Plenary Speakers




Suzanne Eaton
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany

Laboratory Website:

The Eaton lab takes a multiscale approach to understanding tissue growth and morphogenesis, focusing on cell biological aspects of morphogen signaling and how  these signaling patterns play out at the level of tissue mechanics to guide morphogenesis.  These questions are addressed in the Drosophila wing  using a combination of biochemical and cell biological methodologies, as well as quantitative image analysis, biophysical and genetic perturbations, and theory.  Suzanne Eaton is a senior group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, and Professor of the Developmental Biology of Invertebrates at the Technical University of Dresden.


Marc Freeman
University of Massachusetts Medical School, United States

Laboratory Website:

Marc Freeman explores the biology of the brain's most abundant and enigmatic cell type—glia. His laboratory uses Drosophila to explore genetic programs that promote the development and function of specific glial subtypes, especially astrocytes; neuron-glia signaling events that sculpt neural circuit assembly; glial responses to brain injury and disease; and molecular pathways driving axon auto-destruction.  Freeman is currently the Director of the Vollum Institute at The Oregon Health and Sciences University.

Dr Freeman’s lecture is sponsored by the Biochemical Society


Ruth Lehmann
HHMI/Skirball Institute, Department for Cell Biology, NYU School of Medicine, United States

Laboratory Website:

Dr. Lehmann is an EMBO Member and an HHMI investigator and the Perlmutter Professor of Cell Biology at NYU School of Medicine. She directs the Skirball Institute and is Chair of the Department of Cell Biology. Her research focuses on germ cells, the only cells in the body destined to generate a new generation. Using Drosophila, her lab studies germ cell specification, migration and mechanisms that regulate genome integrity for totipotency.

Dr Lehmann’s lecture is sponsored by EMBO


Bruno Lemaitre
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Laboratory Website:

Bruno Lemaitre and his group use Drosophila as a model to study physiological processes at the organismal level with three main axes of research: Innate immunity, Drosophila-Spiroplasma interaction and intestinal homeostasis.



Benjamin Prud'homme
CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, France

Laboratory Website:

Benjamin Prud’homme and his group study the mechanisms that generate morphological and behavioral novelty in evolution. They are using several Drosophila species to investigate the evolution of wing pigmentation patterns by changes in transcriptional regulation, and the evolution of egg laying behavior in the pest species Drosophila suzukii.  


Jordan Raff
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Laboratory Website:

Jordan has studied centrosomes in flies throughout his scientific career—as a PhD student with David Glover at Imperial College, as a Post-doctoral fellow with Bruce Alberts at UCSF and in his own group, first at The Gurdon Institute in Cambridge and now at the Dunn School in Oxford. Jordan is President of the British Society of Cell Biology, Editor in Chief at Biology Open, and Deputy Director of the Micron Oxford Advanced BioImaging Unit. 


Amita Sehgal
University of Pennsylvania, United States

Laboratory Website:

Amita Sehgal is the John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Director of the Chronobiology Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Prof. Sehgal received her Ph.D. from the Weill Graduate School of Cornell University and conducted her postdoctoral work at Rockefeller University. Her research focuses on the genetic basis of circadian rhythms and sleep, using primarily Drosophila as a model system. Dr. Sehgal has received many awards and honors, which include election to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences USA.