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[ANNULÉ] Villars 2020: Advances in Epigenetic and Epigenomics


CANCELED (16-18 September 2020)


Thomas Flatt, Prof., UNIFR, DPEE Director
Marta Bellone, Dr., UNIFR, DPEE coordinator


Josep Casadesus, University of Seville, ES
Vincent Colot, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, FR
Troy Day, Queen's University, Kingston (Ontario, CA)
Albert Jeltsch, Prof., University of Stuttgart, DE
Franck Johannes, Prof., Technical University of Munich, DE
John Stamatoyannopoulos, Prof., University of Washington (Seattle, WA, US)
Axel Visel, Prof., JGI, Berkley (CA, US)
Daniel Zilberman, Prof., John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK



The Villars 2020 Symposium, taking place in the beautiful village of Villars-sur-Ollon in the western Swiss Vaud Alps, will bring together internationally leading experts in epigenetics and epigenomics to discuss cutting-edge advances and recent trends in this fascinating field.


The area of epigenetics – the study of developmental and phenotypic changes that do not involve DNA sequence changes – touches upon many fundamental aspects of biology and is therefore of great interest to a large audience of biologists: development and cellular biology; gene regulation; chromatin biology; phenotypic plasticity; non-genetic inheritance; and evolutionary adaptation.


Fundamental questions that will be discussed at the meeting include for example:

- How can the same genome give raise to different cell types?

- How do epigenetic mechanisms lead to changes in chromatin structure and gene expression?

- How are environmental changes translated into epigenetic changes?

- How does epigenetics impact phenotypes and disease states?

- To what extent is epigenetic variation controlled genetically?

- How heritable and stable are epigenetic marks over time?

- What is the role of epigenetic inheritance in evolution and adaptation?


The symposium is open to PhD students from all four CUSO doctoral programs in biology (i.e., Staromics, Plant Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Ecology and Evolution). The symposium will consist of lectures by the invited experts as well as discussions with the students in smaller groups (journal club format).


General schedule:


The program of the workshop will consist of a combination of plenary talks by invited speakers and work performed in small groups, in which the participants will discuss a particular theme together with one of the invited speakers. The results of these small-group sessions will be presented to the plenum by student participants, followed by a general discussion.


Tentative tiltles of pleanry speakers:

TBA, Josep Casadesus
Plant transgenerational epigenetics, Vincent Colot
The role of natural selection and epigenetics in adaptation, Troy Day
Setting of DNA methylation patterns, Albert Jeltsch
Spontaneous epimutations in plants, Franck Johannes
TBA, John Stamatoyannopoulos
Distant-Acting Enhancers in Development, Disease, and Evolution, Axel Visel
Inheritance and function of DNA methylation within chromatin, Daniel Zilberman



Eurotel Victoria, Villars sur Ollon, CH




This activity will be postponed to 2021.


Marta Bellone
@: ecologie-evolution(at)cuso(dot)ch


Reimbursements for CUSO MPS members:

Common meals and accomodation will be arranged.
Reimbursements for CUSO MPS Students: Train ticket, 2°class, half-fare from your institution to the place of the activity.

Reimbursement form attached with original tickets has to be sent to the MPS coordinator Zoia Debora at University of Lausanne, Department of Molecular Plant Biology, Biophore - quartier UNIL-Sorge, 1015 Lausanne.
For any question concerning reimbursement please contact the CUSO MPS coordinator Debora Zoia.


10 places available for MPS students.



Registration fees:
Participants enrolled in a CUSO Biology program (namely, StarOmics, Molecular Plant Sciences, Microbiology or Ecology and evolution): the course is free. A safe deposit of 100 CHF will be demanded, and reimbursed after the workshop, if the candidate attended it. If cancellations arrives prior to the registration deadline, the deposit will be returned.

Other participants: please contact the program coordinator Marta Bellone at ecologie-evolution(at)cuso(dot)ch to seek information on the available place and participation fee.
Participation fee includes full board and accommodation for the time of the workshop.



Deadline for registration
Joint activity joint
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