Face of Prof. Michele Boiani     Michele Boiani (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Medicine, Munster, Germany) received his education in reproductive biology and is a certified biologist and laboratory animal scientist. He teaches at the Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet and conducts research at the Max Planck Institute in Muenster (Germany) with funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Max Planck Gesellschaft. His areas of interest include oocyte quality, oocyte-mediated nuclear reprogramming, blastomere totipotency, and the effects of maternal age and culture conditions on embryo composition (proteome) and developmental outcome. Michele Boiani is the Editor-in-Chief of 'Molecular Human Reproduction'.  



Face of Prof. Marianne Bronner   Marianne Bronner (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) is a developmental biologist who studies the development and evolution of the neural crest, a stem cell population that is unique to vertebrates. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University, and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. She currently holds the Edward B. Lewis Chair of Biology and is Director of the Beckman Institute at Caltech.  Honors include Women in Cell Biology Senior Award from the American Society for Cell Biology (2012), Conklin Medal from Society for Developmental Biology (2013), Harrison Award from the International Society for Developmental Biology (2022), and several teaching awards. She was elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.   


Face of Prof. Giulio Cossu   Giulio Cossu (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK and San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy) is Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester and Head of Unit at the Division of Neurosciences at San Raffaele Hospital. He is also visiting Professor at Max Delbruck Centre in Berlin. He received his MD degree from the University of Rome, and then worked at the University of Pennsylvania, at Pasteur Institute in Paris, at the University of Rome and, since 2000 at San Raffaele in Milan as Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine. In 2012 he moved to UCL and in 2013 to Manchester. He is a member of EMBO, European Academy of Science, Academy of Medical Sciences, and Accademia dei Lincei. Cossu is recognized for his pioneering work on muscle development and cell therapy for muscular dystrophies.   

Face of Prof. Monika Kaczmarek   Monika Kaczmarek (Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland) is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms hidden behind the successful egg/embryo/neonate-maternal interactions in different animal species, from fruit fly to humans. In her recent work, she is trying to answer the question of how early life nutritional experience shapes reproductive functions and lifelong fertility over generations, particularly focusing on lactocrine-based mechanisms of developmental programming. Currently, she is a professor in Department of Hormonal Action Mechanisms, in Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, PAS, where she also leads Molecular Biology Laboratory (since 2011). In 2013-2017, she was simultaneously appointed as a professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences.  

Face of Prof. Alfonso Martinez Arias   Alfonso Martinez Arias (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain) obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and developed most of his research at the University of Cambridge, UK. Since 2021 he is an ICREA research professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. He is interested in the properties of living matter with a special focus on how cells organize themselves during development. His studies make use of embryonic stem cells (ESC) and, over the last few years, he has developed the ‘gastruloid’ system, an ESC-based model of embryonic development.  

Face of Prof. Liliana Solnica-Krężel   Lilianna Solnica-Krężel (Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, USA) completed M.Sc. in molecular biology at the University of Warsaw in Poland and her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, and she carried out her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Solnica-Krezel laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis investigates inductive and morphogenetic processes shaping vertebrate body plan during gastrulation using zebrafish and human embryonic stem cells. Her lab also deploys forward and reverse genetic approaches in zebrafish to investigate the genetic basis of scoliosis and undiagnosed diseases. She served as President of the Society for Developmental Biology and of the International Zebrafish Society.  

Face of Prof. Petr Svoboda   Petr Svoboda (Institute of Molecular Genetics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic) obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2002 in Richard M. Schultz’s lab at University of Pennsylvania, working on RNAi in mammals. He conducted his postdoctoral training with Witek Filipowicz at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, working on mammalian microRNA, and since 2007 he has been a group leader at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences studying small RNAs and RNA metabolism during, among others, mammalian oocyte-to-zygote transition.