ASHBi Symposium 2020 “Human Development, Genetics and Evolution” on March 19th–20th, 2020


ASHBi was launched in October 2018 with funding from the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI program) of Japan’s science ministry MEXT, aiming to create and promote a human-centric study of biology elucidating the key principles of human traits and disease state.

Annual international symposia will be a key activity of our new Institute, and our inaugural meeting will be the “ASHBi Symposium on Human Development, Genetics and Evolution”, organized by Mitinori Saitou (ASHBi Director), Takashi Hiiragi (EMBL/ASHBi), James Briscoe (Crick Institute), and Barbara Treutlein (ETH Zurich).

Recent advances in key technologies, including stem-cell engineering, single-cell sequencing, genome editing, and live imaging have created unprecedented opportunities to directly address human biology and understand what it is to be human. Accordingly, our knowledge of human biology, including human development, genetics, and evolution, has seen rapid expansion, making it highly important and timely to discuss our current understanding of human biology and its impact on relevant fields as well as on society at large.

In this symposium, we will cover topics relevant to human germ-cell development, early embryogenesis, organoids, and relevant disease models, as well as human genetics and evolution, in what we hope will be a significant opportunity to weave together our current knowledge and synthesize new prospects in these areas.

We encourage the submission of abstracts for the poster session from many researchers to increase opportunities for lively and informative exchange of views. A small number of poster abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. A limited number of travel fellowships for graduate students and post-docs traveling to Japan will also be available.


Date: Thursday, March 19 to Friday, March 20, 2020

Venue: Shirankaikan, Kyoto University
Conference: Inamori Hall
Reception: Yamauchi Hal

Participation Fee:
Conference: Free
Reception: ¥1000

Language: English (No interpretation)

Organizer: James Briscoe, Takashi Hiiragi, Mitinori Saitou, Barbara Treutlein



Aida Andrés (University College London)
James Briscoe (The Francis Crick Institute)
Anne Goriely (University of Oxford)
Anne Grapin-Botton (University of Copenhagen, Denmark and MPI-CBG, Dresden, Germany)
Katsuhiko Hayashi (Kyushu University)
Takashi Hiiragi (European Molecular Biology Laboratory/ASHBi)
Henrik Kaessmann (Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg)
Ryoichiro Kageyama (​Kyoto University)
Janet Kelso (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Diana Laird (University of California, San Francisco)
Prisca Liberali (Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research)
Ryuichi Nishinakamura (Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University)
Seishi Ogawa (​Kyoto University/ASHBi)
Claire Rougeulle (University of Paris)
Mitinori Saitou (​Kyoto University/ASHBi)
Toshiro Sato (Keio University)
Davor Solter (Max Planck Society)
Azim Surani (Wellcome Trust/CRUK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge)
Barbara Treutlein (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich)
James Turner (The Francis Crick Institute)
Christopher Walsh (Harvard Medical School)





Registration / Application

Registration (Deadline for reception: March 4, 2020) (Google form)


Application for Poster Presentation (Deadline: December 20, 2019)

Attention: Registration for the symposium must be made separately from your application or the application will be declined.


Application for Travel Fellowship (Deadline: December 20, 2019)


ASHBi Symposium 2020 Poster Cover