(EZM), Oslo, Norway, June, 2015. (Maryam Jalali)

The 9th European Zebrafish Meeting (EZM) 2015, Oslo, Norway
The 9th European Zebrafish Meeting (EZM) was held from the 28th of June to the 2 nd of July 2015. It
is a biannual meeting that is attended by zebrafish scientists from all over the world who gather
together to share and discuss their research. The 2015 meeting was held in Oslo Norway. This was a
very well organized meeting. Everything from registration to the planning of talks and poster sessions
and the social events were extremely well arranged.
The morning sessions began with talks by invited plenary speakers who work in different areas of
research and use the zebrafish as an animal model to carry out their research work. It was fascinating
to see the wide applications of the zebrafish as a vertebrate animal model in studies involving cancer,
regeneration, morphogenesis, neurobiology and development. It was exciting to meet the eminent
people in the field of hematopoiesis and to hear their talks and
I attended this meeting with my supervisor, Dr. Martin Gering. I presented
a poster that displayed the data I have generated during my PhD as well
as some of the work that is done in our lab. Making use of a novel
zebrafish gene trap line, the qmc551 line, our lab focuses on
hematopoiesis (blood formation) in the zebrafish. In this line the first blood
forming endothelial cells with in the ventral wall of the dorsal aorta (vDA)
i.e. hemogenic endothelial cells are labeled with a green fluorescent
protein (GFP). These cells give rise to the early hematopoietic (blood)
stem cells, as they undergo an endothelial to hematopoietic transition and
join circulation via the vein. Later these hematopoietic cells seed the
caudal hematopoietic tissue (CHT), which is the transitory site of
hematopoiesis in the zebrafish embryo. From here the cells migrate to the
thymus and kidney, which are the larval and adult sites of hematopoiesis
in the fish. I have done a lot of confocal work using this line to study cell
behavior and would like to thank Dr. Tim Self and his group from the department of Cell Signalling.
Dr. Chris Moore the post doc in our lab has isolated and sorted the GFP+ cells from the early qmc551
embryos, using Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting. The transcriptome of these cells has been
analysed and Chris has found some interesting genes that are specifically expressed in cells within in
the vDA, the CHT and the thymus. I presented the data generated on the qmc551 line and I felt
honored to be representing my Lab at this high profile platform and the work we do here in the Gering
Lab, at the University of Nottingham. It was really nice to see that many people at the conference
came up to my poster to have a chat with me and expressed their interest in our work.
Listening to many of the talks presented at this conference by both plenary speakers and students
from eminent universities around the world made me realize that we are carrying out similar
experiments. This made me think about how fortunate I am to be a part of such a prestigious
university and lab that does research which is at power with other big labs around the world.
The highlight of the conference was the formal dinner on the last night of the conference that was
held in the famous Opera House of Oslo City. This formal night commenced with a well-composed
zebrafish jingle that we all sang together!!! Besides attending the conference it was a pleasure to visit
Norway, with beautiful sites of tourist attractions.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the School of Life Sciences and The Carr Scholarship
Fund for funding my travel and giving me this chance to attend this high profile conference.
Maryam Jalali
PhD Student
Supervised by Dr Martin Gering