July 22 – 26, 2018- Dr. Pugh traveled to Newry, ME to attend the Gordon Research Conference on Chromatin Structure and Function. The title of Dr. Pugh’s talk was Genomic Mechanisms of Gene Regulation and Chromatin Organization.
The 2018 Gordon Conference on Chromatin Structure and Function will bring together leading experts and newcomers to the field, to present and discuss their newest research on chromatin, its complex interactions, and its regulatory power in shaping genome architecture and function. Technologies to visualize and map chromatin at all levels are proceeding at a rapid pace. The meeting will highlight how chromatin structures, ranging from the nucleosome – the “building block” of chromatin – up to the dynamic three-dimensional spatial organization of the chromosome, are assembled, maintained, and altered, and how this ultimately controls genome functions.
Interconnected questions at the frontier of the field will be addressed – how does the nucleosome interact with other nuclear factors, how is chromatin assembled, disassembled, and maintained in a dynamic state, what is the molecular basis for the crosstalk between epigenetic modifications and metabolism, and how does dysfunction of any of these processes result in disease.
Presentations will encompass a wide variety of innovative technical approaches – from Angstrom level description of chromatin components at all organizational levels to the visualization of micron-scale structures by light microscopy, and the mapping of chromatin states genome-wide at unprecedented resolution. There will be a focus on new methods to determine chromatin dynamics and the relationships between chromatin structure and function, and on adapting these to the level of single molecules and single cells.
This conference has a long history of attracting the top researchers in chromatin research, and has a history of bringing in “players” from related fields. It always has been an important forum for fostering new ideas, interactions and collaborations, and this tradition will be continued in 2018. Conference attendees traditionally stay for the duration of the meeting, and the presentation of unpublished material is strongly encouraged. We will continue to integrate new members into this growing field; a large number of talks will be reserved for young scientists and for under-represented minorities, and all applicants will have the opportunity to present a poster on their work. Many platform presentation topics will be selected from submitted abstracts to ensure inclusion of the latest developments during the formal sessions. Additionally, “Poster Previews” will highlight selected posters in short oral presentations. Sufficient discussion time will be scheduled into every session to promote the lively and free exchange of ideas and interpretations and there will be ample time set aside in the afternoons and after the evening sessions for the informal interactions that have always played a key role at this conference. As a new feature this year, the GRC will be preceded by a GRS which we expect to further enhance interactions and networking among the younger conference participants.