EBM’s 5th Harmonization Workshop: Early Neural Development

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Impressions from the EBM harmonization workshop on Early Neural Development (Image: A. Kuhn)

On March 20, 2024, the 5th EBM Harmonisation Workshop took place, where twelve participants of the EBM Integrated Research Training Group recently delved into the intricate processes underlying early brain development during an immersive workshop. Spearheaded by Professor Alexandra Schambony, the session provided insights into early neurogenesis in embryos, along with the pioneering technique of developing neural plate-based brain organoids utilizing eggs from the South African Frog, Xenopus Laevis.

The workshop facilitated hands-on learning opportunities in various aspects of early brain development research, including practical experience in meticulously preparing neural plates, a fundamental step in the generation of brain organoids. Additionally, they were trained in the execution of an in-situ experiment that involves the localization and visualization of specific molecules, such as mRNA or proteins, within tissues or cells to study their spatial distribution and expression patterns, providing insights into developmental processes.

Furthermore, participants honed their skills in microinjection, a precise technique used to deliver substances such as genetic material or chemicals into cells or tissues. This technique is vital for manipulating gene expression and studying the effects of specific molecules on early brain development. For this station, gelatin-based microbeads were prepared and used as a substitution for the frog embryos.

However, the most memorable aspect for many was the tour of the frog facility, offering a firsthand glimpse into the practical part of amphibian research and an integral part of EBM Project A03.

By engaging in these hands-on activities, participants not only deepened their theoretical understanding but also developed practical skills essential for conducting advanced research in the field of embryonic biology and neuroscience.

Clara Froideaux, A03