Structure and function of dynamic chromatin organization
Prof. Geneviève Almouzni : The EMBO Keynote Lecture
is Director of the Cancer Research Center Institut Curie, Paris (FR).
She is head of the Nuclear Dynamics and Genome plasticity unit and group leader of the chromatin dynamics team. She obtained her PhD at Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University (FR), worked as postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health Research Center in Bethesda (USA) in the lab of Prof. Alan Wolffe. She has been CNRS Research Director since January 2000. In 2013, she was awarded the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award. She was scientific coordinator of the EU Network of Excellence EpiGeneSys.
- Filipescu D, Naughtin M, …Almouzni G: Genes Dev. 31: 463-480 (2017)
- Muller S and Almouzni G: Nat Rev Genet 18: 192-208 (2017)
- Orsi GA, Naughtin M, Almouzni G: Cell Stem Cell. 19: 567-568 (2016)
Implications of transcriptional mechanism for cell decision-making
Prof. Jonathan Chubb is a Welcome Senior Fellow at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London
His group would like to understand how cells make choices about their fates. To achieve this, they take the view that one needs to observe the gene expression of individual cells before and during the decision-making process, to test how initial cell "state" maps onto final cell fate. In particular, his group develop and use approaches to image the transcription of genes in living cells.
Synthetic Biology-Inspired Cell-BasedTreatment Strategies of the Future
Prof. Dr. Martin Fussenegger ETH Zurich, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, Basel, Switzerland
Since Paracelsus’ (1493-1541) definition that the dose makes the drug, the basic treatment strategies have largely remained unchanged. Following diagnosis of a disease the doctor prescribes specific doses of small-molecule drugs or protein pharmaceuticals which interfere with disease-associated molecular targets. However, this treatment concept lacks any diagnostic feedback, prophylactic impact and dynamic dosage regimen. We have pioneered the concept of metabolic prostheses which, akin to mechanical prosthesis replacing defective body parts, interface with host metabolism to detect and correct metabolic disorders. Metabolic prostheses consist of designer cells containing synthetic sensor-effector gene networks which detect critical levels of disease metabolites, processes pathological input with Boolean logic and fine-tune in-situ production and release of protein therapeutics in a seamless, self-sufficient and closed-loop manner. When implanted inside insulated, immunoprotective and autovascularizing microcontainers the metabolic prostheses connect to the bloodstream, constantly monitor the levels of disease-associated metabolites and trigger an immediate therapeutic response to prevent, attenuate or correct the disease. With their unique characteristic to dynamically link diagnosis to dose-specific in-situ production and delivery of protein pharmaceuticals, metabolic protheses will enable new treatment strategies in the future. To highlight the impact of synthetic biology on future biomedical applications, we will present our latest generation of remote-controlled gene switches, biosensor circuits and metabolic prostheses tailored to diagnose, prevent and cure high-prevalence medical conditions including diabetes, cancer, pain, parkinson’s disease and multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacterica.
Prof. Pamela Munster is Co-Director of the Center for BRCA Research, a BRCA-focused clinical and research program at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF. Dr. Munster received her medical degree from the University of Bern, Switzerland; completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Indiana University Medical Center, then moved to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York for her oncology and hematology fellowship. She served at Memorial Sloan Kettering as a faculty member in the breast cancer program before joining the Division of Breast Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida. Currently Dr. Munster is Professor in Residence at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is also the Director of Early Phase Clinical Trials Program at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Program Leader of Experimental Therapeutics.