This was SY-Stem 2021

In the first week of March, the three-day symposium on stem cell research “SY-Stem” took place. This year, for the first time in the virtual space to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

The sessions reflected the diversity of stem cell-related research fields, ranging from pluripotency, early development and gastrulation to organogenesis and clinics.

As a member of the scientific organizing committee and IMBA Scientific Director, Jürgen Knoblich, is very pleased with the outcome: “As it was our first virtual event, we are thrilled that we were able to attract over 300 people from 28 countries. SY-Stem 2021 was three days packed full of exciting science and, believe it or not, opportunities to network virtually. I especially would like to extend my gratitude to all organizers, attendees and presenters who made this event possible!”

The two keynote speakers, Amy Wagers and Lorenz Studer, were able to attract over 200 listeners in each of their keynotes. On the first day of the symposium, Amy Wagers shared insights about advanced genome editing methods of therapeutically relevant stem cells, as well as their in vivo applications and potential for gene repair mechanisms. The work presented by Wagers paves the way for genetic functional recovery and system-wide endogenous repair mechanisms through new gene edited stem cell therapeutics. Lorenz Studer held the closing keynote lecture, presenting strategies on the use of human pluripotent stem cells to model and treat various neural diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recently, Studer was able to obtain FDA clearance for a clinical trial in PD patients.

Plenty of networking opportunities and poster sessions were enabled via a designated online platform, where attendees were able to discuss science, chat with the speakers or inquire about new products from the SY-Stem sponsors at their virtual booths.
Marcel Tisch, diploma student at the Leopold-Franzens-University in Innsbruck particularly enjoyed the interactive poster sessions and lively discussions. He plans to attend the symposium next year too: “An absolute must-attend conference for anyone in the field of stem cell and developmental biology! Great talks, great atmosphere! Looking forward to SY-Stem 2022”.

More information:www.sy-stem.org, or on Twitter #SYStem_2021

Winners of the 2021 poster sessions: 
Veronica Krenn – IMBA
Organoid modelling reveals virus-specific responses leading to microcephaly

Maria Bejar – University of Cambridge
Plasticity of oesophageal epithelial stem cells: A model of ectopic niche regeneration

Nicole Amberg – IST Austria
Distinct and Sequential Functions of PRC2 in Radial Glia Lineage Progression