Jennifer Durant-Vesga, Heidelberg, 25-28 August 2018
Transcription and Chromatin EMBL conference
2nd year PhD student with Jean-François Riou, IBPS, Paris
There I was at the EMBL Advanced Training center, a high-tech building assigned to hold the most important conference on transcription of the year.
I remember pasting my poster on the designated spot #129. “Role of hox transcription factors and TALE cofactors in the renal precursor’s specification of Xenopus pronephros”. Quite humble I thought while looking at the program on my smartphone via the sophisticated EMBL events app. Only big shots as speakers and outstanding researchers from all over the world gathered there to share their knowledge.
The conference’s organization was impeccable we had a pre-conference which was pretty much an update of the most recent launches in scientific research engines. Then the talks began, some of them given by legends like Michael Levine who talked about transcriptional hubs and his studies on transvection by live imaging methods to visualize enhancers that can co-activate separate reporter genes in cis and trans across homologous chromosomes. Transcription and chromatin was a gender-balanced conference. I was amazed seeing so many women group leaders like Minna Kaikkonen, who use Gro- seq to identify pri-RNAs and enhancers and Karen Adelman working on eRNAs who pointed at the difficulty to study their function due to their lack of transcriptional progressivity. Throughout the venue, networking was highly encouraged. We all had the opportunity to exchange with experts, young scientists, and even companies. Remarkably during the poster session where I could receive valuable feedback from experts in Hox or Xenopus from Duboule’s, Krumlauf’s, and Veenstra’s Lab.
Thanks SFBD and André Picard for such an unforgettable opportunity!