ESF Research Conferences

ESF-UB Conference in Biomedicine in association with Eurovisionnet and Fondation Voir et Entendre


Chaired by


Institut PasteurINSERM UMRS 587Unité de Génétique et Physiologie de l'AuditionParisFrance
José AlainSahelE-Mail
Institut de la VisionParisFrance

Olivier Lorentz E-mail Institut de la Vision Paris France
Michèle Roa Institut Pasteur Paris France


22 - 27 November 2009
Participants are expected to arrive on 22 November late afternoon/early evening and depart on 27 November after breakfast.


Hotel Eden Roc, Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
The conference will take place in Sant Feliu de Guixols, on the Spanish Costa Brava, 120 km north of Barcelona and 30 km south of Girona. Group transportation will be arranged from/to Barcelona airport, on arrival and departure days.


Practical Information Guide 

Final Programme & List of Accepted Participants

Auditory and visual impairments compose a very large spectrum of rare disorders occurring at any age. These two sensory deficiencies are combined in several syndromes, such as Usher syndrome, leading to a major disability. Despite significant advances, progress in the understanding of the pathogenesis of these disorders as well as in the development of therapeutic approaches and rehabilitation, call for the setting up of a brisk cross-talk between these two scientific biomedical fields. Indeed the relationship between the two sensory systems is multiple. Most of the disorders affect the sensory organs. Their respective sensory cells, which are the major target cells of the defects, share several structures, for instance a cilium and ribbon synapses, and physiological properties. The therapeutic approaches, nowadays mainly based on pharmacological and gene therapy approaches for retinal defects and prostheses for hearing impairment, especially cochlear implants, provide a broad range of experience that can be fully exploited by the other sensory field. Finally, rehabilitation in patients massively relies on the compensation of one sense by the other.

The meeting will bring together experts in sensory neuroscience, developmental biology, genetics, cell biology, modelling, translational research and therapy. It aims at promoting exchanges between the scientists of the two fields and beyond, at stimulating the emergence of new research projects at the interface between disciplines and at training young researchers in this interdisciplinary field.

The sessions will discuss in parallel and compare for vision and hearing:

  • The process of the sensory information by the two sensory systems
  • The evolution of the two sensory systems
  • The development of the sensory organs and the associated developmental defects
  • The mechanisms of sensory transduction and the associated disorders
  • The role of the cilium and the ribbon synapses in photoreceptor cells and  auditory hair cells, and the pathogenesis of the disorders affecting the two sensory systems
  • The various therapeutic approaches and rehabilitation: the present achievements, challenges and the fast evolving perspectives.

Three poster awards will be distributed to the best posters presented. These prizes will fully cover the participants’ conference fees as well as their travel costs.

Group picture of the participants at the conference

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

There will be no short talks other than those listed on the programme. All other abstracts have been accepted as posters.

List of accepted Posters PDF (108 KB)

Posters can be fixed with self-adhesive tape, blu-tack or drawing pins onto double-sided poster panels. Recommended poster size is 100 cm high x 70 cm wide. Use letters and drawings that can be read from approximately 100 cm distance. 

Booklet of abstracts PDF (724 KB)

Group Transportation & Practical Information Guide

Detailed information on all practical aspects of the conference (access to site, registration & fee payments, accommodation, travel reimbursements...) is available from the Practical Information Guide. Please read it fully and carefully...

Three buses will be arranged on arrival day and two buses will be arranged on departure day between Barcelona airport and Hotel Eden Roc. The journey takes approximately 2 hours.  

Bus departure times on Sunday, 22 November
16.30 and 17.30 and 18.30
Bus departure times on Friday, 27 November
7.30 and 8.30

Airport departure point
The buses will wait in the special bus parking area located just outside of Terminal 1, level 0
. Each bus has been requested to be at the meeting point 20 minutes before scheduled departure. The buses will have a “ESF Research Conferences” sign in the window.

Note: To go from terminal 1 to terminal 2 you must take the airport shuttle bus. List of airlines by arrival/departure terminal

Please note that SINGLE accommodation can only be guaranteed to invited speakers. All other participants will have to share a TWIN room. In case single rooms would become available at the time of the conference, rooms will be attributed on a “first come, first served” basis. Only the TWIN conference fee should be paid to the ESF when registering. The supplement for single should be paid to the venue directly. Should you wish to be put on waiting list for single accommodation, please contact Ms Anne Guehl.

Registration Form

For accepted participants and invited speakers only

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration form 

Registration form 
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 6 November 2009

What conference fee covers

Basic expenses comprise:

  • registration and meeting costs;
  • accommodation in twin room sharing with another participant;
  • all meals, coffee breaks and drinks included;
  • participation at the excursion and the conference dinner;
  • group transportation from/to the nearest airport.
To Pay
Conference fee will be covered by ESF and its partners0 €
AssistedConference Fee will be partially covered by ESF and its partners375 €
Early Bird
Registration and payment no later than 23 October 2009700 €
Registration and payment between 24 October and 6 November 2009800 €
Conference participation without accommodation550 €

Extra costs:

To Pay
Industry Supplement
For participants working in industry, 100 € will automatically be added to the fee
Plus 100 €
Single Room SupplementSome single rooms may be available upon request. An additional cost of 150 € will be charged for an upgrade to a single room. The supplement is payable directly to the hotel.Plus 150 €
Late Registration SupplementAn additional 150 € will be charged if participants register after the official registration deadline, 6 November 2009.Plus 150 €


Should you need to cancel your participation, please contact the Conference Officer immediately. If notice of cancellation is received more than two weeks before the conference, all but EUR 100 will be reimbursed. No refund is possible if notice of cancellation is received less than two weeks before the conference.

ESF Contact

Administrative Coordinator

Phone: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 52
Please quote 09-295 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the University of Barcelona,

With Support from