News & Events

The Centre for Developmental Neurobiology Scientific Retreat 2023


The 1st Centre for Developmental Neurobiology Scientific Retreat 2023 was held at the Senate House, University of London. From 14 to 15 September, ca. 120 students and staff members from CDN attended the event.

The Scientific Retreat focused entirely on the science we generate at the Centre. The 1st day of the retreat was entirely dedicated to posters, with over 70 poster submissions. During the 2nd day, attendees enjoyed career talks in academia and industry from highly accomplished guests such as Prof Nathalie Rochefort (University of Edinburgh) and Dr John Isaac. Additionally, we had talks from PIs who have recently joined the Centre and selected talks from students and postdocs. With short talks and poster presentations, the Scientific Retreat was a unique opportunity to talk about science and learn about the exciting research across the Centre. Each day, we concluded with a drink reception and networking opportunity. 

Following the competition for the best poster and the best short talk, prizes were awarded to: 

  • Alexis Cooper (best poster winner, Benedikt Berninger group) about Deconstructing In Vivo Glia-to-Neuron Conversion with Single-Cell RNAseq: Unveiling the Pivotal Role of Ascl1 Phosphorylation in Orchestrating Gene Expression Programs and Determining Neuronal Cell Fates in Cortical Astrocytes and OPCs.
  • Emily Read (a runner-up for the poster, Robert Hindges group) titled ‘A Battery of Zebrafish Behavioural Assays to Assess Schizophrenia-Related Phenotype’.
  • Noah Leibold (best short talk winner, Laura Andreae group) presented work from his PhD studies in which he was assessing whether activity could be important during early synapse formation and dendritic development in the hippocampus.
  • Shabana Khan (a runner-up for the short talk, Beatriz Rico group) presented findings from her postdoctoral work on the effects of an enhanced early life sensory experience on functional cortical network population activity and structural plasticity using in vivo calcium imaging and longitudinal 2-Photon microscopy. Shabana is now investigating the long-term impact on behaviour and learning. 

Many congratulations to all awardees! The above is just a small sample of the themes discussed at the Scientific Retreat 2023. The event was a great success, with staff and students sharing ideas about their research.

The Scientific Retreat 2023 was sponsored by Bio Molecular Systems Ltd, Generon Ltd, New England Biolabs (UK) Ltd and PCR Biosystems Ltd.