Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Scottish Hippo workshops

The annual Scottish Hippo Workshop
The Hippo pathway is a recently identified, ubiquitously expressed signal transduction pathway which has major functions during development, in stem cells, organ size regulation and cancer. In Scotland, groups at the Universities of St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Aberdeen have started to work on this pathway. To foster collaboration we have invited each other for talks (Dr Marius Sudol and Prof Junichi Sadoshima gave talks in Scotland) and we have started to organize Scottish Hippo workshops where we combine Hippo talks with a joint meal afterwards. The aim of this blog entry is to briefly introduce the Scottish Hippo scene and the Scottish Hippo workshops.

First Scottish Hippo workshop, University of Aberdeen, 5.12.2012
The keynote speaker during the first workshop was Dr. Paul Reynolds from the University of St. Andrews and his talk was entitled ‘Adventures upstream with Hippos: investigating the Hippo pathway in mammals upstream of the core kinase cassette’. It featured the role of Willin/Frmd6 and Kibra upstream in the Hippo pathway which are major contributions by the St. Andrews team to the pathway architecture and the role of the Hippo pathway in breast cancer (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Paul Reynolds speaking at the Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen December 2012.

Second Scottish Hippo Workshop, University of St Andrews, 13.12.2013
The second Scottish Hippo Workshop was held at the University of St Andrews and organised by Dr. Paul Reynolds. The conference was kick started by Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, where he spoke about the involvement of the Hippo Pathway in Neuroscience. The conference finished with a wrap up by Dr Henning Wackerhage from the University of Aberdeen who gave a talk entitled ‘When Hippo met MCAT: How Hippo links to stem cells, cancer and dystrophy in skeletal muscle’. Dr. Anke Roelofs gave a talk on Hippo in cartilage followed by shorter PhD student talks.
Figure 2 Frank Gunn-Moore giving his talk on Willin/FRMD6 and the peripheral nervous system

Figure 3 Henning Wackerhage talking on ‘When Hippo met MCAT. How Hippo links to stem cells, cancer and dystrophy in skeletal muscle’.

So if you are interested in joining the Scottish Hippo scene then please e-mail Henning ( and we will keep you in the loop.

Vanessa De Mello (PhD student at Aberdeen with an interest in science journalism)
Henning Wackerhage