Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

Origins and Applications of Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution


June 10-11, 2017


Stonehill College
Easton, MA


Jennifer A. Lachowiec & Brittany M. Barreto

Meeting Description

This is the first Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution. This seminar weekend is linked to a relatively new Gordon Research Conference that has received outstanding participation and reviews. Such exceptional interest is evidence that diverse scientists from different fields and countries are eager to discuss molecular mechanisms underlying evolution and how it relates to their subfield. The goal of this GRS is to bring graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and young scientists together to present new data, ideas, and questions regarding molecular mechanisms in evolution. In particular, this GRS will focus on basic investigations of how evolution works, such as mutational biases, and translational studies using evolutionary perspectives, like antibiotic resistance and cancer research. At the GRS we will provide an environment that encourages young scientists to present, debate, and support their newest ideas. Furthermore Gordon Conferences are respected as a place where scientists share their newest and most exciting unpublished data without fear of infringement by competitors; in this atmosphere of growth, young scientists will discuss cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks. Moreover this seminar weekend will include panels on career development. Young scientists will closely interact with career panelists and receive guidance and perspective on career trajectories. In sum, this intimate weekend amongst the future leaders in molecular evolution will foster career-long, interdisciplinary collaborations and, as a result, scientific achievement.

This Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution GRS will bring together scientists of diverse backgrounds. The disciplines that study evolution range from anthropology and the study of human origins to medicine and the battle against drug resistant pests. Not only are these research topics diverse, but the research methodologies are wide ranging. Population geneticists use computer programs and mathematics to study evolution while microbiologists study mutagenesis in vivo at the single cell level. All these studies of molecular mechanisms in evolution have real life implications that have led to a better understanding of cancer, infectious disease, and antibiotic and pesticide resistance. We are confident that this weekend will attract young scientists from fields of mechanistic molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, biophysics, population genetics, evo-devo, medicine, biotechnology, evolutionary biology, ecology, and crop science. Uniting scientists of varied expertise helps them to break from their specific field's paradigms and thus push discovery forward.

Related Meeting

This GRS was held in conjunction with the "Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 5:00 pmArrival and Check-in
3:30 pm - 3:45 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:45 pm - 4:30 pmSources of Genetic and Epigenetic Variation
Discussion Leader: Nina Fedoroff (OFW Law, USA)
3:45 pm - 4:05 pmMichelle Hays (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center / University of Washington, USA)
"Do Selfish Plasmids Drive Evolution in Budding Yeast?"
4:05 pm - 4:10 pmDiscussion
4:10 pm - 4:25 pmStephan Uphoff (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
"Stochastic Activation of a DNA Damage Response Causes Cell-to-Cell Variation in Mutation Rates"
4:25 pm - 4:30 pmDiscussion
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmFlexibility and Constraints on Phenotypes
Discussion Leader: Premal Shah (Rutgers University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pmMario Di Salvo (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
"Optimal Drift Time for Crossing Fitness Valleys"
7:50 pm - 7:55 pmDiscussion
7:55 pm - 8:15 pmEran Even-Tov (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
"Social Evolution Selects for Complexity in Bacteria Communication Systems"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:40 pmKerry Geiler-Samerotte (Stanford University, USA)
"Pleiotropic Effects on Single-Cell Morphology Are Mediated by Complex Relationships Among Morphological Features"
8:40 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:05 pmGeorg Hochberg (University of Chicago, USA)
"The Evolution of Independent Gene Regulatory Networks in Steroid Receptors"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmYevgeniy Plavskin (New York University, USA)
"Precise Phenotypic Measurements Reveal the Distribution of Mutational Effects in Yeast"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amBorrowing from Evolution
Discussion Leader: Devon Fitzgerald (Baylor College of Medicine, USA)
9:00 am - 9:20 amLei Dai (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
"Evolutionary Barriers of Drug Resistance in HIV-1 Protease"
9:20 am - 9:25 amDiscussion
9:25 am - 9:45 amTanush Jagdish (BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University / Kalamazoo College, USA)
"Fine-Scale Analyses of Sustained Late-Phase Adaptation in Asexual Populations"
9:45 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:10 amChristopher McFarland (Stanford University, USA)
"Traversing the Fitness Landscape of Lung Adenocarcinoma In Vivo Using Tumor Barcoding and CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Genome Editing"
10:10 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 am - 10:35 amKelsey Temprine (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA)
"Evolvability in Melanoma Mediated by DNA Polymerase Kappa"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 10:55 amAaron Cravens (Stanford University, USA)
"Reconstitution of Somatic Hypermutation in Yeast for Targeted Evolution"
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: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in Research
Discussion Leader: Jennifer Lachowiec (University of Michigan, USA)
1:30 pm - 2:20 pmRobert Root-Bernstein (Michigan State University, USA)
"Creativity and Innovation in Research"
2:20 pm - 2:30 pmDiscussion
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes
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