The Inaugural PiCLS PhD Symposium is a new and exciting event, which is run by students – for students. Our emphasis is on bringing the different areas of life sciences together, allowing students to understand and appreciate them.We will be having a wide range of renowned guest speakers from across Europe, all prominent scientists in their fields, including: Susan Gasser, Seth Grant, Peter Lund, with our plenary speaker being Matthias Mann.

The College of Life Sciences' PhD Association (PiCLS) was established in November 2008 to facilitate networking between PhD students in different subject areas. We are achieving this through focussed academic events such as meaningful and interesting seminars and retreats, whilst reinforcing newly established interconnections through social events.

The College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is an internationally recognised institution, and is regularly listed as one of the best places for life science research in Europe. We have a wide range of research, encompassing many different areas of molecular biology; from protein phosphorylation, cell and developmental biology, to drug development for treatment of neglected tropical diseases. The college also has an important role in the community by collaborating with many of the local biotechnology companies, which account for ~16% of local jobs, as well as with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for treatment of diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

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Pete Downes

Professor Pete Downes
Principal & Vice Chancellor

PiCLS is holding its first student symposium on the 12-13 May 2010 and I must congratulate the organisers who have assembled a truly superb line-up of confirmed external speakers. It is so good, in fact, that I plan to attend myself, not just to perform the Principal's usual job of welcoming participants, but to listen to many of the lectures and student talks. But don't let that put you off; I will be keeping a very low profile. This symposium is really for you, the students, to show your enthusiasm and to test your ideas in a friendly, but high powered setting. It is a great opportunity to share your work with your peers and some of the world's top scientists.

I am also pleased to see there will be a business talk by Michael Pritchard of Cypex, Dundee. Ensuring that your research can have an impact on society is something I am passionate about and all research students should be aware of the wide range of opportunities that await them beyond the PhD. Last of all, science is not just about work, but involving lasting friendships and having fun together so please make sure you attend the symposium and don't miss out on the fun to be had at the dinner and ceilidh.

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Programme

Wed, 12 / 05 / 2010

09:00 Registration/Coffee
1st session - Chair: Alexander Striebeck
10:00 Introduction by Prof Michael Ferguson, University of Dundee
10:10

Paolo Comoglio, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Turin

The Met oncogene drives a genetic program for invasive growth

10:55

Pete Lund, University of Birmingham

Two rings to fold them all - is multimerisation needed for chaperonin-assitsed protein folding?

Pete Lund's talk is sponsored by the Society for General Microbiology

11:40

Business talk by Michael Pritchard, Cypex, Dundee

From post-doc to executive director: personal experience of setting up a bioscience company

12:25 Lunch and poster presentation
2nd session - Chair: Michelle Stevense
14:30

Paul O'Higgins, Hull York Medical School, York

Craniofacial Form and Function; Morphometrics, Functional Modelling and Statistics

15:15

Susan Gasser, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biochemical Research, Basel

Programming the Nucleus

16:00 Coffee
3rd session - Chair: Nishal Patel
16:20 Patrick van Uden
16:40 Michelle Stevense
17:00 Margarethe Draga
17:20 Nazan Saner
17:40

Plenary speaker Matthias Mann, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried

Technology and Application of Quantitative and High Resolution Proteomics

Matthias Mann's talk is sponsored by the CLS Proteomics Unit

19:30

Dinner at Invercarse Hotel followed by a Ceilidh with Sounds Braw Ceilidh Band

Thu, 13 / 05 / 2010

4th session - Chair: Sabine Grahl
09:00

Ottoline Leyser, University of York

Hormonal Control of Shoot Branching

09:45

Phillip Hawkins, Babraham Institute, Cambridge

Signalling via PI3Ks in Neutrophils

Phillip Hawkins talk is sponsored by the British Society for Cell Biology

10:30 Coffee
10:50 Announcement of poster prize by Pete Downes, University of Dundee
11:10 Miles Dixon
11:30 Daniel Klotz
11:50 Max Fritsch
12:10 Daniel Hain
12:30 Lunch
5th session - Chair: Helena Salmen
13:15

Andras Falus, Semmelweis University, Budapest

Histamine is a relevant player in immune response and tumour growth

14:00

David Grimwade, King's College London

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia: Disease pathogenesis and development of molecularly targeted treatment approaches

14:45 Coffee
15:00

Seth Grant, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Cognition and its origins in the evolution of synapse

15:45 Announcment of the best Talk prize by Paul Crocker, University of Dundee
15:50 Conclusion by Priyanka Tibarewal (PiCLS Chair)
16:00 Wine reception

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Speakers

Matthias Mann

Matthias Mann

Technology and Application of Quantitative and High Resolution Proteomics

Matthias Mann's talk is sponsored by the CLS Proteomics Unit

Time: 12/05, 17:40

The technology of mass spectrometry-based proteomics has advanced tremendously over the last few years and it is now possible to identify and quantify entire proteomes (de Godoy et al. Nature, 2008). As importantly, many post-translational modifications can be quantitatively studied by mass spectrometry. In the case of phosphorylation, where more than 10,000 sites can be quantified after perturbations such as cytokine stimulation or DNA damage. Furthermore, large-scale quantitation of the ‘lysine acetylome’ implicates this modification in a multitude of cellular processes (Choudhary et al. Science, 2009). Finally, possible applications of quantitative proteomics to clinical studies will be described.

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Paolo Comoglio

Paolo Comoglio

The Met oncogene drives a genetic program for invasive growth

Time: 12/05, 10:10

The tyrosine kinase encoded by the MET oncogene is the switch for a genetic program called “invasive growth” that includes cell scattering, invasion, protection from apoptosis and angiogenesis. In a large variety of cancers deregulated activation of MET, therefore, is a powerful expedient for cancer dissemination. In fewer instances, MET itself can also be the transforming agent, genetically selected for the long-term maintenance of the primary transformed phenotype. In this case, some tumors appear to be addicted to MET continued activity for their relentless growth. Because of its dual role as an adjuvant metastogene for some tumor types and as a necessary oncogene for some others, MET is a versatile candidate for targeted therapeutic intervention. Recent progress of the lab in the development of antibodies or drugs that inhibit MET function will be reviewed. Their rational application in a subset of human tumors potentially responsive to MET targeted therapies will be discussed.

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Peter Lund

Pete Lund

Two rings to fold them all - is multimerisation needed for chaperonin-assisted protein folding?

Time: 12/05, 10:55

The strength of a scientific hypothesis can be gauged by its success at withstanding attempts to falsify it, rather than merely by the extent of data that supports it. In our studies on chaperone-assisted protein folding in bacteria, we have questioned the hypothesis that chaperonin proteins, typified by E. coli GroEL, act solely as oligomers of fourteen sub-units arranged in two rings with seven-fold symmetry. Initially we studied the possibility that chaperonins could act as single rings, and a combination of genetic and biophysical approaches convinces us that indeed they can. More recently, we have investigated the chaperonins of Mycobacteria which have been reported to act as monomers or dimers. Our results show that this is in fact very unlikely to be the case, but at the same time present us with an intriguing question: what do we really know about the functional state of proteins (and by extension, other molecules) inside living cells?

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Michael Pritchard

Michael Pritchard

From post-doc to executive director: personal experience of setting up a bioscience company

Time: 12/05, 11:40

How do you create a successful company from technology developed in an academic life science laboratory? How do you manage the personal transition from bench to boardroom? Despite the increased awareness of entrepreneurship through television programmes such as "Dragons' Den", these questions will still seem daunting to many academic researchers. In this presentation I will try and explain the spin-out process, based on my personal experience of setting up Cypex, a spin-out company from the University of Dundee.

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Paul O'Higgins

Paul O'Higgins

Craniofacial Form and Function; Morphometrics, Functional Modelling and Statistics

Time: 12/05, 14:30

During both evolution and development, craniofacial form is often said to relate to function; is there a coherent approach that we can develop to exploration of such hypothesized relationships? Recent mathematical, statistical and computational advances for the study of form and function are beginning to synergise, making a 21st century toolkit for the analysis of form-function relationships. Thus geometric morphometric methods enable the analysis of covariances with form and connect with modern graphical tools to provide realistic visualizations. These can also be thought of as virtual representations of predicted form. Where the covariates are biomechanically interesting variables then these virtual predictions are usefully subjected to mechanical modelling and simulation both as a test of the predictions and to understand their mechanical function. This is virtual, quantitative functional morphology in its infancy; there are many other interesting ways in which these computational toolkits can synergise and an exploration of these links will form the core of this presentation.

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Susan Gasser

Susan Gasser

Programming the Nucleus

Time: 12/05, 15:15

We study how the higher-order organization of chromatin in chromosomes and interphase nuclei affects genomic function. Chromosomes are organized into domains of active and inactive chromatin, often called eu- and heterochromatin. We have examined heterochromatic domains in yeast by characterizing the biochemical structure of the transcriptionally silent, SIR-complexed nucleosomal fiber, and its subnuclear positioning. The peripheral anchoring of yeast silent chromatin forms foci that favor repression locally by creating a zone enriched for silencing factors. On the other hand, active genes can also be tethered at nuclear pores, through their promoter elements and SAGA, as well as through nascent RNA chains.

We recently explored whether nuclear organization changes during the development of differentiated tissues. We explored whether the localization of genes facilitates the proper expression of cell-type specific genes during the development in C. elegans.

Low-copy integrated transgenes that contain arrays of LacO sites, and developmentally regulated promoters (myo-3::mCherry or pha-4::mCherry-H2B) were visualized in living embryos and worms that express LacI-GFP. In early embryos, transgenes bearing inactive tissue-specific promoters were randomly distributed throughout nuclear space. Over the course of differentiation, we observed spatial segregation of the transgenes, depending on their transcriptional status. Inactive silent transgenes shift to be highly enriched at the nuclear periphery while active promoters are sequestered internally. This is true for at least four tissues.

Unlike these low-copy number transgenes, integrated arrays with a large number of transgenes, derived form gonadal injection, were seen to accumulate heterochromatic marks (H3K9me3 and H3K27me3). These silent domains were found attached to the nuclear periphery in both embryos and adult worms due to their silent state. However, similar to low-copy transgenes, the activation of a developmentally regulated promoter can overcome the peripheral anchoring of the repetitive arrays in a tissue-specific manner. The worm has only one lamin gene, which forms a perinuclear meshwork as in mammalian cells. We tested both loss of lamin and specific point mutations for their effect on array position. Lamin mutations alter the spatial organization of heterochromatic arrays, and one specific mutation, which confers Emery Dreyfuss muscular dystrophy in humans, specifically interfered with the subnuclear repositioning of a muscle-specific promoter array in muscle. This mutation further interfered with the induction of array-borne myo-3 promoter and led to phenotypes that were both morphologically and phenotypically similar to the human disease. We conclude that nuclear organization is cell type specific, is driven by cell type specific promoters, and maintained by the lamina, which helps ensure proper transcriptional control in differentiated cells.

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Ottoline Leyser

Ottoline Leyser

Hormonal Control of Shoot Branching

Time: 13/05, 09:00

A unique feature of plant development is the ability to alter body plan in response to environmental conditions. A spectacular example is in the control of shoot branching. The primary shoot axis is derived from the shoot apical meristem, which produces successive leaves and stem segments. Lateral branches arise from secondary shoot apical meristems established in the axil of each leaf. These axillary meristems can arrest as a small bud or they can activate and produce a lateral branch. The activation decision involves assessment of a wide range of external environmental, internal physiological and developmental factors, giving the shoot extraordinary developmental plasticity. Much of this information is transmitted via a network of interacting hormonal signals that can integrate multiple inputs to generate a rich source of systemically transmitted information, locally interpreted. We are combining molecular and biochemical analysis with whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics and computational modelling to study this system in the hope of learning how it encodes developmental plasticity.

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Phillip Hawkins

Phillip Hawkins

Signalling via PI3Ks in Neutrophils

Phillip Hawkins talk is sponsored by the British Society for Cell Biology

Time: 13/05, 09:45

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling pathways are now accepted to be widely important in the mechanisms by which cell surface receptors regulate critical intracellular functions, such as cell growth, survival and movement. PI3Ks signal by synthesising phospholipid messengers, which co-ordinate the regulation of target proteins at specific membrane locations. We have been trying to understand how these lipid messengers regulate cellular responses in mammalian neutrophils. Neutrophils are critical components of our immune system, responsible for the phagocytosis and destruction of microbial pathogens, particularly bacteria and fungi, but their inappropriate activation is thought to damage host tissue in many inflammatory pathologies. Fully differentiated neutrophils display several PI3K-regulated responses which underlie this biology and which can be measured accurately in vitro (such as phagocytosis, NADPH oxidase activation, chemotaxis and adhesion) and in vivo (using animal models of inflammation and infection). We have recently been using a combination of mouse transgenic models and small molecule, isoform-selective PI3K inhibitors to define the molecular pathways which link different cell surface receptors to the activation of specific PI3Ks during these responses.

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Andras Falus

Andras Falus

Histamine is a Relevant Player in Immune Response and Tumour Growth

Time: 13/05, 13:15

The role of histamine in local immune response and on tumour growth is still not fully uncovered. In this lecture first an overview will be given on the effect of histamine in immune response. Second, the phenotype of a L-histidine decarboxylase (HDC) gene targeted mouse strain will be characterized. Third, the role of histamine will be demonstrated in tumor (melanoma) growth using mouse melanoma cells manipulated via stable transfection with sense mouse HDC mRNA, a mock control, and an antisense HDC RNA segment, respectively. Gene expression profiles and in silico pathway analysis of transgenic mouse melanomas,secreting different amounts of histamine show a histamine H1 receptor dependent suppression of expression of the tumor suppressor insulin-like growth factor II receptor and the antiangiogenic matrix protein fibulin-5.

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David Grimwade

David Grimwade

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia: Disease pathogenesis and development of molecularly targeted treatment approaches

Time: 13/05, 14:00

Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) is one of the commonest forms of acute myeloid leukaemia and is characterised by a balanced translocation between chromosomes 15 and 17, leading to fusion of the genes encoding Retinoic Acid Receptor Alpha (RARα) and the ProMyelocytic Leukaemia (PML) protein. The resultant PML-RARα oncoprotein leads to transcriptional repression of genes involved in myeloid differentiation, but in addition has a dramatic impact on nuclear architecture, disrupting PML nuclear body structures that have been implicated in regulation of growth and genomic stability, potentially cooperating to induce the leukaemic phenotype. Over the past two decades there have been substantial improvements in the outcome for patients with APL following the identification of agents (i.e. all-transretinoic acid [ATRA] and arsenic trioxide) that directly target the PML-RARα fusion protein. The work of our research group has focused upon molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of the t(15;17) that is a critical initiating lesion in the pathogenesis of APL and the development of molecular monitoring strategies to allow more individualized treatment approaches.

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Seth Grant

Seth Grant

Cognition and its origins in the evolution of synapse

Time: 13/05, 15:00

Beneath the complexity of the human brain are molecular principles shaped by evolution explaining the origins of the behavioural repertoire. The role of the nervous system is to provide a repertoire of behaviours allowing the animal to respond and adapt to changing environments over the course of its life. Multiprotein complexes in the postsynaptic terminal of synapses control adaptive and cognitive processes in metazoan nervous systems. These multiprotein complexes are organised into molecular networks that detect and respond to patterns of neural activity. Combinations of proteins are use to build different complexes and pathways producing great diversity. These complexes evolved from an ancestral core set of proteins controlling adaptive behaviours in unicellular organisms known as the protosynapse. Later expansion in numbers and interactions resulted in more complex synapses in invertebrates and vertebrates. The resultant combinatorial complexity has contributed to the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and behavioural diversity of these species. Mutations in genes encoding the complexes results in many human diseases of the nervous system. This general mechanism of cognition provides a useful template for studying evolution of behaviour in all animals.

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Venue

The Inaugural PiCLS PhD Symposium will take place in the Dalhousie Building on Dundee University campus (Number 14 on the map)

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Registration

Deadline for external attendants: 20th April 2010

External attendants

If you are a member of a university or institute other than the College of Life Sciences we ask you to attend the Conference Dinner. This results in a registration fee of £70. To register just follow these simple steps:

  1. Follow this link and register for the Symposium
  2. After you successfully finished the payment, please send an email to the Symposium Committee or Sabine Grahl including the following information
    • Name
    • Organisation you belong to (i.e. university, etc.)
    • Status (i.e. PhD, post-doc, etc.)
    • Title, Abstract and Author if you wish to present a poster (Biochemical Society will reward the best poster with £300. The British Society for Immunology will reward the third place with £100.)
    • If you need accommodation please let us know. We are happy to help you find a place to stay.
      (Subject to availability. Prices are flexible, depending on booking time.)
  3. Wait for confirmation from the Symposium Committee

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Sponsors

The Inaugural PiCLS PhD Symposium is sponsored by:






CHIPS Dundee
CLS Proteomics Unit Dundee







PiCLS and the PhD Symposium Comittee thanks all the sponsors.

Are you interested to advertise your company during the Inaugural PiCLS PhD Symposium? Find out more about our sponsorship tariffs and book a package today.

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Organizers

Priyanka Tibarewal
Robert Bone
Sabine Grahl
Orsolya Leidecker
Nishal Patel
Helena Salmen
Laura Spinelli
Alexander Striebeck
Nimmi Weerasinghe

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Contact us

E-mail: PhDSymposium@dundee.ac.uk

Internet: http://www.phd.eu.com/

Phone: Gail Guild 0044 - (0)1382 - 384880

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