Monrovia, California (PressExposure) March 26, 2012 -- Alexander Meissner, Assistant Professor at Harvard University will give a keynote presentation on "DNA Methylation Dynamics in Development and Stem Cells" at the 2nd Epigenetics in Drug Discovery Conference taking place on May 30-31, 2012 in Boston, MA.
Cytosine methylation in mammals is an epigenetic modification that is largely restricted to CpG dinucleotides and serves multiple critical functions including stable repression of target promoters, maintaining genomic integrity, establishing parent-specific imprinting patterns, and silencing endogenous retrotransposon activity. In somatic tissues, CpG methylation exhibits global patterns based on relative CpG density: it is unmethylated in localized CpG islands at housekeeping or developmental promoters, and hypermethylated at non-regulatory CpGs distributed elsewhere in the genome. This landscape is relatively static across all somatic tissues that have been examined to date on a genome scale, where the majority of methylated CpGs are pre-established and inherited through cell divisions.
Generally, only a small fraction of CpGs switch their methylation levels as part of an orchestrated regulatory event. By contrast, DNA methylation is much more dynamic during mouse germ-cell and pre-implantation development. Alex Meissner's presentation will provide recent insights gained through genome-scale mapping of DNA methylation in human pluripotent stem cells and murine development.
Alex Meissner trained in Rudolf Jaenisch's laboratory at the Whitehead Institute, before he joined Harvard University as assistant professor in the department of stem cell and regenerative biology in 2008. He is also a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute. Working with his colleagues at the Broad Institute, Alex is developing and applying high-throughput bisulfite sequencing technologies for DNA methylation analysis. This should ultimately lead to creating reference epigenomes - maps of what happens outside the DNA sequence -- for many cell types, with the goal of better understanding normal and diseased cellular states.
He is co-directing the NIH Reference Epigenome Mapping Center at the Broad Institute. Complementing his work on epigenomics, his lab has a major interest in cell states and how they can be altered through ectopic transcription factors. He has led several of the early studies in the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) field while in the Jaenisch lab. His lab has since then made notable contributions to the understanding of the process and he was recently named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.
GTC's 2nd Epigenetics in Drug Discovery conference is the only epigenetics conference that brings together a balanced mix of leading experts from the industry and academia to collaborate on the latest cutting edge research on novel mechanisms, therapeutics, technologies and diagnostics for epigenetics drug discovery. Some key discussions around epigenetics drug discovery at the conference include the role of epigenetics in human diseases such as cancer, leukaemia, neurodegenerative conditions, neuropsychiatric disorders, inflammation, etc., and cutting edge research from GlaxoSmithKline, Epizyme, Genentech, Constellation, Cellzome, RaNA Therapeutics, Pfizer, Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The conference is part of the Omics Evolution Summit, which includes 6 co-located conferences and a Clinical Sequencing Workshop on May 29th. Register for the entire summit and have access to the all of the following conferences:
2nd Genomic & Proteomic Drug Discovery Conference
3rd RNAi Research & Therapeutics Conference
7th Protein Kinases in Drug Discovery Conference
2nd Next Generation Sequencing Conference
Genome-wide Partnering and Deal Making Conference
For more information, please visit http://www.gtcbio.com