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Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution
Gordon Research Conference

Using Evolutionary Perspectives to Inform Molecular Biology and Medicine, and Molecular Biology to Elucidate Evolutionary History and Mechanisms

Dates

June 28 - July 3, 2015

Location

Stonehill College
Easton, MA

Organizers

Chair:
Christine Queitsch

Vice Chair:
Ivan Matic

Meeting Description

Our goal is to use evolutionary perspectives to inform molecular biology and medicine, and molecular biology to elucidate evolutionary history and mechanisms. We hope to unite what have been disparate fields, population genetics and mechanistic molecular genetics, genomics and molecular biology, focusing on the impacts of the latter to our understanding of evolutionary processes. The meeting sessions will address a wide range of topics, including discussions of the constraints that cell biology and stochasticity pose for evolutionary processes, non-traditional mechanisms of inheritance, insights garnered from evolution experiments in the laboratory, mechanisms of coding and regulatory evolution highlighting the unexpected plasticity of genomes. We will discuss how our mechanistic knowledge could be used to predict and arrest evolutionary processes in infectious diseases and cancer.

The "modern synthesis" of the early twentieth century predated the molecular biology revolution and the genomics era. Although many of the assumptions and predictions of traditional population genetics have proven correct using these newfangled tools, others have to be modified due to new discoveries such as non-genetic, protein and RNA-based inheritance and stress-inducible mutations. Likewise, researchers in the fields of molecular biology, genomics, and medicine are often unacquainted with population genetics theory and overlook the critical role of evolutionary processes in all of life. This meeting is aimed at the growing numbers of investigators attempting to unite these formerly disparate fields and to learn from one another. A thoughtful and informed integration of these disciplines is crucial for understanding biology and successfully combating a host of human diseases and the consequences of a rapidly warming planet. This meeting aims to provide a home and community for researchers involved in this ongoing, cross-disciplinary endeavor.

Contributors

Final Meeting Program

Sunday
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session: Advances in Understanding the Mechanistic Underpinnings of Evolution
Discussion Leader: Christine Queitsch (University of Washington School of Medicine, USA)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmOpening Remarks
7:50 pm - 8:30 pmSusan Rosenberg (Baylor College of Medicine, USA)
"How Bacteria and Cancer Cells Regulate Mutation and Their Ability to Evolve"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:20 pmStanislas Leibler (The Rockefeller University, USA)
"Physics in Biology: Is There an Elephant in the Room?"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Monday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmGenome Architecture and Evolvability
Discussion Leader: Lilach Hadany (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
9:00 am - 9:25 amEvan Eichler (University of Washington / Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA)
"Dynamic Duplications and Their Role in Human Disease and Evolution"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 10:00 amDoris Bachtrog (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Transposable Elements Crowd-Source Mutations to Rapidly Fine-Tune Regulatory Networks"
10:00 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:05 amDetlef Weigel (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany)
"Origins and Consequences of (Epi)Genetic Variation in Arabidopsis thaliana and its Relatives"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:40 amHarmit Malik (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA)
"Genetic Conflicts: Beyond the Usual Suspects"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmBernardo Lemos (Harvard School of Public Health, USA)
"rDNA Copy Number and Global Gene Expression Variation"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmYaniv Erlich (Columbia University / New York Genome Center, USA)
"Short Tandem Repeats Are Major Contributors to Variation in Human Gene Expression"
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 pmInsights from Laboratory Evolution
Discussion Leader: Benjamin Kerr (University of Washington, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmAndrew Murray (Harvard University, USA)
"Evolving Novelty"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:30 pmJeffrey Barrick (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
"Chance and Metabolic Necessity on the Road to an Evolutionary Innovation"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmChristopher Marx (University of Idaho, USA)
"The Math of Metabolism: Mutations that Don't Like Each Other (and Species that Do)"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmMeleah Hickman (Emory University, USA)
"The Dynamic Ploidy Trajectories of Tetraploid Cells Produce Aneuploid and Unconventional Euploid States and Drive Population Heterogeneity"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Tuesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPhysical Constraints and Stochasticity
Discussion Leader: Arjun Raj (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
9:00 am - 9:25 amJulien Ayroles (Princeton University, USA)
"Complex Genetics of Complex Traits: The Dynamic Nature of the Genotype-Phenotype Map"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 10:00 amRama Ranganathan (University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
"The Evolutionary 'Design' of Proteins"
10:00 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:05 amSophie Martin (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
"Molecular Mechanisms of Mating Partner Choice and Fusion in Fission Yeast"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:40 amPeter Sims (Columbia University, USA)
"A Scalable Platform for Single Cell Transcriptomics"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmEric Libby (Santa Fe Institute, USA)
"The Evolution of Primitive Developmental Programs from a Stochastic Response"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmShimon Bershtein (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)
"Experimental Evolution Uncovers Physical Barriers to Horizontal Gene Transfer"
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 pmNon-Traditional Mechanisms of Inheritance
Discussion Leader: Douglas Fowler (University of Washington, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmDaniel Jarosz (Stanford University, USA)
"Transient Expression of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Fuels the Emergence of Heritable Traits"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:30 pmMary Gehring (Whitehead Institute, USA)
"DNA Methylation-Based Inheritance in Plants"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmOliver Rando (University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA)
"Epigenetic Inheritance in Yeast and Mice"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmKerry Geiler-Samerotte (New York University, USA)
"Hsp90 Increases Buffering Capacity Against Stochastic Variation But Not New Mutations"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Wednesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPredicting and Arresting Evolution
Discussion Leader: Susan Rosenberg (Baylor College of Medicine, USA)
9:00 am - 9:25 amJesse Bloom (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA)
"Molecular Constraints on Viral Evolution"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 10:00 amMaitreya Dunham (University of Washington, USA)
"Modifiers of Mutation Spectrum and Evolutionary Rate in Yeast Experimental Evolution"
10:00 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:05 amNels Elde (University of Utah, USA)
"New Roles for Retrogenes in the Restriction of Retroviruses"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:40 amKevin Esvelt (Harvard University, USA)
"Sculpting Evolution with CRISPR/Cas Scalpels"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmColin Maxwell (Duke University, USA)
"Single-Cell Measurements of Fecundity Reveal Genetic Variation in Age-Structured Mortality During Heat Stress in Yeast"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmAngela Phillips (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Hijacking the Host Cell's Protein Homeostasis Network to Potentiate Influenza Evolution"
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
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMechanisms and Consequences of Stress-Inducible Genetic Variation
Discussion Leader: Ivan Matic (Inserm U1001, Université Paris Descartes, France)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmDidier Mazel (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France)
"Integrons, Antibiotics, SOS Response and Horizontal Gene Transfers: Intimate Connections"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:30 pmHoura Merrikh (University of Washington, USA)
"Connecting Gene Orientation-Specific DNA Transactions to Evolution"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmDenise Montell (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
"Anastasis, a Novel Cell Survival Mechanism, a Form of Stress-Induced Mutagenesis?"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmCharlie Mo (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
"Tuning LexA Self-Cleavage Modulates the SOS Response and Bacterial Evolution in the Presence of Antibiotics"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Thursday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMechanisms of Coding and Regulatory Evolution
Discussion Leader: Christophe Herman (Baylor College of Medicine, USA)
9:00 am - 9:25 amPatricia Wittkopp (University of Michigan, USA)
"From Mutation to Polymorphism: Evolution of Gene Expression in Yeast"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 10:00 amJoe Thornton (University of Chicago, USA)
"Mechanisms for the Evolution of Transcription Factor Specificity"
10:00 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:05 amVincent Lynch (University of Chicago, USA)
"Transposable Element Mediated Gene Regulatory Network Innovation"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:40 amDiethard Tautz (Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany)
"De Novo Gene Formation and Adaptation"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmClaudia Kutter (Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
"Evolution and Regulation of the tRNA-mRNA Interface"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmFrank Poelwijk (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
"Mapping Higher-Order Epistasis to Explore the Complexity of Protein Sequences"
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 pmEvolution of Complexity
Discussion Leader: Joanna Masel (University of Arizona, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmJoanna Masel (University of Arizona, USA)
"Drift Barriers and Evolvability"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:30 pmNicole King (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Choanoflagellate Colonies, Bacterial Signals, and Animal Origins"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmChris Adami (Michigan State University, USA)
"Exploring the Evolution of Behavior and Intelligence"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmNeev Antonovsky (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
"Design, Implementation and Evolution of a Fully Functional Calvin Cycle in E. coli"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Friday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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