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EMBO Workshop "Epigenome inheritance and reprogramming in health and disease"

Over the past decades, we have seen growing evidence that environmental influences such as diet, stress, or trauma, can induce changes in individuals that are inherited by their children and grandchildren, independently of changes in the DNA sequence. This type of inheritance is often referred to as epigenetic inheritance, however, the biological mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly understood. The proposed workshop will bring together experts in the field of epigenetics to discuss how the epigenome is inherited on the cellular, organismal, and population level in diverse biological contexts. Moreover, the workshop will explore how different biological systems achieve the correct balance between epigenome inheritance and reprogramming, and what sort of ramifications this has for developmental processes, disease etiology, adaptation, and evolution. Numerous recent findings in this rapidly developing field have been fueled by the advent of genomics technologies, which offer ever-increasing resolution and precision for epigenome quantification. Our meeting will thus provide a unique opportunity to discuss how these recent advances have reshaped the field and what challenges we might expect as we move forward to unravel how epigenetics participates in fundamental biological processes.