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Understanding the mind of the worm: modelling C. elegans at cellular resolution

Discussion meeting


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Scientific discussion meeting organised by Dr John White FRS, Dr Stephen Larson, Dr Andre Brown, Dr William Schafer and Professor Netta Cohen

Credits: Dr Stephen Larson, OpenWorm

It has been 30 years since the "mind of the worm" was published in Philosophical Transactions. Predicting C. elegans’ behaviour from its wiring diagram has been an enduring challenge since then. This meeting will bring together neuroscientists, physicists, and engineers to discuss advances in neural activity imaging, behaviour quantification, and multiscale simulations and how they are bringing the goal of whole-animal modelling at cellular resolution within reach.

The schedule of talks and speaker biographies are available below. Recorded audio of the presentations will be available on this page after the meeting has taken place. Meeting papers will be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions B.

Attending the event

This meeting is intended for researchers in relevant fields.

  • Free to attend
  • Limited places, advanced registration is essential
  • An optional lunch can be purchased during registration

Enquires: Contact the Scientific Programmes team.

Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

30 January


21st Century digital and math tools for nervous system modelling

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Dr Stephen Larson, The OpenWorm Foundation, USA


Dr Eli Shlizerman, University of Washington, USA

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09:30-09:55 Modelling the neural network of C. elegans at multiple scales with c302

Dr Padraig Gleeson, University College London, UK

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10:00-10:25 Taming complexity: controlling networks

Professor Albert-László Barabási, Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School, USA

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10:30-10:35 Geppetto - An open platform for biology data exploration, visualization and simulation

Mr Matteo Cantarelli, OpenWorm Foundation, USA

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29 January


Biophysics of C. elegans behaviour

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Professor Netta Cohen, University of Leeds, UK


Dr Andre Brown, Imperial College London, UK

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10:05-10:30 Three-dimensional realistic model of the C. elegans body with elastic cuticle, hydrostatic pressure and muscle cells

Dr Andrey Palyanov, AP Ershov Institute of Informatics Systems, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

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Professor Netta Cohen, University of Leeds, UK

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11:00-11:35 Coffee

11:35-12:20 Panel discussion




Structure & function of C. elegans nervous system

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Dr William Schafer, University of Cambridge, UK

13:15-13:40 Ion channels: from literature to computational model

Dr Vahid Ghayoomie, The Openworm Foundation, USA

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14:45-15:10 Developmental connectomics and circuit insights for rhythm generation

Professor Mei Zhen, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and University of Toronto, Canada

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15:15-15:45 Whole-brain imaging with complete neural identity in freely-moving C. elegans

Dr Eviatar Yemini, University of Columbia, USA

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15:45-16:15 Tea

16:15-17:00 Panel discussion

Understanding the mind of the worm: modelling C. elegans at cellular resolution The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK