Chromatin, Epigenetics and Gene Expression
July 23 - August 11, 2019
Application Deadline: April 1, 2019


Karen Adelman, Harvard Medical School
Aaron Johnson, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Marc Mendillo, Northwestern University School of Medicine

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past

The Chromatin, Epigenetics and Gene Expression course is designed for students, postdocs, and principal investigators who have recently ventured into the exciting area of gene regulation. Emphasis will be placed on exposing students to a broad array of methodologies to study gene regulation, chromatin structure and dynamics, including both state-of-the-art and well-developed methods.

Students will perform widely used techniques such as:

  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)
  • Sequencing (ChIP-seq)
  • Reporter assays of enhancer activity
  • RNA expression analysis
  • They will apply a basic pipeline to analyze sequencing results and will discuss current informatics strategies.

    Students will learn about state-of-the-art genetic perturbation strategies. They will perform two of these methods to reduce or eliminate the expression of a gene of interest: RNA interference (RNAi), and CRISPR-Cas9 targeted disruption. Further, students will compare how each method affects gene expression and function.

    Students will learn how to assemble recombinant chromatin with modified histones and test specificity of chromatin“reader” proteins and enzymes that modify chromatin. Quantitative methods will be used to analyze activity and selectivity for specific substrates.

    Given the broad biological roles for DNA-binding transcription factors, and emerging roles of non-coding RNAs in transcription regulation, Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assays (EMSAs) are again becoming widely used for assessing transcription factor binding to regulatory DNA or RNA elements. Students will learn how to perform and interpret EMSA experiments, using quantitative gel-based methods.

    This course will also provide the basic concepts behind different methods to analyze the chromatin architecture of the genome. Moreover, we will discuss the computational methods required to analyze data concerning three-dimensional chromatin architecture.

    Experience with basic recombinant DNA and molecular biology techniques is a prerequisite for admission to this course. Lectures by the instructors will cover the current state of the gene expression and epigenetics fields, theoretical aspects of the methodology, and broader issues regarding strategies for investigating the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. Emphasis will be placed on advantages and limitations of specific techniques, and data interpretation. Each evening, an invited speaker who is an expert in the field will present their work and interact with students. The students are encouraged and expected to actively participate in these discussions, and to take advantage of the many opportunities to network and receive input on their projects and future plans.

    2019 Guest Speakers:

    Karen Arndt, University of Pittsburgh
    Stephen Buratowski, Harvard Medical School
    Luciano Di Croce, ICREA and Centre for Genomic Regulation, SPAIN
    Steven Henikoff, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    Tracy Johnson, University of California Los Angeles
    Cigall Kadoch, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Robert Kingston, Harvard Medical School
    Michael Levine, Princeton University
    John Lis, Cornell University
    Marc Marti-Renom, Centre Nacional d’Anàlisi Genòmica, BARCELONA
    Anjana Rao, LaJolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology
    Ali Shilatifard, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Alexander Stark, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, AUSTRIA
    Dylan Taatjes, University of Colorado Boulder
    Jessica Tyler,
    Weill Cornell Medical College

    Support & Stipends

    Major support provided by: National Cancer Institute

    Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


    We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:

    Bio-Rad Laboratories, GE Healthcare, Promega Life Sciences, QSonica LLC, Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors. 

    Cost (including board and lodging): $4,990

    No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on July 22 and plan to depart after lunch on August 11.

    Before applying, ensure you have:
    1. Personal statement/essay;
    2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
    3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
    4. Financial aid request (optional).
      More details.

    If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: