Developmental Biology has emerged as a major new discipline as a result of the convergence between classical embryology, genetics and modern molecular and cellular biology. In addition to more specialist publications, such as Development, which have acquired considerable impact over the last decade or so, a rapid glance at front line journals such as Nature. Cell, Science, immediately indicates the current importance of advances in this field. The series of Euroconferences on Developmental Biology has accompanied and contributed to this expansion and provided an invaluable forum for the exchange of information and ideas between established Developmental Biologists and newcomers interested in research in this area.
As in previous meetings the 2002 Conference will present some of the most topical and important aspects of the field. Because of the Potential breadth of subject matter, it is important to avoid too much dispersion, and this meeting will focus on tissue specification and patterning with the underlying universal themes of signalling systems and target regulator genes, the activation of which leads to the restriction of cell fate during embryogenesis. Closely related to this, is the topic of stem cells, which is currently exciting major interest, because of potential biomedical (and ethical) implications. Indeed the proposed subject of the meeting is designed to promote understanding of this issue. Different tissue types will be discussed in different sessions. In addition there will be sessions devoted to signalling systems and to stem cells per se.