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"Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity"
[October 06, 2016]

"Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity"

Fondation IPSEN (Boulogne-Billacourt, France), INSERM (French National Institute of health and Medical research, France) and the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism (CEM) of University of California Irvine (UCI) are pleased to announce a new series of meetings starting in 2016: "Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity". This year's meeting, held at the Beckman Center of the National Academy of Sciences (Irvine, USA) on October 6 and 7, continues the tradition of high profile conferences organized by the CEM, headed by Paolo Sassone-Corsi. Today we bring together leaders in the field of epigenetics and metabolism at this symposium and we invite you all to discover the multiple facets of this field that connects molecular medicine, pharmacology and therapeutics.

Few words on Epigenetics
The ability to store information over long periods of time lies at the heart of cellular identity. This cellular 'memory' is encoded in the specific pattern of expressed genes and allows a cell to ensure that it "remembers" what it is and how it should move along elaborate pathways during cellular development and differentiation. As an example, nerve cells become hard-wired during their differentiation, through changes that allow them to properly control cognitive and behavioral functions. How could one relatively fixed genetic blueprint permit flexibility to accommodate variability resulting from signals originated from environmental, dietary and other influences?
Cells are submitted to an exceptional variety of stimuli and are able to convert these into complex functions and modulated metabolism. These unique properties are based on the highly flexible nature of the genome, a characteristic that relies on the complex molecular machinery that controls gene expression. What lies at the heart of cellular plasticity? Today we know about the central role played by epigenetics. This word originally indicated potentially heritable modifications in gene expression that do not involve changes in DNA sequence. During the past decade this definition has acquired a much less strict significance, and epigenetic control is thought to include DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, microRNA metabolic pathways and non-histone proteins modifications. Thus, while cellular plasticity is rightly thought to be intimately associated with genomic control, it is evident that there is much more to the genome than DNA sequence, permitting variability beyond the Watson-Crick double helix. The multitude of epigenetic mechanisms operating in all cells begs the question of how these may be coordinated and how specificity is achieved.
Recent years have seen spectacular advances in the study of epigenetics, attracting researchers from a variety of fields. In the upcoming decade, many aspects of biological research, pharmacological strategies and therapeutic applications will be dominated by deciphering the mechanisms of epigenetic control. The CEM of the School of Medicine at UCI traditionally organizes Symposia on "Epigenetic Control of Cellular Plasticity" to bring together international leaders to discuss most recent developments and exciting new directions. This year's Symposium is organized together with the INSERM, whose research Unit 904 operates within UCI, and the Fondation IPSEN.

Invited speakers & Talk titles
Yang SHI (Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA)

Histone methylation regulation, recognition and link to human disease

Robert G. ROEDER (Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA)

Mechanistic Studies of the Cooperative Functions of Transcriptional Co-activators on Chromatin Templates

Asifa AKHTAR (Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany)

Epigenetic regulation by MOF containing complexes

Paolo SASSONE-CORSI (U904 INSERM, Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism, UCI, USA)

The circadian clock: linking metabolism to epigenetics

John DENU (Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Madison, USA)

Gut microbiota and host epigenetic programming

Leonard P. GUARENTE (Glenn Labs for the Science of Aging, MIT (News - Alert), Cambridge, USA)

Sirtuins, NAD and Stem cells

Juleen ZIERATH (Department of Molecular Medicine and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Section of Integrative Physiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden)

The role of diet and exercise in modifying the epigenetic landscape of Type 2 diabetes

Melanie OTT (Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, USA)

Epigenetic regulation of HIV Transcription

Eric SOLARY (INSERM U1170 Hématopoïèse normale et pathologique, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France)

Hypomethylating agents improve disease phenotype without decreasing genetic alteration burden in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia

Gerald R. CRABTREE (Howard Hughes (News - Alert) Medical Institute, Beckman Center, Stanford, USA)

Balancing Genomic Accessibility by BAF-Polycomb Opposition

Anne SCHAEFER (Department of Neurosciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA)

Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) protects neurons against neurodegeneration

Marcelo WOOD (Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, USA)

Investigating the role of BAF53b in associative memory processes

Eric VERDIN (Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, USA)

Longevity and healthspan effects of ketogenic diet in mice

Valerio ORLANDO (Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, KAUST, Thuwal, KSA)

Role of Polycomb cell memory system in circadian clock and adaptation to metabolic stress in mammalian skeletal muscle.

Salvador A. BENITAH (Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Barcelona, Spain)

Adult stem cells undergo diet-dependent circadian reprogramming during ageing

The Fondation IPSEN
Established in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the ambition of the Fondation IPSEN is to initiate a reflection about the major scientific issues of the forthcoming years. The long-standing mission of the Fondation IPSEN is to contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge by fostering interaction between scientists and clinicians. It has developed an important international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at meetings known as Colloques Médecine et Recherche, dedicated to three main topics: neurosciences, endocrinology and cancer science. Moreover the Fondation IPSEN has started several series of meetings in partnership with the Salk Institute, the Karolinska Institute as well as with the science journals Cell and Science. The Fondation IPSEN produced several hundred publications and more than 250 scientists have been awarded prizes and grants. (more informations on:

The Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism (UCI, Irvine)
The Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism (CEM), headed by Paolo Sassone-Corsi, at UC Irvine School of Medicine provides a physical, intellectual and organizational environment for the study of epigenetics and its relationship with cellular metabolism. The center fosters collaboration among researchers interested in epigenetics, chromatin remodeling and cellular metabolism (more informations on:

Founded in 1964, INSERM is a public scientific and technological institute which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and French Ministry of Research. As the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health, in 2008 INSERM took on the responsibility for the strategic, scientific and operational coordination of biomedical research. This key role as coordinator comes naturally to Inserm thanks to the scientific quality of its teams and its ability to conduct translational research, from the laboratory to the patient's bed. The decree adopted in March 2009 will enable INSERM to perform its research missions in the face of the new scientific, health and economic challenges of the 21st century (more informations on:

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