Researchers of nanoparticles found in living organisms gather at the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Foto: Eesti Maaülikool
Poster of the conference

On September 8 and 9, 2023, the conference "Converging extracellular vesicle research in all domains of life towards understanding their potential functional applications" will be held at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Conference will focus on the biological properties of miraculous particles - extracellular vesicles - and studies of their potential applications in various areas of life.

Alireza Fazeli, professor at the Institute of the Veterinary Medicine and Animal Studies of the Estonian Univerisity of Life Sciences, explaines that extracellular vesicles are nanosized, membrane-bound structures released by cells into their surrounding environment. „Despite their small size, these vesicles play an essential role in cell-to-cell communication and the exchange of molecular information between cells. They can be thought of as cellular packages, transporting a diverse cargo of molecules such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids (like DNA and RNA),“ says Fazeli.

Estonian University of Life Sciences has established a prominent reputation in the field of extracellular vesicle studies. „This definitely extends beyond theoretical knowledge and research outputs. Our  researchers explore cutting-edge advancements in the field, including scalable extracellular vesicle production. These advancements lay the groundwork for subsequent functional applications of extracellular vesicles across multiple disciplines, including but not limited to human and veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical science, environmental science, etc,“ explaines professor Fazeli.

Therefore, extracellular vesicles are also of interest to the researchers of the Estonian University of Life Sciences considering the One Health conception: „Studying these particles as fundamental communicators between cells, researchers can gain insights into their roles in diseases affecting both humans and animals. These studies are paving the way for shared diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive strategies. Moreover, the environment's health is intertwined with the health of living organisms, and EVs' impact on environmental processes can yield valuable knowledge for conservation and ecological balance,“ explaines Fazeli.

Alireza Fazeli says that one of the aims of the conference is to emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of extracellular vesicle research. „During these two days we discuss the roles of extracellular vesicles in various life forms, from humans, animals to plant and microbes. Moreover, we will explore functional implications of this the extracellular vesicles from different life forms in health, biotechnology, ecology, and beyond,“ says Fazeli.

Around 75 participants from all over the world are expected to participate at the conference in Tartu, and several are participating via video broadcast. The professional background of the participants ranges from veterinary and human medicine to plant biology, biotechnology, pharmacy, microbiology and nanoscience. Around 15 featured speakers from various corners of the globe, including Germany, France, Australia, China, and USA, etc will introduce their discoveries.

The conference will take place within the framework of the research projects Combi-Vet and OH-boost supported by the Horizon program of the European Commission. Check out the conference program on the conference website: