Simons Foundation

The Story of the First Two Hours of a Fly’s Life

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA (160 5th Avenue)

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA

160 5th Avenue


The Story of the First Two Hours of a Fly’s Life


Registration link:

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a classical model organism of embryonic development. The mechanisms that lead to an adult, fully-developed animal from an unstructured embryo are at the very core of biology, and their investigation keeps unveiling surprises and discoveries.

In this Presidential Lecture, Massimo Vergassola will cover the first two hours (at room temperature) of this fascinating process. He will illustrate the numerous and relevant contributions brought by the overlap between biology and physics, which covers a broad range of phenomena from fluid dynamics to waves to mechanics.

About the Speaker:

Vergassola holds a joint position at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and CNRS in Paris. He was educated in Italy and France and was a postdoc at Princeton University. He held positions at the Pasteur Institute and the University of California, San Diego and has been a visiting scientist at Rockefeller University,  the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Institute for Advanced Study, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques. Vergassola was chair of the biological physics division of the American Physical Society. His scientific interests broadly cover the physics of living systems, with particular interest paid to the physics of embryonic development and animal behavior.

Doors open: 5:30 p.m. (No entrance before 5:30 p.m.)
Lecture: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Admittance closes at 6:20 p.m.)