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FASEB Conference on Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements: Michael Lichten

As part of its mission to encourage engagement within the genetics community, PLOS Genetics is sponsoring a number of conferences and meetings this year. In order to raise awareness about these conferences and the researchers who attend them we are featuring a number of these conferences on Biologue.

PLOS Genetics is sponsoring the FASEB Science Research Conference on Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements, to be held in Steamboat Springs, CO on July 19-24, 2015. We asked Michael Lichten, Associate Editor at PLOS Genetics, about what he is looking forward to in the upcoming meeting.

I’m Michael Lichten, Associate Editor at PLOS Genetics, PLOS Biology and PLOS ONE, and a principal investigator at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. Co-organizer Tanya Paull (University of Texas, Austin, TX) and I are organizing the FASEB Science Research Conference on Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements, to be held in Steamboat Springs, CO on July 19-24, 2015. This conference is the 16th in a conference series that for the past 30 years has been presenting cutting-edge, unpublished research on the mechanisms that maintain integrity of the genome and that ensure its faithful transmission from one generation to the next.  It’s also been a great venue for a different kind of transmission; a place where young researchers and those who are more established in the field can get together in a relaxed, informal setting to get to know one another and to exchange ideas.

Fish Creek Falls, near Steamboat Springs. One of the places where meeting participants have been known to meet informally for scientific discussions. (Image credit: Michael Lichten)
Fish Creek Falls, near Steamboat Springs. One of the places where meeting participants have been known to meet informally for scientific discussions. Image credit: Michael Lichten

The 2015 conference program includes eight plenary sessions that address a wide range of topics, including the structure and biochemistry of recombination proteins, molecular mechanisms of recombination and repair, the relationship between recombination and replication, networks that regulate recombination and repair, the chromatin and nuclear contexts in which recombination occurs, and the impact of recombination on genome stability. A similarly broad range of approaches will be included, from single-molecule analyses, structural studies, in vitro and in vivo biochemistry, live-cell imaging, to whole-genome analysis of mutations and genome rearrangements.

One of the great things about this and other FASEB conferences is the opportunity they offer to researchers at all career stages to meet and discuss science. In the 2015 meeting, we’ve included several features to promote this. Every participant will have the opportunity to present in either a platform talk or a poster session, and this year we’ve expanded the number of platform talks, so that more than one in five talks will be selected from abstracts. In addition, if space permits, we’re planning to have all posters up for the duration of the meeting, so that there will be extra time for informal discussions, in addition to formal poster sessions. There’s also a networking session (called “Meet the Experts”), scheduled for lunch and early afternoon on the second day, so that graduate students and postdocs can meet with speakers for informal discussions—but there’s also plenty of free time for even more informal conversations.

The FASEB conference on Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements has always been one of my favorite meetings, because of its relatively small size (<200), pleasant environment, and high-level science. If you are interested in attending, please visit the conference website (http://www.faseb.org/SRC-Gene/Home.aspx) for more information.

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