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New Mexico Bioinformatics, Science, & Technology (NMBIST) Symposium March 17-18

The New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NM-INBRE) and the National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) has announced announced the 11th annual New Mexico Bioinformatics, Science and Technology (NMBIST) symposium to be held March 17-18, 2016 at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The symposium will cover cutting-edge advances in epigenomics, RNA machinery, and single-cell omics. Cells use multiple mechanisms to turn genes on and off, allowing an organism to develop, function and respond to its environment. While cells contain the same genetic information they use sophisticated controls to specialize (e.g., as a heart, brain, or eye cell). They can add chemical tags to DNA to influence gene expression without affecting the gene's "code." Studying these tags and the resulting gene expression patterns is termed epigenomics. Another mechanism for regulation is through the machinery that interacts with genes and their expressed copies (messenger RNA). This machinery, itself made primarily from RNA and/or protein, includes the ribosome, which converts messenger RNA into protein, small and long non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, the spliceosome, which joins together RNA segments from the same gene in different arrangements to create a variety of proteins, and the exosome that eliminates RNAs that are defective or no longer needed and/or tranfers informational molecules from one region of the body to another. The results of gene regulation include cells that can be highly differentiated despite being in the same tissue or even adjacent to each other. Recent technological advances have enabled the sequencing of tiny amounts of DNA and RNA, allowing researchers to sequence a single cell and elucidate its unique properties. These three exciting areas of study: epigenomics, RNA machinery, and single-cell omics, are revolutionizing our capacity to address research and medical questions with a new level of precision.

The keynote speaker this year, Dr. Susan Gottessman, is a pioneer in the field of post-transcriptional regulation and will be addressing the role of non-coding RNA in translational regulation and messenger RNA stability. Dr. Carol Wilusz, Dr. Fu-Sen Liang, and Dr. Darren Hagen will discuss the role of post-transcriptional control in various organisms. Dr. Matthew Fields will address how microbes modulate their gene expression in order to survive in complex ecosystems and maximize their bioremediation and biofuel potential.

Dr. Scott Jackson will address the role of transposons in regulation of gene diversification and epigenetic programming. Drs. Blainey, Vidali and Islam will share cutting-edge tools and methods used to study regulation at the single cell level. Dr. Crasto will share his experiences in developing an on-line teaching methodology for bioinformatics.

The goal of the conference is to provide a magnet event in the Southwest region on the latest in life sciences, bioinformatics, computation, and technology. The event offers students the opportunity to present their research and speak at the plenary session.

Major funding is provided by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Additional sponsors this year include Bio-Rad, Roche, Perkin Elmer, Diagenode, Agilent Technologies, Dovetail Genomics, the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Texas Tech University Center for Biotechnology and Genomics, and the Colorado State University Transdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Biosensing and Computational Biology.

[Press release] [Invitation]