July 21–24, 2022 | Kansas City, Mo.

Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression

Evolution and core processes in gene expression
July 21–24, 2022 | Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Mo.

The focus of this meeting is to discuss the most recent insights into the cis-regulatory code, how cis-regulatory information is read out by transcription factors, signaling pathways and other proteins, how cellular diversity is created during development and how we can study this problem using cutting-edge genomics technology and computational methods.

We will simultaneously examine the problem from an evolutionary perspective: how cis-regulatory elements evolve, how regulatory variation affects gene expression and phenotypes, how these changes have shaped development and parallel evolution, and how noise affects regulatory circuits and their evolution.

Sponsorship opportunities

The conference is offering a variety of sponsorship opportunities for your organization to optimize your visibility to attendees. Learn about sponsorship opportunities.



Julia Zeitlinger Stowers Institute for Medical Research
David Arnosti Michigan State University
Justin Fay University of Rochester
Nicolas Rohner Stowers Institute for Medical Research

The gene expression conference that keeps evolving

Almost a decade since its inception, and after a brief delay caused by COVID-19, a meeting dedicated to discussing the evolution and core processes in gene expression will reemerge in Kansas City this summer.

Meeting time and location

Evolution and core processes in gene expression will be held at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo. 

Conference starts: Thursday, July 21, at 1 p.m. 
Conference ends: Sunday, July 24, at 12 p.m.

Poster presentations

  • Posters will be located in the gallery. 
  • We ask that your poster remain up on the board throughout the duration of the conference.
  • Set-up posters on Thursday, July 21 between 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Remove posters on Sunday, July 24 at 12 p.m.
  • Useable space on the poster boards is 46 inches x 70 inches. Please do not exceed this size or your poster will not fit.
  • All poster presenters are required to be registered for the conference.
  • Poster board numbers have been communicated and will be located in the program onsite.

Speaker information

  • Session room will be equipped with standard projection equipment which includes data projector, desktop computer and several adaptors including HDMI cable, clicker, laser pointer, and technician.
  • Check in with the AV tech in the room at least 30 minutes prior to the session your talk is in.
  • Bring your presentation on a readable USB flash drive. The AV tech will assist you in loading it onto the desktop computer provided.
  • Bring your laptop and HDMI cord or adapters if you want to give your talk with your own computer.
  • When preparing your presentation, please use standard fonts (e.g., Times, New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica, etc.). If you are using a font that is not standard it should be embedded into your PowerPoint presentation.
  • Create your presentation using 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • In the same folder as your presentation, include any external files that are used in the presentation, e.g. video files. Copy the entire folder to a USB flash drive.
  • Test your presentation on a separate laptop to ensure that the fonts are standard and that components such as movies are included rather than linked in your presentation.
  • Microphones in the session room are provided to ensure that everyone can clearly hear the presentations. Presenters should be mindful of those who are hard of hearing and always use the supplied microphones.
  • If you choose to present with your own laptop you must provide your own adapter to HDMI connections.

What’s included

The full conference package includes:

  • All scientific sessions, poster sessions and meeting materials.
  • Lunch on Friday and Saturday.
  • Dinner on Thursday and Saturday.
  • Lodging for three nights (arriving on July 21, departing on July 24) at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza.

Note: Lodging is not included in the commuter rates.

Registration changes

Registration changes will be accepted as space allows until June 21, 2022, and can be made by contacting meetings@asbmb.org.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations received in writing on or before June 21, 2022, are subject to a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after June 21 due to final guarantee commitments. Email meetings@asbmb.org and attach a copy of your meeting registration receipt/paid invoice.

Hotel accommodation

Lodging arrangements will be made at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza. All housing arrangements must be made through ASBMB during the registration process.

If you require an early arrival or late departure (one night pre- and/or post-meeting) you may purchase these additional nights during the registration process, $175 per room per night ($185 per room per night for double occupancy), inclusive of taxes.

COVID-19 vaccine requirement

For the health and safety of attendees, COVID-19 vaccination is required for anyone attending this conference. 

In order to be able to enter Stowers Institute for Medical Research and obtain your conference badge you must follow the instructions below for providing your vaccination proof. 

Fully vaccinated as defined by the Stowers Institute for Medical Research is as follows:

  • Immediately upon second dose in a two-dose series, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

How to upload

  1. You will be receiving an email from servicenow@stowers.org on Wednesday, June 29.
    • Check your spam folder if you do not see this in your inbox.
  2. Follow the instructions to provide your vaccination proof.
  3. Once you are approved, you will receive a QR code.
  4. This QR code is required to enter the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and pick up your conference badge.
  5. If you did not receive an email from servicenow@stowers.org on Wednesday, June 29, or had any issues, please reach out to meetings@asbmb.org. 

Stowers Institute for Medical Research is committed to providing a safe and productive meeting for all attendees. The following infection prevention measures are in place for risk mitigation.

COVID-19 testing

ASBMB conference attendees are required to test daily for COVID-19 for the duration of the event and attest to negative results each day during check-in. Four rapid test kits will be provided by Stowers Institute to each attendee for daily testing. Please test each morning to ensure a negative result before arriving. In addition, we highly recommend testing before traveling to Kansas City.

Monitor your health

You will be asked the screening questions below upon arrival to Stowers Institute each day. Do not come to campus if you are exhibiting any symptoms of infection.

  • Are you currently experiencing any of the following? YES or NO
    • Persistent coughing
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Unexplained muscle or body aches
    • Fever or chills
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • In the last 24 hours, have you had a fever of 100.4 or higher? YES or NO
  • In the last 24 hours, have you had a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid or PCR test? YES or NO


All ASBMB conference attendees must wear a mask while in the Auditorium and in all conference rooms. Masking is recommended throughout all other conference gatherings. You will be provided with one KN95 mask and four level 1 surgical masks. No cloth masks, please.

Access the latest COVID-19 guidelines from:

Program schedule

Thursday July 21
Friday July 22
Saturday July 23
Sunday July 24

Thursday agenda

12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Auditorium foyer

Badge and program pickup

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM

Welcome and meeting introduction

2:00 PM - 3:10 PM

Session I: Enhancer evolution

Session chair: Julia Zeitlinger

How do enhancers evolve?
Emily Wong, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Relating enhancer genetic variation across mammals to complex phenotypes using machine learning
Irene Kaplow, Carnegie Mellon University
The robustness and evolvability of a developmental enhancer
Timothy Fuqua, University of Zurich
Evolutionary modulation of transcriptional enhancer activity and accessibility in Drosophila
Nicolas Gompel, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München
3:10 PM - 3:45 PM


3:50 PM - 5:00 PM

Session II: Mechanisms of regulatory divergence

Session chair: Nick Rohner

Inferring evolutionary mechanisms and transcription factor function from profiles of cis-regulatory divergence between mouse species
Rachel Brem, University of California, Berkeley
Development of stem cell approaches to characterize cell type and stage-specific cis-regulatory variation in mouse embryonic development
Thomas Vierbuchen, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Evolutionary dynamics of a robust transcriptional network
Pinar Onal, Northwestern University
5:00 PM - 5:10 PM

Flash talks

SLAM-seq disentangles the maternal-to-zygotic transition in early zebrafish development
Danielson Baia Amaral, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Characterization of caffeine transcriptional response regulatory variants in vascular endothelial cells
Carly Boye, Wayne State University
Concentration-dependent transcription factor activity regulates target gene transcriptional onset
Eleanor Degen, Northwestern University
Active machine learning to improve predictions of cis-regulatory activity
Ryan Friedman, Washington University, St. Louis
Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediator-RNA polymerase II pre-initiation complex for divergent transcription
Jose Gorbea Colon, University of Pennsylvania
Multiplexed screening of developmental enhancers with high-sensitivity single-cell expression reporters
Jean-Benoit Lalanne, University of Washington at Seattle
False-positive IRESes from Hoxa9 and other genes resulting from errors in mammalian 5’ UTR annotations
Joel McManus, Carnegie Mellon University
Stochastic modeling of gene expression evolution uncovers tissue and sex specific properties of expression evolution in the Drosophila genus
Soumitra Pal, National Institutes of Health
Competitive DNA-binding of transcription factors
Yuning Zhang, Duke University
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Poster session I (odd numbers present)

Friday agenda

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Auditorium foyer

Badge and program pickup

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Session III: The cis-regulatory code of enhancers

Session chair: Dimple Notani

Decoding transcriptional regulation in Drosophila
Alex Stark, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology
Towards predicting gene expression from sequence
Jussi Taipale, University of Helsinki
Learning causal rules of immune cell differentiation within and across species
Sara Mostafavi, University of Washington
So just what is an enhancer, anyway?
Marc Halfon, State University of New York at Buffalo
10:15 AM - 10:35 AM


10:35 AM - 12:00 PM

Session IV: Cis-regulatory code and chromatin

Session chair: Michael White

Paralogous transcription factors diversify their DNA-binding targets via differential abilities to engage inaccessible chromatin
Shaun Mahony, Pennsylvania State University
Using genomics to study chromatin structure and dynamics
Srinivas Ramachandran, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Control of enhancer activity by DNA methylation
Arnaud Krebs, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
The mutagenic cost of transcriptional regulation
Raluca Gordan, Duke University
11:50 AM - 12:00 PM

Flash talks

GADD45a gene as a reporter system to study enhancer–promoter communication
Gabrielle Baniulyte, State University of New York at Albany
Surfactant-like near-stochastic interactions are the key for the novel mechanism of eukaryotic gene activation
Brad Broyles, Butler University
Deciphering the cis-regulatory grammar of Hippo signaling transcription factors in mouse trophoblast stem cells
Khyati Dalal, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Visualization of cis-regulatory sequence rules learned by neural networks
Charles McAnany, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Regulation of Pol II transcriptomes through rigid pausing and premature termination
Sergei Nechaev, University of North Dakota
Evolutionary divergence of GAPDH genes through changes in gene expression levels and dynamics
Mohammad Siddiq, University of Michigan
Massively parallel reporter assays reveal differences in cis-regulatory function caused by disease causing mutations in a transcription factor
Michael White, Washington University, St. Louis
Understanding determinants of long-range enhancer-promoter interactions
Yawei Wu, Washington University, St. Louis
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Grad student and postdoc round tables

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Poster session II (even numbers present)

3:30 PM - 4:40 PM

Session V: Enhancer interactions and development decisions

Session chair: Nicolas Gompel

Dissecting enhancers hierarchy: one enhancer cluster at a time
Dimple Notani, National Centre for Biological Sciences
Distal and proximal cis-regulatory elements sense X chromosome dosage and developmental state at the Xist locus
Till Schwämmle, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Spatial specificity of mammalian enhancer loops in vivo
Evgeny Kvon, University of California, Irvine
Reverse engineering gene regulatory circuitries underlying neural crest development
Tatjana Sauka–Spengler, Stowers Institute for Medical Research/University of Oxford
4:35 PM - 5:00 PM


5:00 PM - 6:35 PM

Session VI: Predictive modeling and biophysics

Session chair: Raluca Gordon

Using physics as a microscope to dissect transcriptional dynamics in development
Hernan Garcia, University of California, Berkeley
Massively parallel reporter assays, machine learning, and the biophysics of gene regulation
Justin Kinney, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
The cis-regulatory code of chromatin accessibility in the early Drosophila embryo
Julia Zeitlinger, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
The dynamic cis-regulatory sequence syntax on transcriptional regulatory elements in the human genome
Vivek Ramalingam, Stanford University

Saturday agenda

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Auditorium foyer

Badge and program pickup

9:00 AM - 10:10 AM

Session VII: Predictive models and divergence

Session chair: Sara Mostafavi

Understanding cis-regulatory evolution using machine learning and random DNA
Carl de Boer, University of British Columbia
Multi-factor ChIP-exo reveals TF binding dynamics within conserved orthologous cis regulatory modules in the mammalian liver
Michael Wilson, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Turn it off or keep it on: the role of silencers and maintenance elements in phenotypic evolution
Mark Rebeiz, University of Pittsburgh
Identifying the enhancers and evolutionary processes shaping the Drosophila innate immune response
Zeba Wunderlich, Boston University
10:05 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

Session VIII: Causes and consequences of regulatory variation

Session chair: Zeba Wunderlich

Pleiotropic effects of cis- and trans-regulatory mutations on fitness and gene expression
Patricia Wittkopp, University of Michigan
Loss of heterochromatin at endogenous retroviruses creates competition for transcription factor binding
Ryan O’Hara, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Evolutionary innovations in eukaryotic histone repertoires drive biological novelties
Pravrutha Raman, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Library, Conf. 114, Conf. B1

Breakout sessions

3:00 PM - 4:10 PM

Session IX: Cell gene regulation

Session chair: Patricia Wittkopp

Quantifying the impact of genomic and cellular environments on gene expression noise
Clarice Hong, Washington University in St. Louis
Multiplex functional dissection of cis-regulatory landscapes in early mammalian development
Samuel Regalado, University of Washington
Regulatory networks underlying metabolic adaptation and physiological resilience in animals
Nicolas Rohner, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
An ultra high-throughput, massively multiplexible, single-cell RNA-seq platform in yeasts that facilitates the extensive study of core processes in gene expression
Leandra Brettner, Arizona State University
4:10 PM - 4:30 PM


4:30 PM - 5:40 PM

Session X: Evolutionary divergence and stress

Session chair: Bin He

Genetic variation in the ubiquitin system creates complex, pathway-specific effects on proteasomal protein degradation
Frank Albert, University of Minnesota
Characterizing the grammar of stress-dependent gene regulatory elements
Morgan Sammons, State University of New York at Albany
Why do transcription factors depend on coactivators?
Lindsey Snyder, University of Iowa
Dual roles for valosin-containing protein in stress granule assembly and disassembly
Stephanie Moon, University of Michigan
5:45 PM - 6:15 PM

Breakout session summary presentations

Sunday agenda

9:00 AM - 10:25 AM

Session XI: Evolution of novelty/diversity

Session chair: David Arnosti

Cis-regulatory basis of developmental plasticity and sex-biased growth in the development and evolution of beetle horns
Phillip Davidson, Indiana University Bloomington
A regulatory network of Sox and Six transcription factors initiate a cell fate transformation during hearing regeneration in adult zebrafish
Erin Jimenez, National Institutes of Health
Evolution and binding specificity SIX homeodomain transcription factors
Jose Rodriguez–Martinez, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
Evolution of thermal tolerance in the Saccharomyces species
Justin Fay, University of Rochester
10:25 AM - 10:35 AM


10:45 AM - 11:35 AM

Session XII: Rapid evolution

Session chair: Marc Halfon

Fish(ing) in the Hi(gh)-C(sea)
Tathagata Biswas, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Transcription factor binding sites are frequently under accelerated evolution in primates
Xinru Zhang, Pennsylvania State University
The landscape of molecular changes underlying 22 years of bacterial adaptation
Premal Shah, Rutgers University
11:35 AM - 12:00 PM

Poster prizes and conference conclusion

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