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Gordon Research Conference — Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Tissue Regeneration

23rd February 2020   -   28th February 2020
Lucca (Barga), Italy


The ultimate aim of craniofacial research is to understand the causes underlying craniofacial malformations and to develop diagnostics and therapies for these disorders and for repair of craniofacial tissues. Contemporary studies of the development of the vertebrate head and face take a multidisciplinary approach combining developmental biology with functional genomics, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology and cellular biology. The study of craniofacial development utilizes a range of vertebrate species, including those that are not commonly used for laboratory studies. Collectively, these provide a range of experimental models for investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning the morphogenesis of craniofacial structures and the associated organs in health and diseases, as well as offering insights into the evolutionary forces and the environmental factors driving the diversity of form and function of these structures. The scientific program will highlight how interdisciplinary research can push boundaries in our understanding of craniofacial research, with talks investigating the physics and mechanics of craniofacial biology. Such approaches help researchers address how craniofacial cell populations work together (integration) and how the surrounding environment impacts on form. This will be accompanied by discussions on how these processes drive tissue diversity and the form shaping process, and how distinctive features of the vertebrate head evolved. There will be invited presentations by leading researchers on new findings in craniofacial morphogenesis and regeneration, with specific focus on the role that mechanics plays in shaping development. The meeting will also feature sessions on cell signalling, clinical genetics, sense organs, development of animal models of craniofacial disorders and on the application of tissue engineering in regenerative repair. The program will bring together researchers of diverse expertise to foster stimulating discussions and productive collaborations across different fields in a collegiate atmosphere.