Forty Years of mRNA Splicing:
From Discovery to Therapeutics

October 22 - 25, 2017
Registration Deadline:  September 29


Mila Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Phil Sharp, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joan Steitz, Yale University/HHMI 

The discovery of mRNA splicing in 1977 established a new step in the central dogma of molecular biology, the “flow” of genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein product. Our meeting will focus on forty years of advances in this field with topics such as the spliceosome, alternative RNA splicing, diseases related to RNA splicing and therapeutics focused on RNA splicing. The meeting will encompass discussions not only of what has already been accomplished, but also how this history continues to shape the future.  
This meeting will be the seventh in a series organized by the CSHL Meeting and Courses Department together with Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. We have invited speakers who made many of the seminal discoveries that began the field, as well as those who are working in the field now. Like the previous meetings in the series, this meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to look in depth at a topic and to share the stories that are often missing from academic accounts.

The meeting will be held in Grace Auditorium at Cold Spring Harbor commencing 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 22, and finish Tuesday after dinner, with departures the following morning, October 25, after breakfast.

Themes include:
  • History and Overview
  • Biology of Spliceosome
  • Introns, Exons and Alternative splicing
  • Spliceosome Complexes
  • Diseases of mRNA splicing
  • Therapeutic approaches to mRNA Splicing diseases
Session Chairs:
Manuel Ares, University of California, Santa Cruz
James Darnell, The Rockefeller University
Walter Gilbert, Harvard University
Ryszard Kole, Sarepta Therapeutics
Iain Mattaj, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
Claire Moore, Tufts University
Timothy Nilsen, Case Western Reserve University
Stuart Orkin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Charles Query, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Michael Rosbash, Brandeis University
Woan-Yuh Tarn, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Confirmed Speakers:
John Abelson, California Institute of Technology
Jean Beggs, University of Edinburgh, UK
Douglas Black, University of California, Los Angeles
Benjamin Blencowe, University of Toronto, Canada
Christopher Burge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Soo-Chen Cheng, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Louise Chow, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Nathaniel Comfort, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Darnell, The Rockefeller University/HHMI/NY Genome Center
Gideon Dreyfuss, HHMI, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Xiang-Dong Fu, University of California, San Diego
Mariano Garcia-Blanco, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Richard Gelinas, Institute for Systems Biology
Brenton Graveley, University of Connecticut Health Center
Michael Green, University of Massachusetts/HHMI
Christine Guthrie, University of California, San Francisco
Nouria Hernandez, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Magda Konarska, The Rockefeller University
Alberto Kornblihtt, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Adrian Krainer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Reinhard Luehrmann, Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Germany
Kristen Lynch, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Maniatis, Columbia University
James Manley, Columbia University
Melissa Moore, Moderna Therapeutics
Kiyoshi Nagai, MRC, UK
Karla Neugebauer, Yale University
Richard Padgett, Cleveland Clinic
Nikolaus Rajewsky, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Germany
Richard Roberts, New England BioLabs
Phillip Sharp, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yigong Shi, Tsinghua University, China
David Spector, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Jon Staley, University of Chicago
Joan Steitz, Yale University/HHMI
Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
James Watson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Larry Zipursky, University of California/HHMI

Gil Ast, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Benoit Chabot, University of Sherbrooke, Canada
Thomas Cech, University of Colorado-Boulder/HHMI
Angela Kramer, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Stephen Mount, University of Maryland, College Park
Mila Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Erik Sontheimer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Juan Valcarcel Juarez, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain
Charles Weissman, University of Zurich, Switzerland

For these unique science history meetings, we invite speakers who made many of the seminal discoveries that began a field as well as those currently working in that field. We also invite historians who have examined the scientific and societal context of the field. Like the previous meetings in the series, this meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to look in-depth at the history of a topic in biology (mRNA splicing) and share stories that may be missing from purely academic accounts.

Registrations are warmly welcomed from scientists, clinicians, historians, activists, and journalists. You must be registered in order to present a poster. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email containing the link for abstract submission. If you wish to present a poster, please plan on a maximum size of 4ft x 4ft (1.22m x 1.22m). Click the Information tab above for details on presenting posters at CSHL meetings.

We have applied for funds from industry and other sponsors to partially offset registration costs for some attendees. Please apply in writing via email to Val Pakaluk and state your financial needs.

Social Media
The designated hashtag for this meeting is #cshhist17. Note that you must obtain permission from an individual presenter before live-tweeting or discussing his/her talk, poster, or research results on social media. Click the Policies tab above to see our full Confidentiality & Reporting Policy.

We look forward to seeing you at Cold Spring Harbor in October.

Financial support provided by:

Major Sponsors Biogen and Moderna Therapeutics


Gold Sponsors Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and New England BioLabs


Additional support also provided by Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

The CSHL Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology aims to explore important themes of discovery in the biological sciences. Its conference series brings together scientists who made many of the seminal discoveries that began a field along with others whose interests may include the current status of the field, historical progress in the field, and/or application of classic techniques and approaches in modern biotechnology and medicine.

Academic Package $1,165
Graduate/PhD Student Package $975
Corporate Package $1,475
Academic/Student No-Housing Package $795
Corporate No-Housing Package $995

Regular packages are all-inclusive and cover registration, food, housing, parking, a wine-and-cheese reception, and lobster banquet. No-Housing packages include all costs except housing. Full payment is due four weeks prior to the meeting.