The Institute for Neurosciences CSIC-UMH has organized the first edition of the Spanish Drosophila Conference

22 de March de 2024

-The vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is widely used to study human diseases because it is a very powerful genetic model that is easy to use in the laboratory.

More than 150 Spanish researchers currently working with the vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster) have met in Alicante to celebrate the I Spanish Drosophila Congress. This meeting, which took place from March 14 to 16 at Complejo San Juan (Alicante), provided the opportunity to show the breadth of science that is carried out using this organism as an animal model, as well as to promote interaction between researchers from this community.

The local organization of this congress has been in charge of researchers from the Institute for Neurosciences (IN), a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) of Elche, Javier Morante, who leads the Neuroendocrine control of organ growth and sexual maturation laboratory; José Carlos Pastor Pareja, who runs the Cell-to-tissue architecture in the nervous system laboratory; and Juan Antonio Sánchez-Alcañiz, director of the Neurogenetic basis of behavior laboratory.

Photo: I Spanish Drosophila Conference, Institute for Neurosciences CSIC-UMH

Throughout the three days that the meeting lasted, several informative activities, rounds of scientific conferences, poster sessions, and four plenary sessions were held by María Domínguez, researcher at the IN-CSIC-UMH, Isabel Guerrero, researcher at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center CSIC-UAM, Montserrat Corominas, professor of the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics, Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB) of the University of Barcelona, ​​and Nick Brown, professor of the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience of the University of Cambridge.

The program of this congress also included a tribute to the professor of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center (CBMSO) Juan Modolell, an international leader in molecular and developmental biology, who died on February 28th, 2022. The tribute, which was held in the Salón de Actos of the Institute of Neurosciences, was presented by researchers Mar Ruiz and Sonsoles Campuzano and can be watched on the IN's YouTube channel.

Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the vinegar fly, is an essential organism for addressing complex biological questions, such as neuronal development and functions. For more than 100 years, the use of this animal model has played an essential role in biomedical research, revealing fundamental principles of genetics, development, and physiology, essentials to human health and disease. So far, twelve Nobel Prize winners have received the award for their research in this animal model.

This small animal is a very powerful genetic model, since with only 4 pairs of chromosomes and a tiny nervous system, it allows us to understand in depth how genes generate different phenotypes and facilitates the analysis of the changes occurring in the biological functioning of cells when their genes are altered. Furthermore, the easy handling of flies and their short life cycle make it possible to carry out studies in very large samples, which will not be achievable by using other animal models.

The organization of this meeting has been possible thanks to the support of the Institute for Neurosciences, the UMH, the CSIC, the Severo Ochoa Excellence Program, the start-up BFK-Lab and the company QUIMA (Química y Medio Ambiente S.L.).

More information on the official website.

Source: Institute for Neurosciences CSIC-UMH (