16-17 April 2018 Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics Workshop Chair: Davide Michieletto, Chris Brackley, Davide Marenduzzo
Virtually all cells in our body have the same DNA (hence genetic information), yet a skin, liver and a brain cell all express a very different set of genes. Additionally, when a differentiated cell divides, the daughter has the same set of genes on: a skin cell gives rise to another skin cells, etc. Understanding how cells can establish, maintain and transmit their identity to daughter cells remains a crucial question in biophysics.It is now understood that this process is associated with "epigenetic factors" -- such as histone post-translational modifications -- which can operate "beyond the genes" and regulate gene expression independently of the underlying genome sequence. In spite of the robustness displayed by cellular identity and memory, the epigenetic factors that are responsible for this stability are highly dynamic and display a fast turn-over. In order to reconcile these two apparently contradictory observations, we need combined experimental and theoretical efforts, involving biologists, physicists and applied mathematicians. It is also now well established that epigenetic factors are highly correlated with chromatin state, and the folding of chromosomes in three-dimensions within the nucleus. For example, dynamic changes in the distribution of histone modifications are often accompanyied by a change in the conformation of chromosomes. A better understanding of the causal relationship between the dynamics of chromatin and that of epigenetic factors should therefore shed light into the biophysics behind cellular differentiation and reprogramming, cellular response to inflammation and external stimuli and cellular ageing. The goal of the proposed workshop is to bring together leading experts in the field of epigenetic and chromatin dynamics. In particular, the workshop seeks to:
determine the current state of the art of the field
foster the exchange of ideas between experiments and theories
create a fertile ground for the creation of new collaborations between biologists and physicists
set out the direction for future experiments and modelling efforts.
This meeting is part of a a series of Focused Workshops delivered through the EPSRC NetworkPlus in ‘Understanding the Physics of Life 2’.
Who should attend?
We invite participation by academic, industrial and clinical scientists in the UK who are interested in the central goal of generating new collaborative research interactions at the physical/life sciences interface focussed on this subject area.
Further programme details will be uploaded shortly.
Registration for this event is FREE but places are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
The meeting will take place in the James Clerk Maxwell Building, Kings Buildings. 15 minutes by bus from Edinburgh city centre. Details on getting from the City Centre to JCMB here. A map of the Kings Buildings campus here. Edinburgh is well served by trains and planes.