2022 Program

Below is the current program for the 2022 In Vitro Biology Meeting

This program is subject to change.
Sessions that are being planned for inclusion in the Exclusive On-Demand Limited Program content will be marked by an asterisk (*). This list may be subject to change.

Saturday, June 4

8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Design of Experiments Workshop*


Conveners: Uyen Cao Chu, Corteva Agriscience, Randall P. Niedz, USDA/ARS, and Todd Jones, Corteva Agriscience

Uyen Cao Chu, Corteva Agriscience
Randall P. Niedz, USDA/ARS

Determining optimal formulations and conditions for improved in vitro growth is often done by testing one ingredient or set of conditions at a time. Design of Experiment (DoE) methodology is a particularly useful set of techniques that allows testing of multiple compounds, processes or environmental conditions simultaneously in multiplex systems. The principles and statistics behind DoE are complex, however, and proper experiment design and data analysis relies on computer programs designed specifically for DoE applications. In this workshop, the audience will get an introduction to the use of the principles and tools of DoE design by participating in the design and data analysis of prepared examples relevant to various in vitro culture scenarios.

Sunday, June 5

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Advanced Applications of Site Directed Nucleases*


Conveners: Durga Attili, University of Michigan Medical School, Pierluigi Barone, Corteva Agriscience, Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise, and Michael Dame, University of Michigan Medical School

Applications of and Considerations for CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Gene Conversion in Rodents
Kimberly Cooper, University of California, San Diego
Chromosome Engineering for Crop Improvement
Sergei Svitashev, Corteva Agriscience
CRISPR-Powered Microchips: A Paradigm Shift for Amplification-free DNA Detection
Kiana Aran,
Keck Graduate Institute; Cardea Bio
Application of Genome Editing to Improve Nutritious, Fresh Produce Crops for the Consumer
Ryan Rapp, Pairwise

In the last two decades the development of different site directed nucleases (e.g. ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPR-Cas) has provided tools to precisely and efficiently introduce a variety of genetic modifications in a broad spectrum of cell types and organisms. The most recent deployment of these programmable nucleases is represented by new applications including CRISPR gene drive, targeted induction of chromosomal rearrangements and diagnostic screening for genetic mutations. In this session a comprehensive review and exciting recent developments in this area will be presented.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Frontiers in Gene Editing for Crop Improvement*


Conveners: Fredy Altpeter, University of Florida – IFAS, and Yiping Qi, University of Maryland-College Park

Synthetic Directed Evolution in Plants: Unlocking Trait Engineering and Improvement
Magdy M. Mahfouz,
KAUST, Saudi Arabia
Developing Highly Efficient Base Editing and Prime Editing Tools in Plants
Yiping Qi,
University of Maryland – College Park
Gene Editing in Plants Using Plant Viruses
Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar,
University of California – Davis
Transforming the Food System with the Inari SEEDesignTM Platform
Helene Berges, Inari Agriculture Inc.

The development of innovative CRISPR/Cas gene editing technologies is refining the speed and precision of plant breeding as urgently needed to feed a growing population on a warming globe. Topics covered in this session will include the development of improved approaches and tools for delivery of gene editing reagents to crops, advances with the precision technologies base editing and prime editing supporting targeted nucleotide substitutions, as well as strategies and examples of gene editing and synthetic directed evolution for crop improvement.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Organoid Technology


Convener: Terry Riss, Promega Corporation, and Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Midwestern University

Fitting Organoids into the Spectrum of Available 3D Culture Models
Terry Riss, Promega Corporation
Introducing a ‘Phase 0’ in Clinical Trials with Precise Organoid-based Disease Models
Courtney Tindle, University of California, San Diego
Initiation, Expansion, and Cryopreservation of Patient-derived Organoids from the Human Cancer Models Initiative
James M. Clinton, American Type Culture Collection
Brain Organoid Technology: A Versatile Tool to Study the Human Brain
Francesca Puppo, University of San Diego

The use of organoids has grown rapidly over the past several years. As a 3D culture model system, they have been demonstrated to more closely represent in vivo biology compared to cells cultured as a monolayer on plastic. The technology to produce organoids has improved greatly, resulting in protocols to generate organoids representing a variety of tissue types. There are many definitions of organoids; but a key element is they are derived from stem cells or organ progenitors that are driven to differentiate into several cell types that self-organize similar to the process in vivo. The speakers in this Symposia will present a general overview of organoids and provide examples of their generation and practical applications to advance our understanding of biology.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Advances in Double Haploid Technology


Conveners: Cliff Hunter, Consultant, and Chuck Armstrong, Plastomics

Accelerating Precision Breeding through Double Haploids
Lorena Moeller, Bayer Crop Science

Breeding Technology & Discovery Progress at Syngenta
Weiguo Liu, Syngenta Seeds Research
Deciphering In Planta Haploidization In Maize
Nathanaël Jacquier, Limagrain

Doubled haploid technology is now a cornerstone of plant improvement programs for many of the world’s most important crops, including maize, wheat, oilseed rape, and a wide variety of vegetable / horticultural species. Significant, steady improvement has been made over the years in improving the rate of haploid induction, the identification and selection of haploids, and the efficiency of chromosome doubling and recovery of dihaploid seed. In recent years, important breakthroughs have been made in understanding the molecular basis of haploid induction. These include cloning of a major gene involved in haploid induction in maize and development of a novel chromosome elimination mechanism (modified CENH3), each of which has been demonstrated to work across species. Haploid induction has also been combined with gene editing to increase the speed with which edited traits can be fixed and evaluated in relevant germplasm. In this session, we will bring together representatives of several major seed companies to present selected highlights of recent work on dihaploid technology within their organizations.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Novel Delivery Technologies – Overcoming Bottlenecks*


Convener: Gözde Demirer, California Institute of Technology

Overcoming Bottlenecks that Prevent Efficient Foliar Uptake and Translocation of Polymer-based Nanoparticles in Crop Plants
Gregory Lowry, Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Maher, Invaio Sciences
Nanomaterials for Plant Genetic Engineering
Gözde Demirer, California Institute of Technology

The need to accelerate crop breeding programs has never been greater, as the world population is exponentially increasing, climate is changing, and resources are limited. Breeding relies on genetic variation, be it natural, induced, or introduced. Given the recent development and rapid advances in the field of gene editing through the CRISPR/Cas technology, plant genetic engineering has become a highly promising approach for increasing crop yields and nutritional value, and to generate high-yielding cultivars that are resilient to various biotic and abiotic stresses that can grow with less water and nutrient resources. Despite the recent progress in genome editing, most plant species remain impossible or difficult to genetically engineer, retarding the progress in plant biology research and crop improvement. The two most critical bottlenecks of generating engineered plants are i) biomolecule delivery into plant cells with walls and ii) tissue culture-based plant transformation. The common transformation tools, Agrobacterium and gene gun, are not able to transform plant reproductive organs and germ cells directly, except in a few model species, therefore necessitating regeneration of plants from the transformed explants. Plant regeneration in tissue culture is a low-throughput and laborious process that requires specialized methodology development for each species and genotype, and not all plants are amenable to tissue culture. Moreover, Agrobacterium itself is a highly species-dependent tool, limiting the extension of developed biotechnologies to a broad range of plants. Given these limitations, there is an immense need to develop broadly-applicable and innovative plant delivery and transformation technologies. In this session, we will discuss these new and novel delivery technologies to plants with impactful applications in agriculture and fundamental plant biology research.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Extracellular Matrix and Tissue Engineering


Conveners: Joshua Gasiorowski, Midwestern University, and Michael K. Dame, University of Michigan Medical School

Dentin Extracellular Matrix: Biological and Mechanical Properties for Bioinspired Tissue Engineering
Marcela Rocha de Oliveira Carrilho, Midwestern University
Beyond Cultrex BME: Ultimatrix and Other Matrices for Stem Cells and Organoids
Kevin Flynn, Bio-Techne

Tissue engineering has had exciting clinical successes, but new translational breakthroughs in the field will be dependent upon researchers fully understanding the properties of endogenous extracellular matrices so they can design biologically relevant mimics. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional proteinaceous meshwork that provides tensile strength and connective, anchoring material for all tissues. However, the ECM is also a rich source of signals that influence and control cell behaviors. The biochemical composition of collagens, laminins, and other fibrous proteins act as ligands for cell signaling receptors while the biophysical cues in the form of compliance, elasticity, and topography directly mediate independent cellular responses. This session will highlight recent advances in understanding the basic science properties of the extracellular matrix, in addition to discussing ECM mimics that are designed to serve as tissue engineering scaffolds for regenerative medicine.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Plant Growth Regulators


Conveners: Geny Anthony, Corteva Agrisciences, and Kristian Adamek, University of Guelph

Control Plant Growth by Modulating Auxin Biosynthesis and Degradation
Yunde Zhao, University of California, San Diego
Plant Hormone Receptors as Reprogrammable Scaffolds for Rapid Biosensor Development
Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) are fundamental to growth and development of plants at the cellular, tissue and organ levels. PGRs have the capacity to influence cell division, cell expansion, and cell structure and function, in addition to mediating environmental stress. Since the recognition of their functional importance in the 1930s, the main classes of PGRs (such as auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene) have been well researched. Apart from their use as growth enhancers in agriculture and horticulture, PGRs and their synthetic analogues have been extensively used for in vitro manipulation of plant tissues for research and commercial purposes. PGRs rarely act alone and are almost always involved in pathways where multiple PGRs interact. Recent advances in this field have unraveled their complex mechanisms and pathways. Plus, many new structurally similar and/or chemically unrelated compounds with PGR-like effects have been discovered. This session will inform the audience about the latest advances in understanding the complex mechanism and pathways of PGRs.

3:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Opening Ceremony and Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. Keynote Symposium*


Keynote Symposium: Advancing Cell Culture to Meet Scientific and Societal Needs
Keynote Speaker: Thomas Hartung, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and inaugural holder of the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Endowed Chair in Evidence-based Toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Science has become a central societal driver; in turn, substantial funding but also enormous expectations as to the benefit from science have been created. These include expectations to provide us with safe and effective drugs as well as protect us against toxicants. While drug development is based on a competition of ideas, the safety sciences largely lack this competition employing often protocols in essence unchanged for more than 50 years. Bioengineering and stem cell technologies have changed the way cell culture can be carried out. This is increasingly embraced in the drug development process, as just evidence in the race to find drugs and vaccines for COVID-19. It is timely, to leverage these technologies also for the safety of patients and consumers, where both an enormous ignorance of the potential risks of large numbers of substances and chemophobia fueled by precautionary approaches and disproportionate risk communication are the consequence. The advent of microphysiological systems (MPS), i.e., cell cultures replicating aspects of organ architecture and functionality represent a key scientific opportunity to develop more relevant test systems and serve society. In combination with the novel computational tools from machine learning (A.I.) and improved objective and transparent handling of the resulting evidence, science, economical applications, regulation and policy-making are served. The field of MPS is forming with dedicated conferences, societies, journals, best practices for culture (GCCP 2.0) and reporting standards, and educational offers.

7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Student Workshop: State-of-the-Art Cell Imaging Technologies*


Conveners: Mubeen ul Hasan, Nigde Omer University, and Muneeb Hassan Hashmi, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University

Since the earliest microscopy efforts in the 1600s, cell imaging has significantly modernized and became a ubiquitous tool in cell biology laboratories. Light microscopy was the earliest technique used in biology and has remained a main staple of cell biology and continues to evolve into more advanced techniques, which has been fueled by developments in computation, image detection devices, labelling, and sample preparation strategies. This student-sponsored workshop is to provide hands-on and virtual experiences in some of the latest imaging technologies.

Monday, June 6

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Michael E. Horn Emerging Technologies Symposium: Future Foods*


Conveners: Vivian Dayeh, University of Waterloo, Veena Veena, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Sukhpreet Sandhu, HM. Clause

Protein Reimagined: Transforming the Global Food System
Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute

Plant-based and Cell-cultured Seafood for a More Sustainable Future and Healthier Ocean
Brandon Chen, Finless Foods
Leveraging Bioprocessing and Fermentation Technologies for the Generation of Cell-based Milk and Bioactive Ingredients
Aletta Schnitzler, TurtleTree
The Fall of Specialty Monoculture Farming, and the Rise of Cell Cultured Foods
Alan Perlstein, California Cultured

Meats grown in a petri dish, chocolate produced without cacao trees, and milk produced without ever stepping on a farm. Is this the future of the foods we eat? Increasing threats to world’s food production systems and the need to creating sustainable food products and reducing carbon emissions from agriculture, has been driving the growth of plant based and cell based foods. One of these emerging areas is cellular agriculture that relies on in vitro methods instead of whole plants or animals for food production. The Future Foods plenary session will present cutting edge research on alternative food sources including plant and animal cell cultures and how the technology will change the food system in the future. The speakers in this symposium will excite the audience on the future of alternative seafoods, chocolate, and milk products, and how these innovations will revolutionize agriculture.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Plant Biotechnology Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition


Moderator: Massimo Bosacchi, HM. Clause

TThe Plant Biotechnology Section is pleased to announce the 2021 Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition. Competition finalists are selected based on the quality of the abstracts. A panel of judges will evaluate the presentations at the meeting. Criteria for the evaluation include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, appearance and ability of the post-doctoral candidate to present it. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition


Moderator: Alex da Silva Conceicao, Calyxt

To support the Society’s vision to encourage education and scientific informational exchange, the Plant Biotechnology Section is pleased to announce the “Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition” at the 2022 In Vitro Biology Meeting being held from June 4-7, 2022 in San Diego, CA at the Town and Country San Diego. Student competition finalists are selected based on the quality of the abstracts. A panel of judges will evaluate the presentations at the meeting. Criteria for the evaluation include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, appearance, and ability of the candidate to communicate the work. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Moving the Field Forward: Application of New Technologies in Academic, Industry and Regulatory Agencies Perspectives


Conveners: John Harbell, JHarbell Consulting, Kenneth Kandaras, International Foundation for Ethical Research, and Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University

From Assay to Products – Lessons Learned
Thomas Hartung, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
From Lab to Product: Commercialization Paths for Medical Diagnostic Tests
Hadley Sikes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From Academia to Industry – the Importance of Good Laboratory Practices Guidelines for Developing Consistent Study Execution
John Harbell, JHarbell Consulting

Academic institutions are centers not only for learning but also for innovation that varies from highly exploratory framework to a more commercially aligned approach. With increasing frequency, academic researchers are interested in moving their “basic” research program discoveries along the innovation pathway to commercial translation and development of new technologies for the benefit of humankind. The original basis of the biopharmaceutical industry, 3-D bioengineered tissue models, and organs-on-a-chip technologies are only a few examples of this transition, which started as basic science questions that grew into applied technologies. However, although numerous invention disclosures, intellectual property, and patents are generated in academic institutions, they are not always translated to licenses and spin-outs of successful start-up companies. The translation of research to commercialized innovations is often impeded by multiple factors, such as professional motivations and interest, knowledge of the innovation process, and expectations of outcomes. Moreover, the gap from conceiving research-based ideas in the academic arena to their translation into industry-based innovative, applicable products in the healthcare settings, consists of multiple barriers. These span from inadequate design of research programs, to insufficient marketing of the ideas, to technical development and manufacturing (including the reliability, intended objective efficacy and predictive capacity of the innovative end product), to complex regulatory procedures, approvals and policies that can influence the acceptance and commercial viability of new technologies. As moving from research idea towards a commercial product is a complex process, innovation in healthcare requires multidisciplinary teams that are based on engaged stakeholders from both academia and industry. Do you have a technology that you feel is worth commercializing? This symposium will examine the factors that influence moving the innovation field forward through the experiences of three speakers whose organizations are bringing new technologies to the scientific academic, industrial, and regulatory communities. Our speakers will discuss their experience, challenges, and perspectives on the translation of research to commercialized innovations, how academic motivations and work practices can shape successful research translation, as well as the characteristics and expectations involved in healthcare innovation in industry.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Student Networking Luncheon: Research Proposal and Grant Writing*


Moderators: Mubeen ul Hasan, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University, and Muneeb Hassan Hashmi, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University

Have you been looking for how to write a successful research proposal and how to get funding for your research as a graduate student? Have you been searching for how to find the right funding agency for your research or even thought about writing a proposal that will be accepted by your funding agency or your supervisor? Or are you confused about how to target the key areas of a topic that will make your research proposal interesting for the jury and funding agency? If that’s the case, this is your golden opportunity! Come to the student networking luncheon to find all the answers you have been waiting for. We are putting together a panel of researchers that will answer all of your questions and will help alleviate any confusion. If you are a new Master’s or Ph.D. student who needs to write a proposal, then researchers will be available to assist you and provide you with information about how to find the perfect topic for your research as well as all the material that you need to write a proposal. If you are a student and you need to find a public or private funding agency to fund your research, our professionals will help you understand the requirements of the various funding agencies. Similarly, if you want to apply for a scholarship to study abroad and your scholarship requires a strong research proposal, this panel will tell you how they chose students for these positions which can help you get answers to your questions. Professionals will also share their academic experiences and discuss how they coped while pursuing their graduate degrees. This workshop may also introduce you to your new research mentor, supervisor, collaborator, and/or external internship opportunity.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Student and Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition


Moderators: Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University, and Kolla Kristjansdottir, Midwestern University

The In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Section (IVACS) of the Society for In Vitro Biology is pleased to announce the 2022 Student and Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition during the SIVB meeting in San Diego, CA. This competition encourages the exchange of scientific information between the presenters, attendees and judges. Additionally, it provides an invaluable opportunity for students and post-docs to practice and improve their presentation delivery and public speaking skills. The top three finalists will be selected for this competition based on the quality of their abstracts, as well as the merit of their research and scientific findings. The oral presentations will be discussed and graded by a panel of expert judges. Evaluation criteria will include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, professionalism and ability of the finalist to explain the research and answer questions, and importantly, adherence to the allocated time for the presentation. The Student and Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition session serves to recognize and reward the research and achievements of outstanding students and post-docs. The three finalists will be presented with a certificate and a cash award during the meeting. Should you have any questions, please contact the SIVB office or the session moderators.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Alternative Approaches to Plastid Engineering


Convener: Jeffrey Staub, Plastomics

Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation of the Plastid Genome
Pal Maliga, Rutgers University
Modification of the Plastid Genome Using Base Editing
Shin-Ichi Arimura, The University of Tokyo
Targeted Delivery of Plasmid DNA to Chloroplasts by Nanomaterials
Juan Pablo Giraldo, University of California Riverside

Stable plastid (chloroplast) transformation technology was developed more than 30 years ago. The technology has been used extensively to study plastid biology and to introduce a variety of traits with benefits to growers and consumers alike. However, only a limited number of model plant species are routinely transformed and no plants carrying engineered plastids have yet been commercialized, in part due to complexities of the technology and bottlenecks in tissue culture of agronomically important crops. More recently, alternative technologies are emerging as potential ways to engineer plastids that circumvent some of the previous challenges. This session will highlight some of those emerging technologies for plastid engineering and will discuss novel traits developed using those technologies.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Non-competitive Student Oral Presentations


Conveners: Mubeen ul Hasan, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University, and Muneeb Hassan Hashmi, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University

The Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) takes pride in showcasing some of the most innovative research topics in both plant and animal sciences. Our mission for the non-competitive oral presentations is to provide a platform for student researchers to achieve recognition and share their research work with their peers as well as academic and industry professionals, who can take their projects to the next level without the pressure of competing. This section is designated for those who are looking to gain experience in presenting scientific information, as well as for those who are developing effective scientific presentation skills.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

New Approaches to Vaccine Development*


Conveners: Julie Swartzendruber, Midwestern University, Barbara B. Doonan, New York Medical College, and J. Pon Samuel, Corteva Agriscience

Plant-made Vaccines and Therapeutics for COVID-19
Henry Daniell, University of Pennsylvania
Biotechnology for the Next Generation of Veterinary Antiviral Vaccines
Hiep Vu, Nebraska Center for Virology

This joint symposium will focus on new developments and issues related to the use of vaccines. The rapid development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine has generated a lot of interest around how vaccines are developed. This session will invite expert faculty to discuss the latest information on vaccines including the future of vaccine development and surveillance.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

IVACS Contributed Paper Session


Moderator: Mae Ciancio, Midwestern University

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Plant Contributed Paper Session I


Moderator: Nagesh Sardesai, Corteva Agriscience

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Plant Contributed Paper Session II


Moderator: TBD

8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Public-Private Collaborations That Spur Innovation Workshop


Convener: Sukhpreet Sandhu, HM. Clause, and Kathy Munkvold, Corteva Agriscience

Sukhpreet Sandhu, HM. Clause
Kathy Munkvold, Corteva Agriscience
Barbara Mazur,
Pontifax AgTech

David D. Songstad, USDA-SBIR
Brigitte Weston, Gates Ag One
Joyce Van Eck, Boyce Thompson Institute

The global scientific community can do truly innovative work when we collaborate. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) between government agencies, universities, and other public research institutions with private sector companies fuel innovation by bringing unique capabilities and diverse thinking together to solve important challenges. Through common objectives, shared benefits and complementarity of human and financial resources, PPPs can connect the dots between a technology or solution to a problem and deploying that solution at scale. PPPs are increasingly used (in ag and biotech innovation) to enhance efficiency and accelerate innovation while fostering wider and faster uptake by leveraging public funds, mobilizing policy or government action. However, the success rate of many PPPs is variable with some failing to deliver the expected value both for the partners and the stakeholders. In this workshop, we will dive into common pitfalls for PPPs, risk management, best practices and guidelines on how to build PPPs for sustainable innovation.

Tuesday, June 7

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Plant and Animal Sciences*


Conveners: Mae Ciancio, Midwestern University, Annie Saltarikos, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science, and Evan Hill, University of Michigan

The State of the Art of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Aziz Nazha, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University
Retraining an In-silico Human Splicing Model to Predict Splicing in Plants
William Link, Bayer Crop Science
Gabriel A. Silva, University of California San Diego

Employing emergent technologies to optimize both human and plant health are important to the progress of our society and the world. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way scientists diagnose disease, identify effective drug modalities, analyze large datasets, and report outcomes. In this session, leaders in the field of AI and machine learning with specific interests in cancer, pharmacology, and crop sustainability will discuss current and ongoing efforts in this very exciting and dynamic field of investigation.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Advances in Cannabis Biotechnology


Conveners: Ian Cole, Zenlabs

Jeffrey Adelberg, Clemson University
Hope Jones, Emergent Crop Sciences (ECS)

Advances in Cannabis Biotechnology- innovations in Cleaning, Screening, and Germplasm Maintenance
Chris Leavitt, Node Labs
Joseph Ramahi, Apikal Biotek

The application of tissue culture and biotechnology is becoming a vital component of Cannabis businesses, especially as the market grows globally. Recent studies have found that plant pathogens have led to billions of dollars in damages to the Cannabis industry in North America, and advances in Cannabis Biotechnology have been identified as a potential solution to some of these problems. Additionally, the industry has had to innovate and draw from research and academia to fulfill the skyrocketing demand for healthy plants. This session brings together industry and academic researchers who are actively attempting to understand the challenges faced by current Cannabis businesses and the gaps that remain in our understanding of the horticulture and biology of Cannabis in the modern context. We hope to present information on treating pathogens (especially hop latent viroid), advances to Cannabis tissue culture techniques and advances in acclimatization of lab-grown plants back to greenhouses to be ready for cultivation.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

The Art and Science of Cell Imaging


Conveners: Brad Upham, Michigan State University, Debora Esposito, North Carolina State University, and Cynthia L. Goodman, USDA/ARS/BCIRL

Student Conveners: Muneeb Hassan Hashmi, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University, and Mubeen Hasan, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University

Illuminating the Biochemical Activity Architecture of the Cell
Jin Zhang, University of California, San Diego
Discovery and Development of Wound Healing Agents from Natural Sources- Brassinosteroids and Beyond
Deborah Esposito, North Carolina State University
Image Cytometry–based Method Used to Measure Cellular and Subcellular Biology for High-content Screening
Nicholas Radio, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Since the earliest microscopy efforts in the 1600s, cell imaging has significantly modernized and became a ubiquitous tool in cell biology laboratories. Light microscopy was the earliest technique used in biology and has remained a main staple of cell biology and continues to evolve into more advanced techniques, which has been fueled by developments in computation, image detection devices, labelling, and sample preparation strategies. Some technological advances in this field include single molecule localization microscopy for imaging of living cells at or near nanometer spatial resolution. CRISPR-labeled fluorescence imaging of 3D structure of the genome in live cells. Brillouin microscopy to probe the viscoelastic properties of biological samples with diffraction-limited resolution in 3D. Holo-tomographic microscopy that quantitates phase microscopy into a hologram. High content-analysis microscopy that can track cells in 2D over time as they grow continuously over extended times by integrating microscopy inside incubators. Light sheet fluorescence microscopy that is designed to illuminate only the thin imaging focal planes, thus minimizing out-of-focus fluorescence and photobleaching. In this session speakers will discuss some of these state-of-the-art imaging methods to evaluate different aspects of cell biology including signal transduction, regulatory responses to stress, and disease states.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Model Systems for Developing CRISPR/Cas Technology in Plants


Convener: Shubha Subbarao, Bayer U. S. – Crop Science, and Jeffrey Beringer, Inari Agriculture

Application of Plant Rapid Expression Systems in Accelerating Gene Expression and Gene Editing Research
Peizhen Yang, Bayer Crop Science
Pre-selection of Guide RNAs enables Efficient Genome Editing in Planta
Yan Liang, Joint Genome Institute
CoverCress – A Novel Oilseed Winter Crop with Canola-like Composition That Helps Sequester Carbon and Prevent Soil Erosion
Tim Ulmasov, CoverCress Inc.
Turning Blackberry from Niche Crop to High Throughput Platform for Precision Breeding Technologies
Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise

Genome editing has the potential to speed up the pace of plant breeding and trait development. As researchers seek to gain a greater understanding of CRISPR/Cas and related technologies the need to rapidly test the effectiveness of a multitude of editing concepts has become a pressing need. Rapid assay systems provide the opportunity to evaluate large numbers of constructs without engaging in the lengthy regeneration of mature plants, thereby helping manage costs and resources effectively.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Genetic Transformation and Regeneration of Recalcitrant Species (i.e., Fruit Trees, Orphan Crops), Challenges and Way Forward*


Convener: Carlos M. Hernandez-Garcia, CTC Genomics, Juan Debernardi, University of California, Davis, and Pamela Vogel, Pairwise

Of Media and Miracles: Successes and Frustrations in the Search for Efficient Regeneration and Transformation Methods for Trees and Crops
Steven Strauss, Oregon State University
A CRISPR-combo Approach for Speed Breeding and Regeneration of Genome-edited Plants
Yiping Qi, University of Maryland-College Park
Efficient Plant Regeneration from Protoplasts Isolated from Multiple Grape Genotypes and Demonstration of PEG-mediated Gene Editing Using CRISPR/Cas9
David Tricoli, University of California-Davis

Plant genetic transformation has been fundamental to enable basic research in plant biology and has revolutionized commercial agriculture. Unfortunately, robust, reproducible, and efficient plant transformation methods remain highly genotype-dependent and have been limited to a few species and selected genotypes of major crops. Genome editing provides novel opportunities for both basic research and product development; however, its rapid adoption within the scientific community has clearly evidenced major bottlenecks in the transformation and regeneration processes. Interestingly, major recent breakthroughs in the use of developmental genes such as GRF, BBM, WUS have led to dramatic improvements in transformation and regeneration efficiencies in monocots and have broaden the number of species and genotypes amenable to transformation. This revives the hope for the development of more universal and genotype independent transformation protocols. The use of these developmental genes is also expected to be expanded to more local crops where recalcitrance is often a significant challenge for genetic engineering, further enabling research groups with less specialized expertise to succeed in transformation. In this session we will review the status of the transformation of recalcitrant crops and discuss about potential future developments in the field.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

In Vitro Technologies for Plant Conservation and Gene Banking


Conveners: Valerie C. Pence, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, and Lori Marcum, Corteva Agriscience

In Vitro Methods for the Conservation of Rare Plants of the Southeastern U.S.
Emily Coffey, Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Creation of In Vitro Collections to Conserve Forest Genetic Resources: The Magnolia and Avocado Cases
Raquel Folgado, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Ex-Situ Conservation of Critically Endangered Species at the Hawaiian Rare Plant Program
Devon Gordon, The University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa

With the increasing threats of habitat loss, unsustainable use, and climate change to the world’s plant biodiversity, the need for ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources is also increasing. This is most efficiently accomplished with seed banks, but there are predicted to be tens of thousands of species for which conventional seed banking will be unworkable. These species are collectively known as exceptional plants and most will require cryopreservation methods in order to conserve them long-term. In vitro methods will be critical for many of these species, for providing tissues for cryopreservation and for propagating and recovering plants to restore species in the wild. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing in vitro protocols for a wide range of threatened plant taxa. This session provides a look at the work of three laboratories that are focused on this goal, representing a variety of species and illustrating the approaches and challenges of this work.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Single Cell Technology and Application in Biomedical Research


Conveners: Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Midwestern University, and Rosa Ventrella, Midwestern University

Use of Single-cell Approaches to Investigate the Role of T cell Memory in Health and Disease
John Chang, University of California, San Diego
Defining Epithelial Development at the Single Cell Level
Scott Atwood, University of California, Irvine
Utilizing Single Cell Analyses to Characterize Models of Human Cortical Organoids
Aparna Bhaduri, University of California, Los Angeles

Single-cell omics technologies, such as genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics have undergone rapid growth over the past decade. These technologies can analyze many cells at a high resolution making it a valuable tool in characterizing rare cell types and better understanding diverse cell states. Studying the cell-cell variation within cell populations can reveal unique mechanisms related to disease pathogenesis. The goal of this session is to describe the current state of research utilizing single-cell technologies and provide key examples of how these technologies are being used to identify how cellular heterogeneity contributes to human disease.