
  • Opportunities and challenging with stem cell-based embryo models

We are pleased to announce confirmed speakers:

  • Janet Rossant, President Scientific Director, The Canada Gairdner Foundation
  • Katsuhiko Hayashi, Department of Stem Cell Biology and Medicine, Kyushu University
  • Nicolas Rivron, Institute of Microbiotechnology, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Marta Shahbazi, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge
  • Jesse Veenvliet, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Naomi Moris, The Francis Crick Institute
  • Matthias Lütolf, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Nicola Elvassore, University College London / University of Padua
  • Silvia Cappello, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

Robert Winston, Genesis Research Trust & Imperial College London, will be introducing the conference and the Conference will be chaired by Véronique Azuara (Imperial College London) and Harry Leitch (Imperial College London & MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences)

The conference will take place live on Thursday 9th December 2021, a recording will be available to delegates for up to 6 months after the event has taken place.


Véronique Azuara (Imperial College London)

Harry Leitch (Imperial College London & MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences)

Registration fees: 

£100 for Academics/Clinicians (Early Bird Rate £75 until October 2021)
£50 for Trainees (Students/Postdocs)
£15 for delegates in LMI countries (listed on tab)

Who is the conference for?  

This conference is aimed at those interested in using stem cells and stem-cell derived models to study normal development and developmental disorders. Featuring talks from international leaders on a broad range of topics including stem-cell-based embryo models, organoids, gastruloids and much more!

Conference proceeds

Proceeds from all of our conferences support our research into problems with fertility, pregnancy and birth. Our scientists at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London continue to lead the world in this field of research. Many major findings at the site have contributed to the understanding of fertility and fetal development. This has improved in utero and newborn babies’ health.

Please see the Genesis Research Trust website for further information about us.

We will be hosting a networking social that will take place after the conference in an environment like a classic game, We will be using the platform 

Imagine yourself in a conference hall – except now virtually! Attendees will be able to walk around rooms and interact with other delegates while being able to talk to people ‘virtually’ close to you.

In Gather, you can see and hear the people around you. You can navigate using the arrow keys on your keyboard to move around. If you are looking for someone specific, you can select their name in the participant bar on the side and a create a path to them.

We will be releasing the links to the virtual Gather poster sessions to you prior to the conference beginning. We recommend using Google Chrome. When Gather launches, you will be prompted to allow permissions for your browser to use your computers microphone and camera. Select ‘allow’. This setting can also be changed using your browsers preferences. Add your name and join the gathering.


Audio visual troubleshooting:

Véronique Azuara (Imperial College London)

Véronique is an Academic Reader in Stem Cell Biology at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, where she heads the Development and Epigenetics laboratory, and a visiting Interest Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, London. Her research aims at deciphering the fundamental principles that govern stem cell potency and developmental transitions from epigenetic, transcriptional, cellular, and metabolic perspectives.

Harry Leitch (Imperial College London & MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences)

Harry is a clinician-scientist, being both an Academic Clinical Lecturer in Genetics at Imperial College London and an MRC Investigator at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, where he heads the Germline & Pluripotency laboratory. In addition, he leads the Origins of Child Health & Disease Research Theme at the new Imperial Centre for Paediatrics & Child Health.


This is a list of countries with low-income or middle-income economies that qualify for our special £15 rate to attend this conference. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compiles this information and revises it every three years.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • North Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • West Bank and Gaza Strip
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

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