Workshop Details
Biological Physics of Chromosomes (In-person Participation)
06/05/2023 - 06/09/2023
Meeting Description:

The three-dimensional (3D) genome organization plays an essential role in all DNA-mediated processes in eukaryotic organisms, including gene transcription, regulation, and replication. Advances in sequencing and imaging techniques have greatly improved its high-resolution characterization, revealing intricate structural features at various scales. Much progress has been made towards unraveling the mechanisms of genome folding and identifying molecular players that affect 3D genome organization in response to different environmental and developmental clues.

Despite the remarkable progress, many questions regarding the genome structure and how the genome folds remain to be addressed. Globally, the genome organization appears to be poised on the border between order and disorder. While many studies have uncovered non-random structural features, the genomic DNA is structurally amorphous and does not adopt a single unique conformation. How specific interactions emerge from a large pool of non-specific contacts is mostly unknown. It is tempting to assume that the genome adopts a similar sequence-to-structure relationship that has been widely accepted for proteins. If so, what exactly are the physico-chemical properties that dictate the genome organization? The answer to this question is not apparent and cannot be simply the genomic sequence of nucleotides. Epigenetic modifications may be the key to forming distinct genome organizations that encode unique gene expression profiles in cells with identical DNA sequences. Equally essential questions arise at smaller scales on the level of single genes (-10 kb). While a seemingly more straightforward problem, mapping the ensemble of 3D structures of a string of nucleosomes remains challenging. There is an ongoing debate regarding whether chromatin adopts the same set of conformations in situ and in vitro. Interactions with protein molecules inside the nucleus may drive chromatin into phase-separated condensates, rendering high-resolution structural characterization challenging due to its dynamic nature. Addressing these questions will improve our understanding of gene regulatory mechanisms, promising to uncover novel genome engineering approaches that will aim to alter the genome organization for more targeted therapeutic approaches.

This workshop will bring both experimental and theoretical experts to discuss the latest developments and the most pressing problems in the exciting field of large-scale genome organization. We strive to promote close collaborations between groups to help interpret experimental results, critically evaluate existing hypotheses, and propose novel theoretical approaches that may inspire new experiments.


We wish to ensure an intimate workshop setting, with no more than 20 to 25 participants. If you are interested in attending, but have not received an invitation, please contact the workshop organizer before registering.

Telluride Science is about expanding the frontiers of science, exploring new ideas, and building collaborations. The workshop schedule will allow for substantial unstructured time for participants to talk and think. All participants are expected to stay for the entire duration of the workshop. Scientists are encouraged to consider bringing family or friends. Telluride offers a number of options for children's camps (including Telluride Academy, Aha School for the Arts, and Pinhead Institute). There is more information on childcare, camps, and family activities on Telluride Science's website. Feel free to contact Telluride Science's staff to help with any planning and/or coordinating care.

Supporting Files:

Meeting Venue:

Telluride Intermediate School
721 West Colorado Ave Telluride, CO 81435

Biological Physics of Chromosomes (In-person Participation) Registered Meeting Participants:
Participant Organization
Audit, Benjamin Laboratoire de physique, CNRS
Bai, Lu Penn State university
Belmont, Andrew University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Boettiger, Alistair Stanford University
Cédric, VAILLANT Laboratory of Physics - ENS Lyon
Dudko, Olga University of California San Diego
Hendzel, Michael University of Alberta
Jost, Daniel CNRS
Liu, Zhe J. Janelia Research Campus/HHMI
Maeshima, Kazuhiro National Institute of Genetics
Marko, John F. Northwestern University
Morozov, Alexandre Rutgers University
Shenoy, Vivek UPenn
Zhang, Bin Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Zidovska, Alexandra New York University

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