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Conference Program
 
Genes & Behavior
February 24-29, 2008
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort
Lucca (Barga), Italy

One of the major challenges of the post-genomic era is to understand the genetic contributions to variation in complex traits, including behavior. This understanding is necessary for compelling biological and biomedical reasons. This information is critical to further progress in the central fields of evolutionary biology and neuroscience, because behavior stands at the crucial interface of the animal's internal machinery and its response to the environment. Behavioral biology is vibrant and productive but is a fragmented discipline. In one arena, a handful of laboratory-based behaviors and a few model organisms dominate the field of molecular neuroscience and behavioral genetics. In another arena, behavioral ecology focuses on naturally occurring behavior and how it evolves, but pays little attention to the underlying neural and genetic substrates. While it is important that these individual specialties continue to be pursued with vigor, we believe that a deeper understanding of the relationship between genes and behavior will require an active integration of both approaches and perspectives. In the third conference our diverse sets of genetic, molecular, genomic, neurobiological, evolutionary and ecological interests and approaches will merge on the theme of the behavioral phenotype.

Student and Post-doc funding is available for the conference. Please apply to the chair Marla Sokolowski.

If you are a student or post-doc and would like to give a 3 min. talk about your poster in the data blitz session please sent a title and abstract to the chair Marla Sokolowski and copy the email to her secretary at deanejac@utm.utoronto.ca. Twelve trainees will be chosen for the data blitz from those who apply.

PI's please don't forget to nominate a trainee to speak at one of our 4 short-talks. The trainee must be doing important work in the Genes and Behavior field and be an excellent speaker. Nominations by email to Marla Sokolowski.

There has been a terrific response to this conference from colleagues around the world. If you have not applied to attend this GRC do it now to avoid disappointment. Spots are limited.


Contributors

SUNDAY
4:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Office Closed 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmMechanistic and Evolutionary Perspectives on Genes and Behavior
Discussion Leaders: Kenneth S. Kendler (Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, US) & David Clayton (University of Illinois. Urbana, Illinois, US)
7:40 pm - 8:05 pm Gene E. Robinson (Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, US)
"Gene Discovery for Social Behavior: Adventures with Candidate Genes"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pm Nick Martin (Queensland Institute of Medical Research Post Office, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane Australia)
"Human behavior genetics; What have we learnt?"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pm Discussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pm Mark Kirkpatrick (Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Texas, US)
"Sex chromosome evolution driven by sexual selection and sexual antagonism"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pm Discussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pm Opening Session: Discussion
9:30 pm - 12:00 amWelcome Reception (Tea Room)
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amEpigenetics and Evo/Devo
Discussion Leaders: Douglas J. Emlen (Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Montana, US) & Douglas Wahlsten (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina, US)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Moshe Szyf (Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
"Epigenetics, an interface between nurture and nature"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:55 am John Ewer (Centro de Neurociencia, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile)
"How the field of "Evo/devo" can help us understand behavior"
9:55 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:30 am Epigenetics and Evo/Devo: Discussion
10:30 am - 11:00 am Coffee Break / Group Photo
11:00 am - 12:00 pmStudent Data Blitz
Discussion Leader: Allen J. Moore (School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, UK)
12:00 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session 1 (alphabetically by last name A-K)
Chair: John G. Hildebrand (Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, US)
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmConflict and Cooperation
Discussion Leaders: Joan E. Strassmann (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, Texas, US) & Alison M. Bell (Integrative Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana)
5:30 pm - 5:55 pm Kevin Foster (Centre for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Boston, US)
"Cooperation and conflict in microbes"
5:55 pm - 6:00 pm Discussion
6:00 pm - 6:25 pm Laurent Keller (Department of Ecology and Evolution Biophore, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
"Ant behavior is modulated by complex interactions between genes and social environment"
6:25 pm - 6:30 pm Discussion
6:30 pm - 6:55 pm Edward Kravitz (Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, US)
"Genetic manipulations in the fruit fly fight club: Love and War in a single gene and other stories"
6:55 pm - 7:00 pm Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Conflict and Cooperation: Discussion
8:00 pmDinner
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmVertebrate Social Life
Discussion Leaders: Darcy Kelley (Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, NY, US) & Stephen J. Suomi (Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, DHHS Bethesda, MD, US)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Russell D. Fernald (Biological Science, Stanford University, Stanford, California, US)
"Social regulation of the brain: From behavior to genes"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:55 am Larry J. Young (Centre for Behavioral Neuroscience and Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, US)
"Genetic Mechanisms underlying diversity in social behavior"
9:55 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:25 am Benoist Schaal (Centre Europeen des Sciences du Gout, CNRS-Universite de Bourgogne, Dijon, France)
"Mammary messages that engage social behavior and learning in infant mammals"
10:25 am - 10:30 am Discussion
10:30 am - 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am - 11:25 am Donna L. Maney (Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, US)
"Social strategies and chromosomal structures in songbirds"
11:25 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 11:55 am David H. Skuse (Behavioral and Brain Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom)
"Genetic influences on the neural basis of social cognition"
11:55 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Vertebrate Social Life: Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session 2 (alphabetically by last name L-Z)
Chair: Stephen Goodwin (Division of Molecular Genetics, University of Glasgow)
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmBehavior, Imaging, and Genomics
Discussion Leaders: Robert Hitzemann (Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University. Portland, Oregon, US) & Daisuke Yamamoto (Graduate School of Life Sciences and Department of Biology, Tohoku University, Japan)
5:30 pm - 5:55 pm Martin Heisenberg (Department of Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany)
"Behavior and the limits of genetic determinism"
5:55 pm - 6:00 pm Discussion
6:00 pm - 6:25 pm Gero Miesenbock (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK)
"Change of mind: Control of neural circuits and behavior"
6:25 pm - 6:30 pm Discussion
6:30 pm - 6:55 pm Seth Grant (The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, Cambridge, United Kingdom)
"Cognition and the postsynaptic proteome"
6:55 pm - 7:00 pm Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Behavior, Imaging and Genomics: Discussion
8:00 pmDinner
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:30 amCourtship, Mating, and Sexual Selection
Discussion Leader: Mariana Federica Wolfner (Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, US) & Jean-Marc Jallon (NAMC, University of Paris South, Orsay, France)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Gro V. Amdam (School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, US)
"Complex social behavior derived from maternal reproductive traits"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:55 am Barry J. Dickson (Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria)
"Genetics of Drosophila mating behavior"
9:55 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 10:55 am Tracey Chapman (School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
"Uncovering the genetic agents that mediate mating behavior, sexual selection and sexual conflict in flies"
10:55 am - 11:00 am Discussion
11:00 am - 11:30 am Courtship, Mating and Sexual Selection: Discussion
11:30 am - 12:30 pmJunior Scientist Short Talks
11:30 am - 11:45 amClement Kent (Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada)
"Interactions between genes, physical environment, and social context in fruit fly mating"
11:45 am - 11:50 am Discussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmYun Zhang (Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Mass. US)
"Pathogenic bacteria induce aversive olfactory learning in C. elegans"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmSarah E. London (Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, US)
"Identification of a molecular mechanism required for song learning"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 5:30 pmFree Time
5:30 pm - 7:00 pmRhythms
Discussion Leaders: Charalambos P. Kyriacou (Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK) & Martha Merrow (Department of Chronobiology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
5:30 pm - 5:55 pm Rodolfo Costa (Dipartimento di Biologia, Universita di Padova, Padova, Italy)
"Natural behavioral rhythmicity in Drosophila"
5:55 pm - 6:00 pm Discussion
6:00 pm - 6:25 pm Till Roenneberg (Centre for Chronobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany)
"Chronotype - phenotyping and genotyping daily human behavior"
6:25 pm - 6:30 pm Discussion
6:30 pm - 7:00 pm Rhythms: Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmJunior Scientist Short Talk
7:00 pm - 7:15 pmSonja Vernes (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics, The University of Oxford, UK)
"Functional genomic dissection of pathways involved in developmental speech and language disorders"
7:15 pm - 7:20 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmLanguage and Communication
Discussion Leaders: Joel Levine (Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) & Kerry Shaw (Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, US)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Andrew Barron (Centre for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
"Towards a molecular dissection of the honey bee dance language"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:55 am Leslie B. Vosshall (The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, US)
"The odor universe of humans and the fly"
9:55 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:25 am William R. Schafer (Cell Biology Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK)
"Touch related behaviors in C. elegans"
10:25 am - 10:30 am Discussion
10:30 am - 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am - 11:25 am Constance Scharff (Abteilung Verhaltensbiologie, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany)
"Gene function analysis in songbirds: FoxP2"
11:25 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 11:55 am Simon E. Fisher (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University, UK)
"Molecular windows into the neural bases of speech and language"
11:55 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Language and Communication: Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 5:00 pmFree Time
5:00 pm - 5:30 pmBusiness Meeting
(Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair)
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmGenes and Behavior: Unifying Principles?
Discussion Leaders: Jonathan Flint (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford, UK) & Catherine Rankin (Department of Psychology and Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
5:30 pm - 5:40 pmOpening comments by Discussion Leaders
5:40 pm - 6:05 pm Mike Ritchie (School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland)
"Evolutionary Genetics & Behavior: do unifying principles extend to multiple species with real ecologies?"
6:05 pm - 6:20 pm Discussion
6:20 pm - 6:45 pm Ralph Greenspan (The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, US)
"Genes and Behavior: Is there a unifying principle, or is it just a lot of stuff"
6:45 pm - 7:00 pm Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Genes and Behavior: Discussion
8:00 pmDinner
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDepart

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by R13 MH82464 from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

 
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