SICB Annual Meeting 2014
January 3-7, 2014
Austin, TX

Symposium: The cell’s view of animal body plan evolution

Understanding how diverse animal body plans evolved remains one of the most exciting and challenging goals for evolutionary and developmental biologists alike. Over the past few decades, genomic and molecular genetic approaches have provided insights into which gene networks regulate cell fate specification. It is less well understood how specification states launch specific cell biological properties, such as polarity, migration, and adhesion. Yet, cells are the fundamental unit of all biological structures and phenomena - evolution shapes phenotypes by ultimately tinkering with cellular characteristics. With recent advances in applying modern molecular, live-imaging, and modeling techniques to a broader range of experimental systems, can we now compare cell types across animal species to understand how they have mediated organismal evolution? This symposium will bring together researchers who use varied approaches to test hypotheses at multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from systems-level studies of gene regulatory networks for cell behaviors to modeling cytoskeletal dynamics that drive tissue morphogenesis.

“Cellular Evolutionary Developmental Biology” does not exist as a codified field. Because of recent breakthroughs in research methods, this is the ideal time to discuss what it will look like in the near future. The diversity of expertise and perspectives present at the annual SICB meeting makes it an ideal venue to consider such an integrative topic. We hope that this symposium will stimulate a synthesis that can inform new directions in the field in the future. The invited speaker symposium covers topics including cytoskeletal dynamics underlying patterning and morphogenesis of tissues, specification and gene regulatory networks leading to cellular behaviors and comparative cell biology of regeneration.

A poster session will follow this day long symposium. A complementary session of shorter contributed talks will be held on a different day. We encourage researchers to submit abstracts on a broad range of research topics pertaining to the evolution of development and developmental cell biology. We will select 10-15 short (15 minute) talks from submitted abstracts. We have a limited number of travel scholarships available to support the participation of students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career professors.

Make sure to select our symposium from the pull down menu when you submit your abstract ( Feel free to contact the organizers if you have any questions.


American Microscopical Society
Society for Developmental Biology


Funding Opportunities:

Some funding is available for those who present a poster or talk as part of this symposium to help defray the cost of attending the meeting. Preference will be given on a primarily need basis to junior scientists (students, post-docs and junior faculty), current members of the Society for Developmental Biology (SDB), and those from under-represented minorities and those with disabilities. To apply, send an email by September 1, 2013 to Dede Lyons ( with the following information:

1) Name, institution, lab and position (student, post-doc, etc.)

2) The title and abstract of your poster or talk. Please indicate if you requested a talk or poster

3) Indicate whether you are a current SDB member and/or belong to an under-represented minority or have a disability

3) Cost of attending the meeting, broken down by travel, lodging, and registration costs

4) Alternative funding sources and amounts available to you

5) The amount you are requesting for funding from the symposium

Other sources of funding are available through SICB:

Invited Speakers

S3.1-1 Saturday, Jan. 4, 08:00 MUNRO, E.M.*; HASHIMOTO, H.; ROBIN, F.R.; SHERRARD, K.M.: Dynamics of Tissue Morphogenesis in Ascidians

S3.1-2 Saturday, Jan. 4, 08:30 HORNE-BADOVINAC, Sally: Mechanisms of egg chamber elongation in Drosophila

S3.1-3 Saturday, Jan. 4, 09:00 ZALLEN, J.: Shaping the embryo: Cellular dynamics in development

S3.1-4 Saturday, Jan. 4, 09:30 WALLINGFORD, John: Planar cell polarity and the developmental control of cell behavior

S3.2-1 Saturday, Jan. 4, 10:30 GOLDSTEIN, Bob: Using C. elegans and other organisms to understand conserved mechanisms of morphogenesis

S3.2-2 Saturday, Jan. 4, 11:00 KURODA, Reiko*; ABE, Masanori: How a single gene twists a snail

S3.2-3 Saturday, Jan. 4, 11:30 GIBSON, Matt*; IKMI, Aissam; FRITZ, Ashleigh; RAGKOUSI, Katerina: Epithelium establishment and tentacle development in Nematostella vectensis

S3.3-1 Saturday, Jan. 4, 13:30 BELY, A. E.*; ZATTARA, E. E.; LI, A.: Using live imaging to probe the cellular basis of annelid regeneration

S3.3-2 Saturday, Jan. 4, 14:00 VAN WOLFSWINKEL, JC*; WAGNER, DE; REDDIEN, PW: Heterogeneity in planarian neoblasts by single cell analysis

S3.3-3 Saturday, Jan. 4, 14:30 BABONIS, L.S.*; MARTINDALE, M.Q.: Old cell new trick: cnidocytes as a model for studying the evolution of novelty

S3.3-4 Saturday, Jan. 4, 15:00 LYONS, Diedre; MCINTYRE, Dan; MCCLAY, David R.*: Ectodermal inputs into patterning skeletogenesis