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56th Annual


March 15-18, 2023

NW Developmental Biology Meeting

The 56th NW Developmental Biology Meeting will be held on March 15-18, 2023.

Organizers: Andrea Wills, University of Washington
                   Heather Ray, Idaho State University

Preliminary Program
Wednesday March 15

18:00-19:00 Dinner

15:00-20:00.    Check in, pick up name tag and keys


18:00-19:00   Dinner


19:45-20:00   Welcome from organizers and SDB rep 


20:00-21:25   Platform Session I

20:00-20:05   Introduction by Jenn Kong, University of Washington

20:05-20:40   Platform Speaker I: Brian Beliveau, University of Washington

20:40-20:55   Amy Tresenrider, Postdoc, University of Washington.

“Single-cell sequencing of individual retinal organoids reveals determinants of cell fate heterogeneity”

20:55-21:10   Kunal Jindal, Graduate Student, Washington University.

“Multiomic single-cell lineage tracing to dissect fate-specific gene regulatory programs”

21:10-21:25   Leah VandenBosch. Postdoc, Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“Machine Learning for Cis-Regulatory Variant Impact Predictions in the Retina”


21:30-23:00   Mixer


Thursday March 16


7:00-8:00   Poster setup posters #30-56

7:45-8:30   Breakfast


8:30-10:15   Platform Session II

8:30-8:35   Introduction by James Gagnon, University of Utah

8:35-9:10   Platform Speaker II: Lynn Pillitteri, Western Washington University

9:10-9:25   Kristen Lee, Postdoc, University of Oregon.

“Change is good: Coupling changes in homeodomain transcription factor expression with changes in the Moonwalker Descending Neuron circuit” 

9:25-9:40   Jenny Taylor, Postdoc, University of Washington.

“Evidence for a trans-nuclear envelope bridge required for centromere tethering in Drosophila melanogaster neuroblasts”

9:40-9:55   Douglas Allan, Univ. British Columbia.

“Transcriptional mechanisms underlying retrograde signaling control of synaptic maturation during developmental growth.”

9:55-10:10   Rob Cornell, University of Washington.

“Transcription factor AP2 paralogs, functioning as pioneer factors, drive specification or differentiation of neural crest from the neural plate border, but not of the neural plate border from the neural plate.”


10:10-10:25   Coffee break


10:25-12:00   Platform Session III


10:25-10:30   Introduction by Lynn Pillitteri, Western Washington University

10:30-11:05   Platform Speaker III: Jennifer Kong, University of Washington

11:05-11:20   Kara Cerveny, Reed College.

“Wnt/B-catenin pathway and optic nerve innervation synergize to promote proliferation in the zebrafish optic tectum”

11:20-11:35   Sabrina Fox, Graduate Student, University of Alberta.

“Bmp3 is a novel regulator of craniofacial development in zebrafish.”

11:35-11:50   Elizabeth Bearce, Postdoc, University of Oregon.

“Urotensin-II-related peptides, Urp1 and Urp2, control zebrafish spine morphology”

11:50-12:05   Amy Robbins, Graduate Student, Oregon Health Sciences University.

“Wnt10a separately promotes medial fin formation and initiates dynamic Shh signaling for fin ray branching morphogenesis”


12:05-12:45   Lunch


12:45-18:00   Free time for interactions, island exploration, etc.

13:30-13:45   Rowboat orientation


18:00-19:30   Dinner


19:30-8:20   Keynote session


19:30-19:35   Introduction by Andrea Wills, University of Washington

19:35-20:20   Keynote: Lance Davidson, University of Pittsburg


20:30-23:00   Poster session and mixer

20:30-21:45   Poster # 30-42 present

21:45-23:00   Poster # 43-56 present

                Please remove posters at the end of the poster session

Friday March 22


7:00-8:30   Poster setup posters # 57-82

7:45-8:30   Breakfast


8:30-10:30   Platform Session IV

8:30-8:35   Introduction by Elle Roberson, University of Colorado AMC

8:35-9:10   Platform Speaker IV: James Gagnon, University of Utah

9:10-9:25   Rachel Lukowicz-Bedford, Graduate Student, University of Oregon.

“A Previously Uncharacterized Gap Junction Mediates Vertebrate Skeletal Muscle Development”

9:25-9:40   Sydney Sattler, Graduate Student, University of Washington.

“A mesoderm-independent myeloid lineage in African turquoise killifish”

9:40-9:55   Marielle Beaulieu, Graduate Student, University of Washington.

“Characterizing hair cell regeneration in the larval zebrafish inner ear”

9:55-10:10    Coffee break


10:10-12:00   Platform Session V

10:10-10:15   Introduction by Brian Beliveau, University of Washington

10:15-10:50   Platform Speaker V: Elle Roberson, University of Colorado AMC

10:50-11:05   Eva Nichols, Postdoc, University of Washington.

“Toward a modern whole mount in situ hybridization approach with single-cell resolution.”

11:05-11:20   Grace Curtis, Graduate Student, Washington State University.

“Investigating the Role of Leptin in Blood Vessel Formation and Regeneration during Early Development”

11:20-11:35   Aidan Cardall, Undergraduate, Brigham Young University.

“Updating and improving our MMAPPR pipeline for genetically mapping mutants from forward genetic screen”

11:35-11:50   Claudia Vasquez, University of Washington.

“Investigating the cellular origins of complex 3D tissue shapes”


11:50-12:00   Introduction to Education session

12:00-13:30   Lunch and education mentoring discussion tables

13:00-13:30   Education and mentoring idea-share with the group


13:40-15 :35   Platform Session VI

13:40-13:45   Introduction by Billie Swalla, University of Washington

13:45-14:20   Anna Allen, Program Director, Developmental Systems

Directorate for Biological Sciences, National Science Foundation

14:20-14:35   Billie Swalla, Northwest regional SDB representative and University of Washington. 

14:35-14:50   Inez Pranoto, Graduate Student, University of Washington.

“The role of innate cell differentiation program in promoting yki3S/A-midgut tumor cell invasiveness and shaping cachexia-like wasting phenotypes

14:50-15:05   Mizuki Kurashina, Graduate Student, University of British Columbia.

“CaMKII regulates synapse assembly in C. elegans”

15:05-15:20   Rachel Dam, Graduate Student, University of Washington.

“Gene expression differences in two cell populations coordinate tube morphogenesis and impact egg shape in D. melanogaster”

15:20-15:35   Montana Bobinski, Graduate Student, University of Alberta.

“Understanding the Evolution of Novelty: An Exploration of the Sex Determination Pathway of Caenorhabditis tropicalis”


15:35-16:00   Coffee Break


16:00-17:10   Arthur Whitely Lecture

16:00-16:10   Introduction by Heather Ray, Idaho State University

16:10-17:10   Whitely Lecture by Carole LaBonne, Northwestern University


17:10-18:00   Free time

18:00-19:30   Dinner


20:00-23:00   Poster session, mixer, and awards

20:00-21:15   Poster # 57-69 present

21:15-22:30   Poster # 70-82 present

22:30-23:00   Awards

                Please remove posters at the end of the poster session


Saturday, Mar 23


7:45-8:30         Breakfast

11:00              Last departure



Registration Deadline: March 1
Abstract Deadline: February 26
Note new deadline for abstracts!

You must also register separately if you submit an abstract

Registration SDB Member

Faculty                    $200

Postdoc/Scientist   $125

Grad Student          $75

Undergrad              $25

Registration Non-member

Faculty                    $250

Postdoc/Scientist   $175

Grad Student          $100

Undergrad               $50

Housing SDB Member

Faculty                    $325

Postdoc/Scientist   $175

Grad Student          $125

Undergrad               $100

Housing Non-member

Faculty                   $375

Postdoc/Scientist  $225

Grad Student         $150

Undergrad              $125

The Society for Developmental Biology subsidizes the meeting and registration fees are scaled to benefit members of the SDB. SDB membership renewals are processed automatically. New membership applications require at least two weeks to process, however, applicants may use their provisional SDB member ID found in their confirmation email to submit an abstract and register. You must be a member of SDB to be considered for Talk and Poster Prizes.

Research scientists and techs should register as postdoc/scientist.

Off Site Housing

Friday Harbor Suites

Discount Rates: call 360-378-3031 and mention NWDB

Queen Suite: $185

Double Queen Suite: $200

King Suite: $205

Two Bedroom Suite: $325

off-site housing

Getting to Friday Harbor Laboratories

By Car and Ferry to Friday Harbor

Most attendees travel to the FHL by car and ferry.  All ferry service leaves from Anacortes, Washington, approximately 17 miles/ 27 km west of Interstate 5. Driving time from Seattle to Anacortes (80 miles) is about 90 minutes and from Vancouver to Anacortes (150 km) is about two hours.  Ferry spots are limited, so reservations are recommended.


Parking is available at the Anacortes ferry terminal, and many attendees leave their vehicles and walk on the ferry. If you choose this option, plan to arrive about 30 minutes early. The distance from town to the FHL is ~ 1.5 miles and walkable (20 min).

WA State Ferry Schedule

Ferry Reservations

From SeaTac Airport in Seattle to Friday Harbor

Kenmore Airlines offers flights from Boeing Field or Lake Union near downtown Seattle, to the Friday Harbor Airport or Marina for about $4000 round trip. For those with flights arriving at Seattle's SeaTac airport, Kenmore Air has a ground transportation option to connect with their flights.

Presentation Information

Talks are 12 minutes with 3 minutes for questions.  
To be considered for talk or poster prizes you must be a member of SDB!
Presentation Information
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