Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Epithelial Differentiation & Keratinization (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

Multicellular Interactions Underlying Adhesion, Polarity, Growth, and Disease


May 6-7, 2017


Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco
Lucca (Barga), Italy Site Information


Aaron F. Mertz

Application Deadline

The application deadline for this meeting was April 8, 2017. You may still submit an application, which may be considered by the conference chair if there is still room available.

Meeting Description


The Gordon Research Seminar on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization is a special forum for graduate students and postdocs to present results and exchange new data and cutting-edge ideas in epithelial biology, in a welcoming and collegial environment.

This meeting will survey emerging themes in signaling and multicellular interactions that contribute to generation of epithelia during development and growth and to disease states and cancer. Approaches represented will include genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and mechanics, with emphasis on interfaces of these fields. With the exception of the keynote, all talks will be selected from contributed abstracts by graduate students and postdocs. Top presenters will be invited to speak at the accompanying Gordon Research Conference. A panel discussion will offer early-career scientists perspectives on mentoring and diversity in academic science.

Application Instructions

The meeting will feature approximately 10 talks and 2 poster sessions. All attendees are expected to actively participate in the GRS either by giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster. Therefore, all applications must include an abstract.

The Chairs will select speakers from abstracts submitted by March 1, 2017. Those applicants who are not chosen for talks and those who apply after the deadline to be considered for an oral presentation will be expected to present a poster. In order to participate, you must submit an application by the date indicated in the Application Deadline section above.

Related Meeting

This GRS will be held in conjunction with the "Epithelial Differentiation & Keratinization" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRC in addition to an application for the GRS. Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

1:30 pm - 4:30 pmArrival and Check-in
3:00 pm - 3:15 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:15 pm - 4:00 pmKeynote Session: Skin Development, Homeostasis, and Function
Discussion Leader: Matthias Ruebsam (University of Cologne, Germany)
3:15 pm - 3:50 pmKathleen Green (Northwestern University, USA)
"Evolutionary Repurposing of Cadherins to Create a Better Skin Barrier"
3:50 pm - 4:00 pmDiscussion
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmDevelopment of Skin and Its Niches / Mechanisms Underlying Epidermal Homeostasis and Regeneration
Discussion Leaders: Katie Cockburn (Yale University, USA), Marja Mikkola (University of Helsinki, Finland), Paola Arcidiacono (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom) and Pantelis Rompolas (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
5:30 pm - 5:45 pmJillian Pattison (Stanford University, USA)
"Identification of the Dynamic Epigenetic Landscape Guiding Stratified Epithelial Commitment"
5:45 pm - 5:50 pmDiscussion
5:50 pm - 6:05 pmMarianne Andersen (Biotech Research and Innovation Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Svetlana Ulyanchenko (Biotech Research and Innovation Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
"Defining the Mode of Growth and Replenishment During Epidermal Appendage Formation"
6:05 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion
6:10 pm - 6:25 pmBlair Jenkins (Columbia University, USA)
"Mechanisms of Merkel Cell Innervation During Development"
6:25 pm - 6:30 pmDiscussion
6:30 pm - 6:45 pmKai Mesa (Yale University, USA)
"Live Imaging of Coordinated Epidermal Stem Cell Differentiation and Self-Renewal in Mice"
6:45 pm - 6:50 pmDiscussion
6:50 pm - 7:05 pmEmmi Wachsmuth (CECAD, University of Cologne, Germany)
"Regulation of Epidermal Barrier Function: Roles for Insulin/IGF-1R and p38 Stress Kinase Signaling"
7:05 pm - 7:10 pmDiscussion
7:10 pm - 7:25 pmRosa Ventrella (Northwestern University, USA)
"EphA2 Transmembrane Domain Governs Receptor Membrane Distribution and Differentiation-Associated Signaling in Keratinocytes"
7:25 pm - 7:30 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amCrosstalk Between Epithelia and Other Niches / Epithelial Disease, Cancer, and Novel Therapeutic Approaches
Discussion Leaders: Jamie Schwendinger-Schreck (University of California, Berkeley, USA), Sandra Iden (University of Cologne, Germany), Markus Eberl (University of Michigan, USA) and Aron Jaffe (Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, USA)
9:00 am - 9:15 amSamantha Larsen (The Rockefeller University, USA) and Shruti Naik (The Rockefeller University, USA)
"Memory of Inflammation in Epidermal Stem Cells"
9:15 am - 9:20 amDiscussion
9:20 am - 9:35 amEmanuel Rognoni (Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King's College London, United Kingdom)
"Dissecting the Fibroblast Subpopulations During Dermal Maturation and Wound Healing"
9:35 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amBrett Shook (Yale University, USA)
"Dermal Adipocyte Lipolysis Is Required for Multiple Aspects of Skin Regeneration"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:15 amAna Sastre-Perona (New York University School of Medicine, USA)
"Defining a Transcriptional Network that Governs Self-Renewal and Differentiation in Squamous Cell Carcinoma"
10:15 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 amAnkur Sharma (Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore)
"Single-Cell RNA-seq Reveals Divergent Evolutionary Modes of Drug Resistance in Oral SCC"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 10:55 amWenbo Wu (National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China)
"Efficient In Vivo Gene Editing Using Ribonucleoproteins in Skin Stem Cells of Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Mouse Model"
10:55 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 12:30 pmPoster Session

Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmMentorship Component: Career Panel
Discussion Leader: Aaron Mertz (Rockefeller University, USA)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmPanel Discussion
"Careers and Diversity in Science in Academia and Industry"
  • Sandra Iden (University of Cologne, Germany)
  • Aron Jaffe (Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, USA)
  • Marja Mikkola (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Pantelis Rompolas (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Kathleen Green (Northwestern University, USA)
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by (1 R13AR71766-01) from the National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and all co-funding support provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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