The EpiBrest congress 2016

Join us at EpiBrest to enhance your knowledge of epigenetics with the top European’s experts.

The EpiBrest congress 2016 is open to researchers, PhD students, clinicians and private industrials. During this meeting, we will discuss the most up-to-date research on epigenetics from marine organisms to humans, and to the newest clinical aspects in autoimmunity, metabolic diseases and cancer.

Established by the epigenetic network of the canceropole grand ouest (REpiCGO) and the team INSERM ERI29/EA2216, the EPiBrest congress 2016 is part of the epimeeting network and with the support of the Cancéropôle Grand Ouest.

We look forward seeing you in Brest on December 8-9th, 2016

Introduction to epigenetics

Used for the first time in the 1940s by Dr. C. H. Waddington, the term epigenetics reflects the impact of environmental factors on the regulation of developmental genes causing the phenotype. However, in those old days, the structure of DNA (Watson and Crick, 1954) and bases of the genetic code (1961) were not described. Now some 70 years later, the 3 billion bases of the human genome pairs are decrypted and 20,000 genes that encode all of the proteins are precisely positioned on the 23 pairs of chromosomes. However, progress in the field of genetics have little affected our understanding of the mechanisms controling gene expression and the interrelations with external factors. Under the terms of epigenetics, three processes are found. First, chromatin changes that involve in particular the histone code. Second, chemical modifications of DNA with methylation/hydroxymethylation of cytosine. Finally, the involvement of non-coding RNAs such as micro-RNAs.

The emergence of epigenetic markers, in addition to the other "omics" markers (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, etc.), opens new perspectives that allow us, now, to understand the key role played by environmental and external factors. Medical objectives of these approaches aim, therefore, first of all, to better define the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying complex diseases and thus to propose new criteria to define them. Then, it is expected, for risk groups of patients, to prevent the effects of external factors and to prevent the apparition of irreversible complications in patients at risk. Finally, new and more effective therapeutic approaches would emerge. These revolutions are even more expected as the costs related to research and development of new drugs are increasing and a significant number of patients remain little or no responders.

This conference is an opportunity for international researchers, doctoral students, medical staff and private industry to discuss the development of epigenetic drugs through a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetics, mainly in the field of cancer and autoimmunity. Thus, communications, short oral communications and posters presentations will be given in order to inform the scientific community on recent and innovative fundamental research in epigenetics field, and also in applications in medicine/clinics.