4th Max Planck Epigenetics Meeting 2016 in Freiburg
Are we more than the sum of our genes? This question has long been answered. Studying the DNA sequence alone is not sufficient to fully understand the development of many diseases such as cancer or autoimmune diseases. The way in which the genomic information is organized within the cell, through epigenetic processes, is known to play a major role in regulating gene expression and in controlling specific cellular functions as well as malfunctions.
The research field of epigenetics explores these processes that can be seen as certain biochemical switches acting as an instructive layer of molecular annotations on top of the genome. Better insight on epigenetic structures will not only provide new avenues for future therapy and treatment of diseases but also will help our understanding of fundamental biological processes like cell development and cell differentiation.
International forum for epigenetic research
To discuss the latest developments in the field of epigenetics, renowned experts will meet in Freiburg from 30 November to 2 December 2016. During the three-day meeting at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE), the scientists will present their latest data and findings in over 40 lectures and numerous poster presentations. The conference is organized by Asifa Akhtar and Thomas Jenuwein. For the two Max Planck Directors it is the fourth Max Planck Epigenetics Meeting at the institute since establishing the epigenetic research focus at the MPI-IE in 2006. This December, they have again succeeded in compiling top-notch panels and confirmed the reputation of the conference as an international forum for epigenetic research in Europe.
“In the public epigenetics is often reduced in meaning due to environmental influences on our genes and that we are able to control them by our lifestyle. This is not altogether wrong, but strictly speaking it is a way more complex than that,” say Asifa Akhtar and Thomas Jenuwein, co-organizers of the Max Planck Epigenetics Meeting. To understand epigenetic mechanisms scientists have to study various chromatin related structures and processes including histone modification, nucleosome remodeling, DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs, and transcription factors, among others. Thus, the conference covers a broad range of topics from basic biochemical questions on chromatin, histone modifications, and RNA biology to specific panels on cancer, metabolism and heredity.
The fourth Max Planck Epigenetics Meeting in Freiburg is committed to connect scientists and their research topics from the different areas of epigenetic basic research. The organizers are convinced that only by fruitful exchange of exciting data and novel ideas the epigenetic community can shed new light on the ingenious gene regulation machinery in our cells.
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