Chromosomes: Organization, Function and Dynamics

Coordinators: Ralf Everaers and Alexandra Zidovska

Continuing rapid development in the field of chromatin biology has lately attracted enormous interest among biologists, physicists and mathematicians. Recently, the static structure of the folded genome inside the cell nucleus has been determined with increasingly high resolution. Special features of genome folding, such as loops, A/B compartments and chromosome territories, were identified and have inspired models rooted in polymer physics. Studies of the roles of these features in gene regulation and other biological processes are currently ongoing. In addition, research on chromatin dynamics has shown that the genome moves in space and time, thus these structural features might be dynamic, too. Currently, it is not clear how to reconcile the static picture with the dynamic nature of the genome. Following the recent surge in activity on both the biology and physics fronts, this conference aims to provide a platform that would facilitate an interdisciplinary exchange, cultivate new ideas and identify new frontiers.

Following are a few examples of the topics we plan to discuss:

  • 3D structure and organization of the genome
  • chromatin dynamics
  • the relevant time and length scales in the spatio-temporal evolution of genome folding
  • gene regulation
  • nonequilibrium nature of chromatin dynamics
  • advanced microscopy approaches
  • chromosome-conformation capture methodology
  • genomic tools
  • analytical, numerical and simulation approaches