1st Southern Genome Maintenance Conference

DNA repair/cancer | Environmental influences/genomic integrity | DNA repair/health disparities

Oct. 20-21, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Mobile, Alabama


Speaker Details


Session #1 - Saturday, Oct. 20

genome-dutta.jpgSession #1 (DNA repair, genome integrity and cancer therapy) will open with a Keynote Lecture by Dr. Anindya Dutta. Dr. Dutta is the H.F. Byrd Professor, Director of Functional Genomics and the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Dutta’s research interests cover genomic instability in cancer cells and noncoding RNAs in differentiation and cancer. Dr. Dutta’s laboratory has identified many replication initiation proteins in human cells, uses genomics technology to identify origins of replication in human chromosomes, has discovered a major mechanism by which human cells prevent over-replication of their DNA, and identified a novel class of circular DNA in normal mammalian cells. His laboratory has also discovered many microRNAs that inhibit cell proliferation and promote differentiation during the conversion of muscle stem cells to mature muscle and microRNAs that contribute to the phenotypes of advanced prostate cancer. He has trained over thirty scientists who continue research in academia or industry, and has received the following honors: Elected Fellow of the AAAS, Ranbaxy Award for studies on genome instability, the Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and Distinguished Scientist Award from the University of Virginia. Dr. Dutta will present a seminar entitled “MicroDNAs, ORCs and MCMs: strange tales of genomic stability.

Six (6) short talks will then be given by students, post-doctoral fellows and new investigators, chosen from the submitted abstracts after review by the scientific review committee.


Session #2 - Saturday, Oct. 20

genome-wickliffe.jpgSession #2 (Environmental influences of genomic integrity) will start with six (6) short talks given by students, post-doctoral fellows and new investigators, chosen from the submitted abstracts after review by the scientific review committee.

This session will then close with a Keynote Lecture by Dr. Jeffrey K. Wickliffe. Dr. Wickliffe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences and has been awarded the 170th Anniversary Early Career Professorship at Tulane University. Dr. Wickliffe is an environmental and genetic toxicologist and chemical health risk assessor. His research focuses on identifying and understanding the role that environmental factors, especially modifiable factors, play in the development of chronic diseases and has reported on effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  His research focuses on chemical sensitivity to environmental and endogenous mutagens and his lab conducts human population or community research to examine the interplay between non-chemical stressors and chemical stressors on physical outcomes such as cancer, reproductive health, and development. Dr. Wickliffe will be presenting a seminar entitled “Diet-induced obesity impacts genomic integrity.

After Session #2, we have planned a dinner/reception across the hall from the conference room that will also house the poster session. The poster session (3 hours) will run from 8-11 p.m. but posters can be viewed throughout the dinner/reception since it will be in the same room, allowing ample time for discussion and interaction among the attendees and invited speakers. Posters will be set up on Saturday morning/early afternoon and will remain up throughout the meeting to encourage viewing during the breaks, free time and dining periods


Session #3 - Sunday, Oct. 21

genome-ideker.jpgSession #3 (DNA repair, disease and health disparities) will open with a Keynote Lecture by Dr. Trey Ideker. Trey Ideker, Ph.D. is Professor of Genetics in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego, as well as being Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Bioengineering and a Member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He serves as Director or co-Director of three NIH-supported research centers: The NCI Cancer Cell Map Initiative, the NIGMS San Diego Center for Systems Biology, and the NIGMS National Resource for Network Biology. Dr. Ideker received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Molecular Biology under the supervision of Dr. Leroy Hood. Dr. Ideker’s research has demonstrated that biological networks could be integrated with gene expression to systematically map pathways and aligned, like sequences, to reveal conserved and divergent functions. He showed that the best biomarkers of disease are typically not single proteins but aggregates of proteins in networks. Dr. Ideker has founded influential bioinformatic tools including Cytoscape, a popular network analysis platform which has been cited >12,000 times. Dr. Ideker will be presenting a seminar entitled “Systematic mapping of a hierarchy of DNA repair modules.

Six (6) short talks will then be given by students, post-doctoral fellows and new investigators, chosen from the submitted abstracts after review by the scientific review committee.

genome-rocconi.jpgSession #3 will then close with a Special Guest clinical lecture by Dr. Rod Rocconi.

Rodney P. Rocconi, M.D., is the Chief of Gynecologic Oncology Service and the Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. In addition, Dr. Rocconi is an Abraham A. Mitchell Clinical Cancer Research Scholar and a Professor of Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology at the University of South Alabama (USA) and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Dr. Rocconi’s research interests are primarily translational, focusing on understanding the molecular mechanisms of chemo-resistance in ovarian cancer stem cells, as well as genetic contributions of racial healthcare disparities in gynecologic malignancies. Dr. Rocconi will be presenting a seminar entitled “Insights on health disparities translational research.


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