Evolution and core processes in gene expression

June 26–29, 2025
Stowers Institute, Kansas City, Mo.

The evolution of organismal diversity and the mechanisms of gene expression are mutually dependent processes. Evolutionary processes operate at the level of gene expression, especially at the level of cis-regulatory sequences as such changes are expected to be less pleiotropic than changes at the protein level. Conversely, cis-regulatory variation is an important component in the study of gene regulation, and identifying cis-regulatory changes that alter gene expression is key to identifying causal variants underlying human diseases.

The focus of this meeting is therefore 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. The meeting will bring together experts from different fields in order to obtain a deeper understanding of cis-regulatory variation from a transcriptional, developmental and evolutionary perspective.


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

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