Department of Microbiology & Immunology Seminar
Speaker: Dr. Tom Misteli
NIH Distinguished Investigator, Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, Director, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD
Title: “Genome Organization in Space and Time”
The genome is a major physical and functional component of every cell. In living organisms, the hereditary information, which is encoded in the one-dimensional sequence of the DNA, assumes complex three-dimensional architecture. Several fundamental principles of genome organization, such as the presence of chromatin loops and domains, non-random positions of genomic loci, the presence of sub-nuclear compartments, and the highly dynamic nature of genome architecture, are now recognized as well-established features of genomes. The convergence of genetic, biochemical, biophysical, and cell biological methods is beginning to uncover some of the molecular mechanisms that shape the organization of genomes in space and time and recent findings, based on genome-wide mapping and single-cell analysis, suggest that genomes are self-organizing systems driven by the interplay of structure and function with a high inherent degree of stochasticity. Disruption of spatial genome organization is associated with many disease states including developmental disorders, cancer and aging. The exploration of basic principles of genome organization in the context of disease promises to provide novel insight into fundamental mechanisms of genome function and has the potential to lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications in a variety of diseases.