Latest research trends in cell biology focus on advanced techniques in cell imaging, a deeper understanding of the cell in the context of other scientific disciplines, and better diagnosis and treatment of disease through methods rooted in the foundations of basic cell science. 

The largest gathering of cell scientists will convene at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., from Dec 2 to Dec 6. The 2017 ASCB| EMBO Meeting, hosted by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), together with the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), is expected to draw  6,000 attendees to symposia, workshops, lectures, exhibits and poster presentations reflecting the latest research in cell biology, genetics, molecular biology and related disciplines.

The official kick-off for the ASCB|EMBO Meeting is Saturday evening with a keynote speech given by Rockefeller University Professor Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann, who was selected in 2016 to lead the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). The CZI is a multidisciplinary research hub established by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and founder and CEO of The Primary School in East Palo Alto, CA. Bargmann will split her presentation between her work at CZI and her own studies of the nematode Caenorhabditis. elegans that have helped her unravel the mysteries of nervous system signaling and behavior.

On Saturday night, about 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows attending the meeting will hit the streets of Philly for the “Ask a Scientist” bar night. Wearing t-shirts provided by ASCB that declare “I’m a scientist, ask me about my research,” participants hope to engage the public in some lively alcohol-fueled scientific conversation.

Both the E.E. Just and Porter awards lectures will be held Sunday, and the E.B. Wilson medal and award presentation, the Society’s highest scientific honor, will occur on Tuesday afternoon.  The EMBO Gold Medal ceremony and lecture will be presented on Monday and the European Louis-Jeantet Prize award lecture is scheduled for Tuesday. The meeting will also host a livestream presentation of the Breakthrough Prize late Sunday.

On Tuesday, December 5, attendees will be treated to the premieres of two new cell biology imaging videos. Made possible through a program supported by the ASCB Public Information Committee to promote public engagement and education in cell biology, Celldance recipients are given a $1,000 grant to turn research into dazzling cell videos. This year’s Celldance was supported in part by PLOS. A trailer feature clips of past and current Celldance winners can be seen here.

Each day features talks, panels, workshops, and symposia on topics important to the community of cell biologists, such as cell structure and advance cell imaging techniques, cell-cell interactions, cell metabolism, cancer cell biology, the biology of neurons, genetics, and neurodegenerative diseases. More than 2,800 research posters will be on display during daily poster sessions. Attendees may also attend dozens of career enhancement programs covering topics including science communication, public policy, lab management, issues concerning under-represented groups in the sciences, and much more.

Also on December 2, the Society holds the Doorstep Meeting, whose theme this year is cell biology of degeneration and repair of the nervous system. This completely sold-out event features expert academic and clinical speakers from the fields of basic brain science, protein folding, and neurodegenerative diseases. Registration to the Doorstep meeting is not part of the regular Meeting.

Members of the working press may sign up to attend the 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting here. Note: ASCB has changed the criteria for who is eligible to attend as working press. Employees of peer-reviewed journals are not part of the working press under our new policies. Please read the eligibility criteria, which can be found on the working press registration page. Members of the press may register onsite at the convention center as well.

The full program for the 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting can be found here.

Mary Spiro

Mary Spiro has been ASCB's Science Writer and Social Media Manager since January 2017. She's the former science writer for Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology and writer/editor for University of Maryland Baltimore, LifeBridge Health and The Manhattan (KS) Mercury newspaper. She holds an MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and bachelor's degrees in journalism and agronomy from the University of Maryland, College Park.