Detailed information about the course

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Villars Meeting 2021: Advances in Epigenetic and Epigenomics


Dates to define


Marta Bellone, Dr., CUSO Ecology and Evolution Coordinator, University of Fribourg
Thomas Flatt, Prof., University of Fribourg


3 Overseas (to be confirmed)
5 European (to be confirmed)


The Villars 2021 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).


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.



Eurotel Victoria, Villars sur Ollon, CH




This course is organized in collaboration with the CUSO Doctoral Programs in Microbiology, Ecology and Evolution and StarOmics).


Deadline for Registration: TBA

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
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