School of Medicine & Health Sciences to host fifth annual Epigenetics & Epigenomics Symposium

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News Article

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The Fifth Annual Epigenetics & Epigenomics Symposium will be held at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) on the campus of the University of North Dakota May 7-8, 2018.

Researchers studying epigenetics explore the mechanisms that regulate gene expression and the activation and deactivation of specific genes. Improved understanding of how the human body can turn genes on and off during growth, aging, and in response to the environment has important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

Academic participants from around the region—including researchers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Arkansas, and Manitoba—will be in Grand Forks to share their research on epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease.

The symposium is sponsored by the Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) program, which was established by the National Institutes of Health to promote collaboration among researchers and strengthen research infrastructure at biomedical research institutions. The purpose of the symposium is to bring nationally recognized experts in the biomedical sciences to share their work as well as to highlight the research being accomplished at the University of North Dakota.

“The field of epigenetics is growing at a fast pace, and researchers in many fields are actively uncovering the role of epigenetics in a variety of human disorders and diseases,” noted Roxanne Vaughan, PhD, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the SMHS and principal investigator of the CoBRE grant (right). “The understanding that environment and lifestyle can impact the genome to influence how genes are expressed has driven a number of discoveries, including many obtained here at UND. This symposium is an exciting opportunity for our researchers to learn about cutting edge epigenetics research from leaders in the field and showcase their own research and form productive collaborations.”

This free symposium will be held from

1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on May 7, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 8 in the SMHS, it

i ncludes a poster session and the following keynote speakers

Jim Davie, PhD, professor, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, senior scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology, and director of the Manitoba Epigenetic Network

Mike Levine, PhD, professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

Amber Mosley, PhD, associate professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Indiana

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Brian James Schill

Assistant Director, Office of Alumni & Community Relations

University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

701.777.2733 direct | 701.777.4305 office |