Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs): From Disease Models to Mini-Organs

January 28, 2019 - January 30, 2019

CCI Touraine - La Halle aux Draps
4 bis rue Jules Favre
37000 Tours


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are pluripotent cells obtained by the development of a technique of reprogrammation of somatic cells using 4 defined factors. Such spectacular feature deserved the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012. iPSCs have provoked a true revolution in the fields of Biological Sciences and Medicine. Scientists started to being able to access neurons derived from somatic cells (i.e. skin fibroblasts) of patients with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and use it as models for research laboratory studies. iPSCs opened new avenues for a better understanding about human cell differentiation, and for the ex vivo development of human organs. Besides, iPSCs brought new hopes for the development of cell therapies for conditions such as blindness and liver and kidney diseases. More recently, Scientists could obtain «mini-organs» from iPSCs. These three-dimensional structures mimic human organs, allowing a unique opportunity to access whole organs affected in different pathologies. Moreover, iPSCs derived from patients with the most diverse diseases are a highly attractive tool for screenings selecting new medicines from libraries with thousands of compounds.

In this conference the most prominent experts from the iPSCs field will discuss the different applications, advantages, and caveats of the use of iPSCs in Biological Sciences and Medicine. We will cover five main themes, namely: (1) iPSCs reprogrammation and differentiation, (2) iPSCs disease models, (3) iPSCs in drug discovery, (4) iPSCs in cell therapies, and (5) organoids (or «mini-organs») derived from iPSCs. 

This international conference is organised in the framework of the ARD 2020 Biopharmaceuticals Programme.


  • Dr Denis Reis de Assis, LE STUDIUM Research Fellow / ARD 2020-BIOPHARMACEUTICALS Programme
    FROM: Brain Institute of PUCRS - BR
    IN RESIDENCE AT: Imaging and Brain laboratory (iBrain), UMR 1253, INSERM / University of Tours - FR
  • Prof. Hélène Blasco,
    Imaging and Brain laboratory (iBrain), UMR 1253, INSERM / University of Tours - FR


Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs): From Disease Models to Mini-Organs

Scientific comittee

  • Prof. Christine Baldeschi - I-Stem Institute for Stem Cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenice diseases - FR
  • Prof. Alexandra Benchoua, Institute for Stem Cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenice Diseases (I-Stem) - FR 
  • Dr Alessandro Prigione - Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC), Helmholtz Association - DE
  • Dr Jerome Jullien - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute -  UK
  • Dr Delphine Bohl - Brain & Spine Institute - FR
  • Dr Jerome Mertens - Salk Institute - USA
  • Prof. Jari Koistinaho - Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki - FI
  • Dr Denis Reis de Assis - Brain Institute of PUCRS - BR / Imaging and Brain laboratory (iBrain), UMR 1253, INSERM / University of Tours - FR

Confirmed speakers

Oral presentations & posters

Abstracts for oral presentation and poster should be submitted before Monday 17th of December 2018. Please upload your abstract during the registration or send it before the deadline to

The number of oral presentations is limited, convenors will process a selection and confirm your presentation not later than Friday 21st of December 2018.
Please note that we do not print the posters, but racks & pins will be provided for up to A0 sizes, portrait format.

Please download the template for oral presentation.
Please download the template for poster presentation.


CCI Touraine : 4 bis, rue Jules Favre - 37000 TOURS - FR

The event will take place at the Palais du Commerce of Tours, built between 1757 and 1759 by the Merchants of Tours for their jurisdiction and business, in the heart of the city. The Palais de Commerce is a luxurious, sober and elegant private mansion built in Bourré stones. Its western side faces the Renaissance remains of the former Beaune-Semblançay hotel, the unfortunate silversmith of François the First. Located between the Hôtel de Ville and La Loire river, the Palais de Commerce is also a stone's throw from the Museum of Fine Arts in Tours.


Conference programme

Monday January 28th 2019

  • 12:30    Welcome lunch & registration
  • 14:00    Official Opening

Session 1: Modelling neurological disorders - part 1

  • 14:15    Prof. Jari Koistinaho - Modelling brain diseases with iPSC-derived cells
  • 15:00    Dr Hironobu Okuno - Cell dynamics analysis of CHARGE patients iPSC-derived neural crest cells
  • 15:15    Prof. Ludo Van Den Bosch - The use of induced pluripotent stem cells to study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • 16:00    Coffee break
  • 16:30    Dr Cécile Martinat - Use of Human pluripotent stem cells for Neuromuscular diseases

​​Special overview on cellular reprogrammation

  • 17:15    Dr Jérome Jullien - Epigenetic homogeneity in histone methylation underlies sperm programming for embryonic transcription

  • 18:00    Posters session
  • 18:30    Guided visit of the city center of Tours
  • 20:00    Dinner - Le Turon

Tuesday January 29th 2019

  • 09:00    Welcome coffee

Session 2: Cell biology research at the University of Tours

  • 09:30    Dr Frédéric Laumonnier - Neurodevelopmental disorders : Translating genetics into disease mechanisms targeting postsynaptic signalling pathways
  • 10:05    Dr Jean-François Dumas - Role of cardiolipin metabolism in cancer
  • 10:40    Dr Denis Reis de Assis - ALS: an update about the effects of TDP-43 on calcium signalling and mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • 10:55    Coffee break
  • 11:10    Prof. Patrick Vourc'h - Protein homeostasis in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • 11:45    Dr Sébastien Roger - Role of P2X7 receptor in cancer cell invasiveness, mammary tumour growth and metastatic progression
  • 12:30    Dr Osbaldo López Charcas - Biophysical characterization of new-small molecule blockers of NaV1.5 channels expressed in colorectal and breast cancer cells
  • 12:45    Lunch

​Session 3: Modelling neurological disorders - part 2

  • 14:00    Dr Alexandra Benchoua - Contribution of human pluripotent stem cells as model of neurodevelopmental disorders         
  • 14:45    Dr Jerome Mertens - Age-equivalent and adult-like induced neurons to model human age-dependent cellular defects in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • 15:30    Coffee break
  • 16:00    Dr Delphine Bohl - Human iPSc models to study motor neuron intrinsic defects and the contribution of myeloid cells to neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • 16:45    Dr Alessandro Prigione - iPSC modeling of mitochondrial diseases
  • 17:45    Bus transfer to the Faculty of Medicine (departure in front of the CCI)
  • 18:30    Public Lecture in French: Prof. Christian Andres - Les cellules souches : panacée ou boîte de Pandore ?
  • 20:00    Social dinner - Le Casse-Cailloux

Wednesday January 30th 2019

  • 09:00    Welcome coffee

Session 4: Epidermal, retinal and cardiac differentiation

  • 09:30    Prof. Christine Baldeschi - Production of clinical grade temporary epidermal substitute obtained from hESC derived keratinocytes for the treatment of sickle cell 
  • 10:15    Prof. Olivier Goureau - Human iPS cell-derived retinal organoids: from development to disease
  • 10:45    Coffee break
  • 11:10    Dr Laurence Klipfel - Impact of lactate transport deficit in age-related macular degeneration
  • 11:25    Prof. Jozef Dulak - Engineering of human induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes for therapy and disease modelling 
  • 11:40    Dr Sara Nunes de Vasconcelos - Modelling cardiac fibrosis in heart-on-a chip devices
  • 12:00    Conclusion


(Including two lunches, a dinner and the coffee breaks)

Private institutions250 EUR
Public institutions180 EUR
Students & PhD Scholars75 EUR
Gala dinner60 EUR

Partners of the event