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Conference Program
 
Epigenetics
Mechanisms, Development and Disease
August 7-12, 2011
Stonehill College
Easton, MA

Epigenetic phenomena have long baffled biologists, comprising cases in which genes or gene products display variable and often unpredictable patterns of expression that cannot be explained by mutations. Some epigenetic phenomena occur as part of normal development, including mechanisms for balancing the expression of genes on sex chromosomes whose dosage differs in males and females, or mechanisms that limit expression of genes inherited from one parent or the other. However, other epigenetic phenomena are stochastic, yet stable, leading to changes that are strongly implicated in disease states, including cancer. Most epigenetic phenomena are chromosomal in nature and involve gene silencing caused by chemical modifications of the DNA or the chromatin proteins that organize the DNA. Some of these modifications can be modulated by environmental influences, including diet or environmental toxins, and can affect gene-expression states for multiple generations. Other epigenetic phenomena involve shape-shifting proteins that can convert to a so-called prion state and cause identical proteins in the cell to change shape as well.

Because the study of epigenetics explores scientific realms beyond the determination of chromosome sequences of model organisms, it is one of the most exciting and fastest growing research areas within the fields of genetics and developmental biology. Remarkable progress elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind epigenetic gene regulation has been made in the past few years. The diverse mechanisms that contribute to epigenetic processes include DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications, DNA elimination and rearrangements, protein-protein interactions, RNA-mediated gene silencing, physical interactions among genes and the three-dimensional organization of chromosomes within the nucleus. At the 2011 Epigenetics Gordon Research Conference, leading researchers from around the world will discuss these, and many other, aspects of epigenetic regulation in diverse species, including mammals, plants, fungi, ciliates, worms and insects.


Contributors

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Office Closed 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmEpigenetic mechanisms I: DNA methylation
Discussion Leader: Jean Finnegan (CSIRO)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmIntroduction
7:50 pm - 8:10 pmSteve Jacobsen (UCLA)
"Epigenetics and epigenomics in Arabidopsis"
8:10 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:35 pmEric Selker (University of Oregon)
"Control of DNA methylation and heterochromatin formation in Neurospora""
8:35 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:00 pmTim Bestor (Columbia University)
"Abnormally methylated regions (AMRs) in human disease"
9:00 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:25 pmDan Zilberman (University of California, Berkeley)
"DNA methylation dynamics in Arabidopsis"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmEnvironment, aging, neurological and behavioral epigenetics
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Ting Wu (Harvard University)
9:10 am - 9:30 amAnne Brunet (Stanford University)
"Epigenetic regulation of longevity"
9:30 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:55 amCourtney Miller (Scripps Florida)
"DNA methylation: A dynamic and stable regulator of behavioral memory"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:10 amNisha Padmanabhan (University of Cambridge)
"Epigenetic consequences of abnormal folate metabolism"
10:10 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 amGroup Photo / Coffee Break
10:45 am - 11:05 amAlysson Muotri (UCSD)
"Insights from Rett syndrome using induced pluripotent stem cells"
11:05 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:30 pmRyszard Maleszka (The Australian National University)
"A queen is made not born: diet, DNA methylation and phenotypic polymorphism in honey bees"
11:30 pm - 11:35 pmDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:55 amHeather True (Washington University School of Medicine)
"Epigenetics without Marks: Prion-mediated phenotypic regulation"
11:55 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:20 pmReed Wickner (NIDDK, NIH)
"Sui Ψ dal [PSI+]: yeast prion structure and biology"
12:20 pm - 12:25 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEpialleles and epigenetic inheritance
Discussion Leader: Eric Richards (Boyce Thompson Institute)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmTetsuji Kakutani (National Institute of Genetics)
"Genetics of DNA methylation in genes and transposons in Arabidopsis"
8:00 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:25 pmSteve Henikoff (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
"Epigenetic inheritance of centromeric chromatin"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmBernardo Lemos (Harvard University)
"Y variants tip the chromosome balance"
8:40 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45pm - 9:05 pmJian-Kang Zhu (Purdue University)
"RNA-directed DNA methylation and active DNA demethylation in plants"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:20 pmJeremy Haag (Indiana University)
"Biochemical activities of Arabidopsis Pol IV, RDR2 and Pol V"
9:20 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmDevelopmental programming and reprogramming
Discussion Leader: Marisa Bartolomei (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction
9:10 am - 9:30 amRudolf Jaenisch (MIT)
"Stem cells, pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming"
9:30 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:55 amWolf Reik (The Babraham Institute)
"Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:10 amPetra Hajkova (MRC Clinical Sciences Center)
"Molecular mechanism of epigenetic reprogramming :the quest continues"
10:10 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:05 amYi Zhang (University of North Carolina)
"Role of Tet1-mediated DNA demethylation in ES cells"
11:05 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:30 amHiro Sasaki (Kyushu University)
"Mammalian germline small RNAs and epigenetic programming"
11:30 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:45 amAurelia Vavasseur (Institut Albert Bonniot)
"The RNA-Binding protein Mmi1 connects RNA interference to sexual differentiation control in fission yeast"
11:45 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pmBill Kelly (Emory University)
"Patterning and maintaining the germline epigenome in C. elegans"
12:10 pm - 12:15 pmDiscussion
12:15 pm - 12:25 pmMatthew Simon (Massachusetts General Hospital)
"The genome-wide binding-sites of a non-coding RNA"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEpigenetic mechanisms II: RNA-mediated heterochromatin formation and DNA rearrangement
Discussion Leader: Doug Chalker (Washington University)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmDoug Chalker (Washington University)
"Finding your silent space: remodeling the genome using homologous RNAs"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:10 pmKazufumi Mochizuki (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
"Small RNA-directed DNA elimination in Tetrahymena"
8:10 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:35 pmMariusz Nowacki (Bern University)
"Roles for maternally-inherited non-coding RNAs during Oxytricha development"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:00 pmMarjori Matzke (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
"RNA-ditected DNA methylation in Arabidopsis"
9:00 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:25 pmRebecca Mosher (University of Arizona)
"Pol IV-dependent siRNAs during Arabidopsis seed development"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmEpigenetics and disease
Discussion Leader: Craig Pikaard (Indiana University)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction
9:10 am - 9:30 amHoward Chang (Stanford University)
"Genome regulation by long noncoding RNAs"
9:30 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:55 amSteve Baylin (Johns Hopkins University)
"Epigenetics and cancer"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:10 amChris Vakoc (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
"Identifying epigenetic vulnerabilities in human cancer"
10:10 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:05 amEvan Rosen (Harvard Medical School)
"Epigenomic Approaches to Metabolic Disease"
11:05 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:20 amMary Patti (Joslin Diabetes Center)
"Paternal intergenerational transmission of obesity and diabetes risk"
11:20 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:45 amRebecca Oakey (King's College London)
"Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in health and disease"
11:45 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:00 pmAndrew Conery (Constellation Pharmaceutical)
"Targeting MYC dependence in cancer by inhibiting BET bromodomains"
12:00 pm - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:15 pmHélène Bierne (Institut Pasteur)
"Epigenetics and bacterial pathogenesis: when a bacterium manipulates a chromatin"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:27 pmLisa Chadwick (NIEHS) "The roadmap epigenomic mapping consortium:navigating this community epigenetics resource
12:27 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmGene dosage control mechanisms
Discussion Leader: Jim Birchler (University of Missouri)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmJim Birchler (University of Missouri)
"Dosage effects of components of macromolecular complexes and the implications for dosage compensation"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:10 pmJeannie Lee (Massachusetts General Hospital)
"The X as a model for regulation by noncoding RNA"
8:10 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:35 pmJoost Gribnau (Erasmus MC)
"Activation of X inactivation"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:00 pmBarbara Meyer (University of California Berkeley)
"Dosage compensation in C. elegans"
9:00 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:25 pmAndrew Spence (University of Toronto)
"Epigenetic licensing of germ-line gene expression by maternal RNA in C. elegans"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 amBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
9:00 am - 12:30 pmEpigenetics and the genome: position-effects, replication and nuclear organization
Discussion Leader: Judith Bender (Brown University)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction
9:10 am - 9:30 amBas van Steensel (Netherlands Cancer Institute)
"Architecture and dynamics of genome - nuclear lamina interactions"
9:30 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:55 amJason Brickner (Northwestern University)
"Molecular and cellular mechanisms control yeast transcriptional memory"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:10 amBen Black (University of Pennsylvania)
"Marking and maintaining centromere location and the histone variant CENP-A"
10:10 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:05 amSally Elgin (Washington University)
"Heterochromatin formation: targeting repetitious elements in the fly"
11:05 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:20 amBrian Chadwick (Florida State University)
"The macrosatellite DXZ4 acts as an inactive X-specific chromosome folding element"
11:20 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:45 amScott Michaels (Indiana University)
"Non-E(z) enzymes for H3K27 methylation limit heterochromatin over-replication in Arabidopsis"
11:45 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pmKristen Johansen (Iowa State University)
"Enzymatic and non-enzymatic functions of the JIL-1 H3S10ph kinase"
12:10 pm - 12:15 pmDiscussion
12:15 pm - 12:25 pmHumaira Gowher (NIH)
"Vezf1 couples RNA PolII activity and regulation of DNA methylation"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmInstructing the next generation through DNA imprints and RNA signalling
Discussion Leader: Anne Ferguson-Smith (University of Cambridge)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pmAnne Ferguson-Smith (University of Cambridge)
"Functional genomics of imprinting"
7:50 pm - 7:55 pmDiscussion
7:55 pm - 8:15 pmRob Martienssen (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
"Reprogramming heterochromatin with RNAi"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:40 pmMario Arteaga-Vazquez (Universidad Vazquez)
"Paramutation: Transgenerational transfer of epigenetic information"
8:40 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmJie Song (John Innes Centre)
"A Polycomb-based switch underlying quantitative epigenetic memory"
8:55 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:20 pmUeli Grossniklaus (University of Zurich)
"Epigenetic regulation of seed development"
9:20 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1 R13 CA162220-01 from the National Cancer Institute. 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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