September 25-30, 2018
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Pier F. Ferrari (CNRS, Lyon, France)
Atsushi Iriki (RIKEN BSI, Wako, Japan)
Stefano Parmigiani (University of Parma, Italy)
Stephen Suomi (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland)
Antonella Tramacere (MPI, Jena, Germany)

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

During the last decades, the interest in epigenetic phenomena has increased, and research on this topic has been expanding exponentially. One of the main reasons for this is the involvement of epigenetic factors in morphological and cognitive development in most social and complex animals. Moreover, particularly interesting are the recent investigations on the role of epigenetics in the development of nervous system and specific cognitive skills in human and nonhuman primates, since the mere analysis of genetic sequences seems not to be fully satisfactory for explaining basic processes related to the formation of brain networks and related cognitive functions. “Epigenetics in cognition” will explore the most recent findings about how genetic and environmental factors give raise to complex cerebral structures and mental functions. Starting from results in molecular biology, the first section of the workshop will consider phenomena of modifications of chromatin structure at the basis of epigenetics, such as (de)methylation, (de)acetylation of histones and non coding RNA. In the second and third sections, the role of these mechanisms in the emergence and shaping of the central nervous system and of behaviour will be considered, with some example of epigenetic dis-regulation in important psychopathologies. Epigenetic mechanisms will be then considered from an evolutionary point of view (fourth section), in order to understand whether they can have a role in the origin of variation that affects evolutionary change.

Speakers & Topics

Elena Battaglioli

Epigenetic mechanisms in neuronal plasticity and intellectual disability

Qi Chen

Transgenerational Sperm RNAs and RNA modifications in epigenetic inheritance

Takao Hensch

Epigenetic reopening of critical period brain plasticity

Isabelle Mansuy

Germline-dependent mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: How acquired behaviors can be transmitted across generations

Matthias Patrick

Protein acetylation as a novel regulator of intracellular granules

Francesco Nicassio

Dynamics of transcription regulation by non coding RNAs

Kyung-Min Noh

Chromatin mechanism of neurodevelopmental disorders

Sven Pettersson

Gut microbiome dynamics responding to biological changes of its eukaryotic host

Honjung Song

Epigenetic and epitranscriptic regulation in the nervous system

Stephen Suomi

Effects of differences in early social environments on cognitive, behavioral, biological, and epigenetic development in primates

Moshe Szyf

DNA methylation mediating between experience and genome programming in the brain

Giuseppe Testa

Frontiers within: avataring human lineages for neurodevelopmental and transgenerational epigenomics