Model Systems for Infectious Disease and Cancer in Zebrafish

16 - 18 July 2007

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Description and aim of the workshop:

Studies of the molecular and cellular basis of vertebrate development increasingly make use of the zebrafish as a model test organism. This workshop will bring together molecular research in cancer and infectious disease, with the use of zebrafish as a uniting theme. Particular emphasis will be on the mechanisms of cellular immunity in relation to these diseases.

The zebrafish offers many exciting possibilities to unravel the molecular mechanism of disease processes. First of all its optical transparency enables the use of optical imaging techniques for monitoring cellular processes at the molecular level in an entire vertebrate organism. Given the great advances in microscopic and biophysical analyses methods this offers novel opportunities to understand the signal transduction pathways underlying disease phenomena. Secondly, the cellular disease processes can be monitored in the early stages of disease at resolution and time scales that are more relevant than is possible using alternative models, such as MRI or luminescence analysis in rodents. Thirdly, considering the small size of the test organism the measurements at the molecular and cellular levels can be integrated with data obtained at the whole organism level, especially since fluorescence multicolor labeling techniques enable the causative agent of the disease (e.g. invading micro-organisms or cancer cells) to be easily detectable at all dimensions of measurement. Last but not least, due to its amenability to forward genetic screens the zebrafish is powerful for discovery of novel gene functions in disease processes. Given the strong relatedness of the zebrafish immune system to that of humans it is possible in many cases to link new molecular and cellular insights to models that can be used for medical science or device high-through-put test systems for pharmaceutical screens to discover new therapeutics.


Zebrafish as a model for human cancer research The immune system of zebrafish Zebrafish as a model for infectious disease


Euro 350 (Academic) or 500 (Industry) including lunches, conference dinner, drinks and excursion. Selected speakers will be exempt from registration fee. Key note speakers can qualify for reimbursement of hotel costs.

Criteria for selecting participants: Applicants will be asked to submit an abstract and a short CV. Participants will be selected based on their scientific interest and academic accomplish-ment in relation to the stage of their research career.

The scientific organizers will read all the abstracts of which several will be chosen for oral presentations. All participants will be expected to present their research at the conference, either as oral presentations or as posters.

E-mail Herman Spaink for submitting abstract and short CV:

Application deadline

Monday 2 April,  2007

Organizers and contact:

Herman Spaink, Annemarie Meijer and Ewa Snaar-Jagalska, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 64 , 2333 AL , Leiden, The Netherlands


Nicolaus Trede (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA)

Conference administration and secretariat:

Wies Groeneboer

Lorentz Center

Leiden University

P.O. Box 9506

2300 RA Leiden

The Netherlands

Tel: + 31 71 527 5400 Fax:+ 31 71 527 5415


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The Netherlands

+31 71 527 5400