Centromeres provide the structural and functional foundation to anchor chromosomes to the mitotic spindle during eukaryotic cell division by forming the platform for kinetochore assembly. The importance of centromeres in genome inheritance has long been recognized, but its properties, organization, and functions have remained mysterious. Indeed, despite the "sequencing" of the human genome more than a decade ago, it was only recently that the first assembly of a human centromere was completed. Recent work on centromeres has provided incredible insights into the sequences of centromeres, the changes to centromeres that occur across evolution or in diseases such as cancer, the nature of the epigenetic inheritance of centromere function, and the ability of centromeres to shape heritability and speciation. Our current knowledge of centromere regulation has contributed to a much better molecular understanding of centromere dysfunction that can contribute to chromosome mis-segregation, ultimately leading to human genetic disease and aneuploidy.
This meeting will bring together a diverse group of outstanding scientists that build a community interested in understanding all aspects of centromere function. The questions that arise from studying centromeres are reflected in the diversity of disciplines that this community attracts and include genomics, (epi-)genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, cell and molecular biology, theory and modeling. The strong goal is to stimulate new discussions and interactions amongst researchers of those diverse disciplines. Centromere research at this meeting also embraces a broad spectrum of model systems.
This meeting is highly collegial, lively, intense and very welcoming to junior scientists and trainees, with many talks chosen from the submitted abstracts. The poster sessions are equally lively with many opportunities to informally discuss the latest findings as well as start new collaboration. The goal of this meeting is to bring together an interactive community of scientists with a shared interest in centromere biology to explore the latest developments and theories in the field, to learn of new technologies, applications and hypothesis, and to strengthen and foster interaction between scientists at all career stages.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by October 15, 2019. Please check back for updates.
- Keynote Session: Centromeres: From Evolution to Human Health
- Biophysical Properties of Centromeres
- Centromere Dysfunction: Chromosome Segregation Defects and Disease
- Centromeres in Meiosis and Stem Cell Division
- Centromere Genomics, Evolution and Variability
- Epigenetic Regulation of Centromere Identity
- Transcripts and Transcription Control of Centromere Function
- Building Blocks Around and Above the Centromere
- New Concepts of Centromere Function and Regulation