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Skirting Mendel: Non-Classical Mechanisms of Phenotypic Variation, Inheritance and Disease

Event Details
A Conference
Date: 15 Mar 2020 - 19 Mar 2020
Location: Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler, BC
Funding Area: Genetics
Recently, there have been new developments in the understanding of mechanisms that control non-genetic phenotypic variation. Referred to also as plasticity, incomplete penetrance or noise, these processes can impose dramatic shifts upon simple and complex genetic traits. Popularized examples include inter- / trans-generational reprogramming paradigms, twin disease discordance, polyphenism in insects (e.g., queen and worker bee), evolutionary capacitance, as well as bi-stability in transcriptional and biological networks. The impact of phenotypic plasticity extends from transcriptional control to population dynamics, and evolution. Finally, figuring out how these impacts affect patient responsiveness and variable disease susceptibility will also help to provide a foundation for modern personalized medicine. One unique aspect of this conference is that it will bring geneticists, chromatin biologists, (epi)genomicists, developmental biologists, mathematicians, physiologists, and a growing community of clinical scientists together for the first time as these researchers all study a component of the molecular mechanisms that establish, buffer and control phenotypic variation. Bringing such diverse disciplines together will help to enable partnerships that will catalyze understanding of trait and disease heterogeneity.