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EACR Conference Series
Goodbye Flat Biology: Models, Mechanisms and Microenvironment

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2 - 5 October 2016
Harnack House, Berlin, Germany

Introduction

Harnack-House-garden

After the success of the first ‘Goodbye Flat Biology’ meeting in 2014, the EACR is delighted to announce the second conference in the series: ‘Goodbye Flat Biology: Models, Mechanisms and Microenvironment’.

This conference will focus on the applications of state-of-the-art 3D culture and tissue engineering technologies to address specific scientific questions ranging from basic tumour biology to more preclinical and translational research.

The conference will be opened by Peter Friedl, a pioneer of multifocal microscopy to study cell migration and invasion, and concluded by Valerie Weaver, Director of the Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration.

Who should attend?

The meeting should be of interest to all those who use cancer cell lines, patient-derived tissue samples or primary cultures in vitro for the study of tumour biology, bioengineering and biochemistry, drug target validation, compound and antibody screening, toxicology, and patient-tumour profiling. The active participation of young investigators and students will be particularly encouraged through a range of interactive opportunities, including a Speed Networking event, a ‘Meet the Expert’ session, and a Round Table Discussion.

100% of the participants from the last edition of the meeting would recommend the conference to others

"It was a very exciting and inspiring conference demonstrating progress around the world on 3D models from 3D tissues to translational medicine."

"The conference was very accurate and well organised towards the conference theme. The speakers are very nice and approachable. I have discussed a lot with several delegates which was very helpful for my research work."

"Excellent and current hot topic, and a great opportunity to talk to experts in the field. The meeting was extremely well organised, and the atmosphere inspiring."

"Great speakers with really great presentations. A lot of new information and new insights in the three dimensional cultures. Programme and time schedule were well organized and you could follow all the speakers."

Topics to be covered include:

  • 3D co-culture models
  • Organoids
  • Tumour-stroma interactions
  • Tumour invasion and metastasis
  • Stem cells
  • ECM biology
  • Cell signalling
  • Tissue engineering
  • Mechano-biology
  • Tumour heterogeneity
  • Drug screening

Background to the conference topic

In the past few years there has been a huge move from simple 2D monolayer cultures towards more complex in vitro models in cancer research, including 3D tumour spheroids, host cell co-culture systems, organoids and tissue samples derived direct from patients. These biological initiatives been enabled by incredible advances in bioengineering, mathematical modelling and imaging technologies which allow us not only to use these models in the correct context but also to visualise their dynamic complexity.

Harnack-House-lecture-hallThe models are now poised to make a real impact on our understanding of tumour progression and identify new therapeutic targets - both intrinsic and in the supportive tumour microenvironment. Moreover these advancements will certainly improve our predictions of drug efficacy in humans and hopefully contribute to the ‘3Rs’ by reducing the number of experimental animals used in suboptimal preclinical trials.

So can we really say “Goodbye flat biology?” What is the evidence that the 3D field has generated data so far which suggests that we have reached this goal? What are the tangible advances to date and can we overcome the challenges we still face? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed by our expert faculty in Berlin.

This EACR conference will present scientific advances which have been revealed by the use of 3D models and technologies, and will provide an open forum where pertinent questions can be discussed.

Scientific Organising Committee

Sue Eccles, Andrew Ewald, John Hickman, Emmy Verschuren, Maria Vinci and Ellen Van Obberghen-Schilling