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Genome Integrity Discussion Group June 2014

Genome Integrity Discussion Group June 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


The greater New York Metropolitan area has become a leading center for research on chromosome biology and function, as well as for research at the interface between chromosome integrity and onset and progression of malignancy. The connection between cancer and genome integrity is widely appreciated, and the concentration of excellence in this field is unparalleled anywhere in the world. The Genome Integrity meetings are designed to provide a forum for interactions between the many basic science and clinically-oriented research groups working on these issues. We feel that these interactions will not only facilitate synergy between labs, but also provide a context in which previously unappreciated complementarities will be revealed.

In that spirit, the talks will cover a broad range of areas, including, but not limited to the DNA damage response and cancer predisposition, DNA replication, transcription, chromatin modification, recombination, cell cycle control, telomeres, chromosome segregation, epigenetic states, as well as the emergence of new technologies relevant to research in genome integrity. Although a primary focus is upon basic mechanisms and processes, these areas are pertinent to cancer and myriad human disease states, and it is expected that this will be reflected in the substance of our discussions.

Genome Integrity Discussion Group meetings are organized under the leadership of John Petrini (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Susan Smith (NYU Langone Medical Center) and Lorraine Symington (Columbia University). The year-end meeting includes a scientific symposium with a keynote presentation from 1:30 to 4:30 PM, followed by a poster session and networking reception from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.

*Reception to follow.

Registration Pricing

Student/Postdoc Member$0
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$20

The Genome Integrity Discussion Group is proudly supported by

  • Columbia University MC HICCC
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Rockefeller University

Mission Partner support for the Frontiers of Science program provided by Pfizer


* Presentation titles and times are subject to change.

June 2, 2014

1:30 PM

Susan Smith

1:40 PM

Keynote address
Telomeres and the Challenges to Chromosome Integrity: Surprising Means and Ends
Julie Cooper, PhD, National Cancer Institute, NIH

2:30 PM

Coffee break and poster set-up

3:10 PM

Regulation of Recombination at the Nuclear Periphery
Dongxu Lin, PhD (King Lab, Yale University)

3:30 PM

Loss of ATRX Leads to Persistent Sister Telomere Cohesion that is Essential for Regulation of Telomere Recombination in ALT Tumor Cells
Mahesh Ramamoorthy, PhD (Smith Lab, NYU Langone Medical Center)

3:50 PM

Functions of the Mre11 Complex in Female Meiosis
Akiko Inagaki, PhD (Petrini Lab, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

4:10 PM

Evolutionary Dynamics of Meiotic Recombination Initiation Hotspots in Saccharomyces Species
Isabel Lam (Keeney Lab, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

4:30 PM

Poster Session and Networking Reception

6:00 PM




John Petrini, PhD

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Susan Smith, PhD

NYU Langone Medical Center

Lorraine Symington, PhD

Columbia University Medical Center

Keynote Speaker

Julie Cooper, PhD

National Cancer Institute, NIH

Julia Promisel Cooper is head of the Telomere Biology Section of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute. After PhD work with Paul Hagerman at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and postdoctoral work with Robert Simpson at the NIH, she joined Nobel Laureate Tom Cech's laboratory at the University of Colorado, where she began her journey to the end of the chromosome. She spent a year in Nobel Laureate Paul Nurse's laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London before setting up her lab, first at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver, then at Cancer Research UK in London, and since October 2013 at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. Julie's honors include a Pew Scholarship and elected membership in the European Molecular Biology Organization.


Akiko Inagaki, PhD

Petrini Lab, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Akiko Inagaki is a postdoc at MSKCC in the lab of John Petrini. She received her PhD degree in Reproduction and Development at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. She currently studies functions of the Mre11 complex in female meiosis.

Isabel Lam

Keeney Lab, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Isabel Lam is a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Keeney at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she studies meiotic recombination in Saccharomyces species. She obtained a B.A. in Biology from New York University, and performed undergraduate research on DNA repair mechanisms with Dr. Hannah Klein at NYU Langone Medical Center. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she conducted research on axon-glial interactions and myelination as a technician in the laboratory of Dr. James Salzer at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Dongxu Lin, PhD

King Lab, Yale University

Dr. Lin received a B.S. in Microbiology (Biotechnology) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing. While a graduate student at CAU, Dr. Lin analyzed the molecular diversity, ecology and evolution relationships of bacteria isolated from two herbal legumes and proposed two novel bacterial species. In the summer of 2007 he conducted studies involving high pH stress resistance and discovered a novel potassium related function of putative sugar ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

After graduating from CAU in 2008 Dr. Lin became a post-doctoral research fellow at Molecular and Human Genetics department of Baylor College of Medicine where he brought environmental stress research into genomic level. In 2011 his work on stress-induced chromosomal structural changes was published on PLoS Genetics. Then he went to Cell Biology department of Yale University in the Winter of 2011 as a postdoctoral research associate continue to pursue his career on how cells adapt to stress change at cellular level.

Mahesh Ramamoorthy, PhD

Smith Lab, NYU Langone Medical Center

Mahesh Ramamoorthy received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Microbiology from Bharathiar University, Tamil Nadu, India in 2002. He did his doctoral studies in Biochemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University (2004-2008) where he worked on the MDM2 gene and its function in the Akt signaling pathway. In his first postdoctoral stint with Dr. Vilhelm Bohr (2009-2012) he worked on DNA repair mechanisms at the National Institute on Aging. In 2012, he joined Dr. Susan Smith's lab at NYU. He is currently working on Telomere Biology.


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The Genome Integrity Discussion Group is proudly supported by

  • Columbia University MC HICCC
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Rockefeller University

Mission Partner support for the Frontiers of Science program provided by Pfizer


Keynote Speaker Abstract
Telomeres and the Challenges to Chromosome Integrity: Surprising Ends and Means

Julie Cooper, PhD, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Telomeres and centromeres are the most prominent examples of chromosomal domains that play key roles in preserving genome stability. Our recent studies have led us to reconsider the distinctness of these chromosomal landmarks and widen our view of telomere and centromere function. We will discuss one example of how non-telomeric chromatin takes on the roles of 'classical' telomeres and one example of a 'non-classical' role for telomeres. We recently identified a mode of telomerase-minus survival, 'HAATI' (Heterochromatin Amplification-mediated And Telomerase-Independent), in which linear chromosomes are maintained without telomeres. In HAATI cells, tracts of generic heterochromatin jump to all chromosome ends and acquire the ability to protect them from fusion and degradation. We will present recent data on how the HAATI state is established, highlighting the role of noncoding RNAs in dictating the fates of unprotected chromosome ends. We will then discuss an unforeseen role for telomeres, observed by examining telomere function during meiosis. We find that meiotic centromeres are prone to disassembly - a property that may be common to any cell type undergoing genome-wide chromatin remodeling. Intriguingly, the fission yeast telomere bouquet has evolved to contact centromeres and facilitate their assembly during this precarious period. These observations raise exciting questions about how nuclear microenvironments control cell cycle progression.

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