We may be biased, but mathematical modeling of cell and developmental biology is an exciting field to be in these days. For some of us, this may become even more meaningful when our research actively engages with the experimental life sciences community. In this blog post, we curate a few resources on conferences and workshops where mathematical biologists interested in cell and developmental biology have the opportunity to connect with biologists, find potential experimental collaborators, and receive feedback on their interdisciplinary work.

Certainly, the SMB Annual Meeting is a great conference for connecting with colleagues and presenting one’s research. In recent years, the CDEV subgroup minisymposia and contributed talks have featured more experimental and quantitative biologists, who have made great contributions to our scientific program. CDEV subgroup members may also participate in the SIAM Life Sciences conference. This conference takes place in the summer in North America on even years and features many sessions on topics such as modeling the intracellular environment, cell motility and migration, or subcellular dynamics (to name a few from this year’s conference in Pittsburgh, PA). Then there is also the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology biennial conference, which this year is run jointly with the SMB Annual Meeting in Heidelberg, from 19th to 23rd of September. The q-bio program tends to attract scientists and engineers who are interested in all areas of Quantitative Biology, and organizes a conference and summer school as well as a winter conference; the latter is usually held on a warm island like Hawaii or the Virgin Islands.

The NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems in the United States have recently offered yearly workshops and conferences with speakers from diverse mathematical and biological disciplines. For instance, the Center for Quantitative Biology at Northwestern University has a focus on developmental biology, the Center for Multiscale Cell Fate Research focuses on the emergence of cell fate, and The Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology features projects on math modeling and computation in molecular biology and developmental morphology. Another mathematical biology workshop of interest to our subgroup is the BIRS Mathematics of the Cell Workshop, which brings together mathematicians and biologists researching topics related to cell biology, and which has taken place every few years at the Banff International Research Station in Canada.

Have you ever considered attending conferences or workshops organized by card-carrying, wet-lab biologists? While it may feel outside one’s comfort zone for a mathematical biologist, conferences organized by life sciences societies can be a great venue for promoting mathematical modeling and fostering collaborations. The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) organizes an annual Cell Bio meeting jointly with the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The next meeting is coming up in December in Washington, DC, with opportunities to organize minisymposia, special interest subgroups, or present posters. ASCB also publishes the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell, which has already hosted eight special issues on Quantitative Cell Biology. The Society for Developmental Biology also runs annual international meetings, as well as smaller regional meetings in the US. This year’s annual meeting runs July 17-20, 2022 in Vancouver, BC. In the UK, the British Society for Developmental Biology also organizes a yearly conference in the Spring as well as smaller focused meetings in the fall (or autumn as they would call it). This year’s autumn meeting is in Malta (that’s not in the UK, by the way), from 4-7 September, and is held jointly with the International Society for Differentiation. Finally, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory organizes conferences and practical courses all year round, and many of them are at the interface of quantitative biology and mathematical modeling. It’s worth checking their list of conferences regularly.

For those interested in the intersection of development and evolution, the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology organizes a biennial meeting, the most recent of which took place at the end of May 2022. It is a diverse meeting which is open to a plethora of plant biology, animal biology and microbiology research and illustrates a range of experimental approaches as well as computational/mathematical biology and bioinformatics techniques. There is space for organizing symposia, submitting talks or presenting a poster.

Toward the engineering side of cell and developmental biology is the Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference (SB3C), which occurs annually. The conference is organized in conjunction with the Bioengineering Division (BED) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The conference program includes networking events, BS/MS/PhD student paper competitions, free time to enjoy the surroundings, and a free concert by the SB3C band BEDRock. The deadline for proposals for workshops, symposia, or special sessions is the previous winter.

We summarize the link of conferences we discussed below, and encourage you to add a comment on this post with suggestions for additional conferences that you would recommend or have experience with.

Mathematical/Quantitative Biology conferences:

Mathematical/Quantitative Biology workshops:

Life Sciences conferences: