2017 Retreat

2017 Genetics Training Grant Retreat 

Plenary Speaker: Professor Fred AltHHMI Investigator & Professor of Genetics, Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

“Recurrent DNA Break Cluster Genes in Developing Brain Progenitor Cells”

Each year the Genetics Training Program holds an off-campus Annual Retreat Symposium that brings together members of the University of Utah’s Genetics research community. The Annual Retreat is open to all members of the U of U research community. All trainees present research talks; additional members of the community are invited to present posters. In addition, we invite leaders in the field of Genetics chosen based on work in an area that is especially innovative or that touches on a broad array of genetic interests to attend the Symposium, challenge us, and present a seminar. The Annual Retreat provides many opportunities for informal interactions. It is a chance for our community to engage with, learn from, and support our trainees.

The 2017 retreat will be held in late Spring, May 8th-9th, at Deer Valley Resort. The symposium will take place at The Lodges at Deer Valley. Meals & overnight accommodations are paid for by the Genetics Training Program. If you need childcare facilities, please contact Patty Lisieski at pattyl@genetics.utah.edu

In sum:

– Each trainee will present a talk describing her/his research.

– Members of the Genetics community are encouraged to provide posters describing their work for the evening poster session. Poster presenters will have an opportunity during the day sessions to highlight the content of their posters, describing briefly (1 minute; 1 slide) the driving question and take-home lesson of their work.

– We are pleased Fred Alt will be the Plenary Speaker for the 2017 University of Utah Genetics Training Program Retreat, May 8-9, 2017. 

Dr. Alt is an HHMI Investigator and Professor of Genetics and Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

The broad focus of the Alt lab is the elucidation of mechanisms that generate antigen receptor diversity in the immune system and mechanisms that maintain genomic stability in mammalian cells. One focus of this work is to elucidate how the DNA lesion generating activities of lymphocyte-specific DNA-cutting enzymes is directed to specific antigen receptor locus substrates and not to off targets that could generate chromosomal translocations and deletions that contribute to lymphoid cancers. Other studies are aimed at elucidating roles of general DNA double strand break (DSB) repair and response pathways in VDJ recombination and immunoglobulin class-switch recombination, and the interplay of DSB repair and response pathways in suppressing genomic instability and cancer. A major new lab research area focuses on how organization of the genome in the nucleus influences programmed gene rearrangements and chromosomal translocations.

Fred is known for producing truly pioneering work throughout his career. As a graduate student with Robert Schimke he discovered gene amplification and genomic instability in mammalian cancer cells.  As a postdoc with David Baltimore, he helped elucidate basic principles of recombination in the immune system. Fred’s work has been recognized in many ways; awards he has received include:

  • Arthur Kornberg & Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Science
  • Lewis S. Rosensteil Prize for Distinguished work in Biomedical Sciences
  • American Association of Cancer Research Clowes Award
  • Pasarow Foundation Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute Alfred K. Knudson Award for “Pioneering Contributions that Revolutionized the Field of Cancer Genetics”
Sign up for the retreat here