Where Ideas grow

Organoids With]Out[ Borders

23rd November 2020 | Online Symposium


The ability to grow and maintain human tissues from isolated stem cells in a complex in vitro microenvironment is today a reality. Organoids are self-renewing and self-organizing 3D tissue culture models that mimic cell composition, architecture, and functionality of organs. The aim of this meeting is to provide a multidisciplinary and informal forum to discuss the latest advances and challenges associated with this increasingly sophisticated biotechnology and to better understand how organoids derived from different tissues might pave the way to revolutionize developmental biology, disease modelling and regenerative medicine, without borders.

The series of symposia “With]Out[Borders” was created by the Portuguese Society for Stem Cells and Cell Therapies (SPCE-TC) with the objective to nurture and promote fundamental and translational research on different areas, being, since 2014, one of the official initiatives of the society. The Organoids With]Out[Borders is the fourth on this series of events, with the first three being dedicated to the heart, brain, and secretome, respectively.

This online meeting will include sessions on the following specific topics: Mimicking development with stem cells and organoids; Organoids in disease I and II; Organ/tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Besides a group of international renowned researchers that will present and discuss their most recent work, we will have oral communications selected from the submitted abstracts and an award will be given to the best presentation.

We invite you to join us in this event and contribute to a lively scientific discussion on the exciting field of organoids.





Bruno Pereira
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S), Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Raquel Almeida
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S), Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Joana Paredes
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S), Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Ana Sofia Ribeiro
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S), Universidade do Porto, Portugal

David Barata
Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal


November 23rd, 2020


9h00-9h10 | Welcome Session
António Salgado, President of SPCE-TC


Session 1. Mimicking development with stem cells and organoids
Chair: Raquel Almeida (i3S, Porto)

9h10-9h40 - Building the human lung: lessons from organoids
Emma Rawlins, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, UK

9h40-10h10 - 3D Vessel-On-Chip to model vascular disease and beyond
Valeria Orlova, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands

10h10-10h40 - 2 selected communication from submitted abstracts
To be announced

10h40-10h50 – Coffee break


Session 2. Organoids in disease I
Chair: Bruno Pereira (i3S, Porto)


10h50-11h20 - Brain Organoids to model Autism Spectrum Disorder - Challenges and Advances
Catarina Seabra, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

11h20 -11h50 - Organoid modelling of endometrium and endometriosis
Hugo Vankelecom, Laboratory of Tissue Plasticity in Health and Disease, University of Leuven, Belgium

11h50-12h00 - 1 selected communication from submitted abstracts
To be announced

12h00-13h30 – Lunch


Session 2. Organoids in disease II
Chair: Bruno Pereira (i3S, Porto)

13h30 -14h00 - Patient-derived organoids for drug discovery and personalized medicine: the case of Cystic Fibrosis
Margarida Amaral, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisboa/BioISI, Portugal

14h00-14h30 - Single-cell ERK dynamics in colorectal cancer organoids: EGFR amplifies oncogenic MAPK signaling
Hugo Snippert, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands

14h30-14h45 - 1 selected communication from submitted abstracts
To be announced


Session 3. Organ/tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Chair: David Barata (IMM, Lisboa)


14h45-15h15 - Modelling cellular microenvironment dynamics in 3D
Catarina Brito, iBET/ITQB NOVA, Portugal

15h15-15h45 - 2 selected communications from submitted abstracts
To be announced

15h45-16h15 - Organ-on-Chip: microphysiological systems to recapitulate complex human biology in vitro
Peter Loskill, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Germany


16h15-16h30 – Award & Closing session



Margarida D. Amaral

Margarida D. Amaral is Full Professor of Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisboa (Portugal) and Coordinator of BioISI - Biosystems & Integrative Sciences Institute.

MDA is alumna of EMBL-European Molecular Biology Laboratory (2008-10; 2016) and of IGC - Gulbenkian Institute of Science (1983-1993). EMBO member (2014). Research: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis. The Amaral lab has its major focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of biogenesis, traffic and degradation of normal and mutant protein CFTR, which when mutated causes the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis (CF). To understand CF mechanisms globally we use transcriptomics, proteomics and functional genomics (functional siRNA screens). Our results translate into the clinic for better CF diagnosis, prognosis and personalized therapies. Author of 150 international peer-reviewed publications 4,324 citations, H-factor 37 (Scopus).
Researcher ID: E-5748-2012


  Hugo Snippert


Hugo Snippert (1982) received his PhD for his work in the laboratory of Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute, Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2011), on the topic of genetic mouse models to characterize adult stem cell function. During these years he became fascinated by the aesthetic pleasing nature of fluorescent microscopy. He was about the first to turn his lens to organoid cultures that were simultaneously developed in the lab, spearheaded by Toshiro Sato.

Following his PhD, he almost immediately started his own lab in the academic hospital of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focusing to capture cell biological phenomena in patient-derived organoids with advanced microscopy. His laboratory is currently mostly interested to understand the functional consequences of cellular heterogeneity in tumors. He received among others the ERC starting and HFSP young investigator grants in 2018.

www.snippertlab.org | twitter: @snippertlab




Catarina Brito 

Catarina Brito is a Principal Investigator at iBET (PT), heading the Advanced Cell Models Lab of the Animal Cell Technology Unit of iBET and ITQB-NOVA since 2014. Catarina holds a PhD in Biochemistry by ITQB-NOVA (PT). Her PhD, in glycobiology and intracellular trafficking in human cells, was done at ITQB and as a visiting student at Institut Jacques Monod (FR). She joined iBET in 2007, initially as a postdoc working in human Stem Cell bioprocessing, and later as a Senior Project Manager of academic and industrial collaborations, developing preclinical cell models and bioassays. Her research is mostly translational, dedicated to the development of advanced human cell models (employing induced pluripotent stem cells and other patient-derived cells) to depict the deregulation of the cellular microenvironment in disease progression and evaluate its role in therapeutic response.



Catarina Seabra 

Catarina Seabra has a strong background in human neurogenetics acquired through different periods of research spent at the Center for Genomic Medicine, and at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in Boston, USA. She obtained her PhD from the GABBA Program (ICBAS-UP) in 2017, and in 2018 obtained a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow to pursue her research at the Neuronal Circuits and Behavior Lab (http://pecalab.com/) at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, in Coimbra, Portugal. Currently, her research interests include developing human 3D brain organoids to explore the impact of genetic defects on brain development and wiring in the context of autism spectrum disorder.



Hugo Vankelecom 

Hugo Vankelecom graduated as a Master in Pharmacy at the KU Leuven (Belgium), and obtained a PhD degree in 1992. During his PhD and postdoctoral trainings in Leuven and Oxford, he specialized in pituitary and stem cell research. In 1997, he was appointed Professor at the KU Leuven to also teach Pharmacology. Since 2004-2005, he is leading an independent research group who succeeded in identifying the pituitary stem cells. His team also discovered that the adult pituitary has regenerative capacity with stem cells being involved. His research now aims at deciphering the role of stem cells in multiple endocrine- /reproduction-associated tissues (pituitary, endometrium, ovary), and the link between (tumor) stem cells and tumorigenesis in these tissues, using cutting-edge organoid research and preclinical models. The main research ambition is to unravel mechanisms of cell remodeling in tissues, both in normal and pathological conditions, with a special focus on the role of stem cells, using state-of-the-art biological and molecular technologies. 



Emma Rawlins 

Emma Rawlins is a Senior Group Leader and MRC Senior non-clinical Fellow based at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge and her laboratory works on lung developmental and stem cell biology and regeneration.
Specific questions addressed include: How are our lungs built and maintained? How does this go wrong in disease? Can we use our insights from developmental biology to induce effective lung regeneration? Or to promote improved maturation of premature lungs?
The laboratory uses a combination of human embryonic lung organoids and mouse genetics as model systems. They perform multiple techniques including, in vitro and mouse genetics, lineage-tracing, microscopy, live-imaging, cellular and molecular techniques.



  Peter Loskill

Peter Loskill is assistant professor at Eberhard-Karls-University-Tübingen, head of innovation field at Fraunhofer IGB (Stuttgart, Germany) and vice-chair of the European-Organ-on-Chip-Society (EUROoCS; https://www.euroocs.eu/). Dr. Loskill graduated from Saarland University with a PhD in Physics and spent three years as a postdoc at UC Berkeley. In 2015, he was named as one of Technology Review’s “Innovators under 35 Germany” and awarded a Fraunhofer ATTRACT Grant. His µOrgano lab (http://loskill-lab.com/) combines approaches from engineering, biology, physics and medicine to generate next-generation tissue models recapitulating complex human biology in vitro.



Valeria Orlova 

Valeria Orlova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands. She trained in vascular biology as a PhD student and postdoc at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2003-2005) and at the Experimental Immunology Branch at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA (2005-2010), specializing in cell adhesion mechanisms regulating endothelial barrier function and leukocyte extravasation. She received a personal fellowship from the LUMC to work with Prof. Christine Mummery and Prof. Peter ten Dijke on differentiating vascular cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Her protocol was patented and licensed to Ncardia (formerly Pluriomics). She is a part of the Netherlands Organ on a Chip Initiative (NOCI) coordinated by Prof. Mummery and an ITN European Organ on Chip (EUROoC) training network. Dr. Orlova’s current research is on using hPSC technology in cardiovascular biology and disease modelling with focus on developing of realistic organ-on-chip vascular models incorporating microfluidic flow from hPSCs. She is on the editorial boards of Cells and Stem Cell Reports.




Abstract Submission

The call for abstracts for Organoids With]Out[Borders will be open until October 30.


All submitted abstracts will be included in an abstract eBook of restricted access to participants only.

The Organizing Committee will evaluate submitted abstracts and select 6 abstracts for short oral presentation (10 minutes each) to be included in the main program (2 in each Session). Notifications of acceptance will be sent to authors until November 6.

The Organizing Committee will award a Prize for Best oral communication in the form of “Short-Talk” among those selected for presentation. Three Honourable Mentions will also be awarded among the remaining abstracts submitted to the Organoids Without Borders meeting. The awards are sponsored by the Young Scientist Forum (YSF) of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB). The regulation described below will be applied.

Prize Regulation [PDF]



1) TITLE (max. 120 characters without spaces): NO CAPITAL LETTERS, unless where absolutely necessary (e.g. acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, e.g. DNA, WHO, AIDS), NO period at the end, NO bold letters or words.

2) AUTHOR BLOCK: CAPITAL letters shall be used ONLY for the first letters of given and family names. The remaining word is written in lower case letters. Also in the affiliations, use CAPITAL letters ONLY at the beginning of the word, the remaining word in lowercases. Uppercases only where necessary. Include only Institution, City and Country. A maximum of 3 institutions per author is allowed

3) ABSTRACT BODY (max. 1750 characters without spaces; title, authors and affiliations excluded): Do not use the word “Abstract” at the beginning. Use LINE BREAKS only at the end of a paragraph. Abstract structure should contain the following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions. Define all non-standard abbreviations at first use. Please format words in italics only when required by nomenclature (e.g. Helicobacter pylori). CAPITALS are only used if necessary (e.g. DNA). Tables, Graphics and Pictures are not allowed. If applicable, information on grants and fellowships must be included at the end of the abstract text (and will be included in the word count).

Please ensure that your abstract does not contain spelling, grammatical or scientific errors, as it will be reproduced exactly as submitted. No proof reading will be done.

Authors should follow the abstract layout template provided:


Registration is free but mandatory.
Registration Deadline: 16th November 2020