Welcome to the UCL Science Society

The UCL Science Society is a social dining club for members of UCL with a general interest in Science. We meet five times per year to enjoy a talk on a scientific topic of general interest and have dinner together. If you would like to join the society, please write to the secretary. Membership of the society costs £10/year and is open to all current and past UCL employees. Non members are welcome to join us for the talk only, but need to book in advance using the form below. Read more about the society.

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Next Science Society Meeting

Time & Date17:30 Tuesday 21/5/2019
LocationHaldane Room
TitleThe forces that shape us: How do embryos build their spinal cord?
Speaker Dr Gabriel Galea. (Faculty Population Health Science, GOSH, ICH UCL)
AbstractMammalian embryos undergo origami-like folding to sculpt their rudimentary tissues into organs. Hundreds of genes are known to be required for normal embryo development, but how these genes cooperate to cause physical changes in embryo shape remains largely unknown. We apply engineering-inspired techniques to study how embryonic cells generate mechanical forces necessary to fold their tissues into the tube-like precursor of our brain & spinal cord. When this tube does not form correctly the result is severe birth defects, including spina bifida, which continue to affect approximately 1 in every 1,000 pregnancies. Mice develop spina bifida similarly to humans & we are able to culture mouse embryos outside of the mother in order to microscopically visualise their development using advanced microscopy. This allows us to compare mechanical forces generated by their cells during normal versus faulty tube formation, which will help us better predict and ultimately prevent spina bifida.
NotesRefreshments at 17.30 hrs; talk at 18.00 hrs; dinner at 19.00 hrs for member and guest £24 incl. wine!

Membership Dues

Membership of the Science Society is £10/year payable in May. If you are already a member and wish to pay your membership fee only: Pay membership fee now.

Officers of the Society

Dr. Stephen Morris Dr. Margaret Mayston Prof. Mark Huckvale


University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000

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