To compliment the Integrating Genotype and Phenotype cluster effort, we are sponsoring an annual workshop featuring invited lectures from leaders in each field. The workshops generate excitement and discussion amongst faculty with regard to the kinds of questions that can be asked and the ways that these two traditionally independent fields can communicate.
The first workshop (2007 workshop poster) was held in February 2007. Speakers represented each field proper, with the intention to observe how well the two groups could interact. Those who attended learned a lot regarding the challenges we face, including the different languages used by each field. For example, terms such as "organismal complexity" or “epigenetic” have quite different connotations to different biologists. The workshop put a premium on the amount of time allowed for discussion, and faculty were enthusiastic to continue with this format.
The second workshop (2008 workshop poster) was held in January 2008. Speakers discussed a broad and provocative range of topics in epigenetics and evolution, with an emphasis on epigenetic phenomena that display inheritance across generations. Topics included the effect of experience and environment on behavior, genome-wide studies on chromatin marks in yeast, genomic imprinting and maternal effects in mice, and RNA silencing systems in plants.
The third workshop will be held in September 2009. It will feature a combination of speakers including some of our own new IGP faculty plus outside speakers. Details and dates to be announced.