National Avian Research Facility
National Avian Research Facility

Avian Research Symposium 2023

The Avian Research Symposium 2023 was an online event, held on three consecutive afternoons, 7th-9th March 2023.

The symposium aimed to raise awareness of exciting research investigating avian biology and using avian model systems. Topics included; chick developmental biology, genome modification, genomics, avian welfare, husbandry, behaviour and neuroendocrinology, infection and immunity. 


Thank you to all the attendees and speakers for making the Avian Research Symposium 2023 a great success. 
A prize was awarded for the best talk and poster-style talk by an Early Career Researcher on each day.
Congratulations to the awardees on their prize-winning presentations. 


Early Career Researcher Prize Winners

March 7th

Talk: Wan Chen (PhD student), Moredun Research Institute, UK     

Title: “A gene knockdown approach to the control of the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae.”


Poster talk: Mekhla Rudra (PhD student), Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence, Germany        

Title: “Testosterone-dependent androgen receptor signaling in socio-sexual and vocal behaviours of domestic chicken.”


March 8th

Talk: Alexandra K. Eicher (Postdoctoral Researcher), Harvard University, USA       

Title: “Cellular migration and control of vertebrate embryo axis elongation.”


Poster talk: Alexandre Thiery (Postdoctoral Researcher), King’s College London, UK         

Title: “A gradient border model for cell fate decisions at the neural plate border.”


March 9th

Talk: Izel Cohen (PhD student), Volcani Center/Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel     

Title: “Rescuing the scaleless chicken phenotype: repairing of FGF20 mutation through gene editing.”


Poster talk: Sarah E. Barnett (Postdoctoral Researcher/ Facility Staff), University of Liverpool, UK

Title: “Chick embryo xenografts: a cost and time efficient 3Rs models for drug target evaluation in malignant pleural mesothelioma.”


See the full Programme here


Keynote speakers

Dr Mark Emerson is an Associate Professor at The City College of New York, City University of New York. He investigates the gene regulatory networks that are involved in the developmental formation of vertebrate cone photoreceptors. The Emerson lab uses cis-regulatory assays, imaging and next-generation sequencing approaches to uncover the basic processes involved in the development of the vertebrate retina. The long-term goals of his research program are to leverage this information for the development of therapies for human blindness and to uncover the genetic changes that underlie the evolution of visual systems.

Talk title: "Illumination of chick photoreceptor formation through cis-regulation." 


Prof Paul Wigley is a Professor of Animal Microbial Ecosystems at The University of Bristol, UK. His research focuses on bacterial infections of poultry and the avian immune system and in particular intestinal immunity.

Talk title: "Welcome to the jungle (fowl): the complex relationship between foodborne bacterial pathogens and the intestinal microbiome of the chicken and how we can exploit this."


Updated Keynote

Dr Jacqueline Smith is the Leader of the Avian Genomics Group at the Roslin Insitute. Her research interests include using genomics to understand avian host responses to viral infections and the improvement and development of existing and new bird genomes.

Talk title: "The avian genome: the current state of play."



The Avian Research Symposium is organised by early career researchers at the Roslin Institute, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, and The Roslin Institute’s National Avian Research Facility at the Easter Bush Campus, UK.

2023 Organising Committee: Holly Hardy, Lindsay Henderson, Laura Glendinning, Samantha Sives, Violeta Trejo-Reveles and Spring Tan.


Avian Research Symposium 2023

A meeting to share and discuss research in avian biology with a focus on highlighting early-career researchers and creating networking opportunities between labs and institutions.