This application seeks partial funding for a FASEB Summer Conference on "Epigenetics Chromatin &Transcription", to be held June 16-21, 2013 in Nassau, Bahamas. The major goal of this conference is provide a forum to bring together several disciplines addressing the epigenetic changes that occur across the genome in response to signals (developmental and environmental) and in disease. This meeting will provide a much needed venue for researchers whose interests converge on these important questions, so that they can review key developments in this growing field, and to foster and inspire new research directions. Importantly, epigenetic research encompasses a wide diversity of specialties, ranging from those studying the fundamental biology underlying epigenetic inheritance to those focusing on the influences of intra- and extra-cellular signals. This meeting is unique in endeavoring to bring together these multiple aspects. From its inception in 1991, this FASEB conference has regularly attracted a strong international group of attendees and speakers, and, indeed, is one of the most consistently successful FASEB meetings. Moreover, to reflect this dynamic field, the focus of the meeting continually evolves. This year, we are emphasizing genomic approaches to understanding how transient signals can lead to persistent chromatin regulatory states in both the normal development of an organism and in disease. In addition, to expand the interest area, we have included a new cohort of speakers focusing on non-coding RNAs and their influence on chromatin and epigenetic features of the genome. Finally, we plan to markedly diversify the speaker group by selecting 8-12 additional speakers, especially promising post-doctoral scientists, from abstracts. The specific objectives of the meeting are: 1.To provide a comprehensive and critical review of the field of epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The meeting extends from basic biology of epigenetic heritability into other key areas, such as genomic and systems approaches, non-coding RNAs, windows of susceptibility (e.g. developmental biology and the use of stem cells), as well as disease areas (e.g. environmental exposures and cancer). 2. To advance cutting-edge research in this expanding field, through presentation and lively discussion of novel breakthroughs. 3. To bring together senior and junior scientists of all ranks, encouraging wide- ranging discussions and promoting the development of young scientists.
Every cell in the body harbors the same DNA sequences in the genome, yet different cell types 'read'this information very differently in order to produce specific gene and protein expression profiles. A critical aspect of this specificity involves the packaging of DNA into chromatin, to render certain regions of the genome inaccessible, while others are maintained in an open and accessible state. This conference aims to bring together researchers studying chromatin structure and gene expression to discuss recent advances in our understanding of how chromatin states can be generated and inherited, with a particular focus on how particular signals can initiate transitions between active and inactive states, in an attempt to identify key aspects of these processes that might be amenable to 'epigenetic therapy'or represent inadvertent targets of exposures that lead to disease.