Course Goals and Intended Audience
This short course on transcription is designed to: (1) enable participants with advanced training in the mathematical, computational, and physical sciences, but with a more limited background in biology, to contribute to research at the interface of the biological, mathematical, and physical sciences, (2) introduce participants with traditional backgrounds in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology to the potential value of quantitative approaches in their own work, and (3) provide participants with in-depth training in an important subfield within molecular biology. The course is appropriate for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty members, and biomedical researchers from non-academic organizations.
The course is a five-day intensive investigation of transcription divided into two related parts:
Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers will present the foundation required by non-expert researchers for the understanding of gene transcription. This includes a review of the structural components of transcription and a basic description of transcription initiation, regulation, elongation, and termination. The introduction to transcription in bacteria will lay the groundwork for seminars on more complex eukaryotic systems. These lectures have been designed to provide participants with a limited knowledge of molecular biology a smooth transition to the understanding and appreciation of cutting-edge research.
In the remaining lectures, participants will gain an in-depth view of transcription both from the content of the presentations and the wide range of fields that will be represented, including bioinformatics, computational and experimental structural biology, molecular biology, statistical mechanics, and systems biology. Confirmed participants from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS) include faculty members in the Departments of Biochemistry (Smita Patel, Danny Reinberg), Chemistry & Chemical Biology (Richard Ebright, Ronald Levy, Wilma Olson), Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (Konstantin Severinov), Mechanics (Bernard Coleman), Pharmacology (Vasily Studitsky), and Physics (Andrei Ruckenstein, Anirvan Sengupta). Researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Terence Strick), Cornell University (Michelle Wang lab), MIT (Mukund Thattai), Princeton University (Saeed Tavazoie lab), Rockefeller University (Seth Darst and Eric Siggia labs), University of Wisconsin (Tom Record lab) have already agreed to present their recent findings.
Each day of the program will be devoted to different aspects of transcription following, in general, the pathway for producing a complete, freely diffusing RNA polymer. Thus, the first day will include a detailed account of the structural components of transcription, including RNA polymerase and chromatin, as well as an overview of eukaryotic gene expression. Subsequent days will focus on: 1) initiation and control of transcription; 2) elongation and termination; 3) regulation, bioinformatics, and genomics; and 4) transcriptional network modeling. See the Course Description (Program) for additional details.
The short course "Transcriptional Regulation from Molecules to Systems and Beyond" is part of the second annual Summer School sponsored by the newly established BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology at Rutgers in collaboration with the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers (DIMACS), the Center for Molecular Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry at Rutgers (MBBC), and the Program in Mathematics and Molecular Biology (PMMB) based at Florida State University. The Sloan Foundation and the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund provide partial funding of the Summer School. Support from the sponsors will cover partial travel and living expenses for a limited number of participants. The Piscataway campus of Rutgers is a 30-45 minute drive southwest of Newark Liberty airport. The campus is also accessible by regular New Jersey Transit train and bus service from New York and Trenton and by AMTRAK service from Philadelphia and Washington, DC to nearby MetroPark, NJ.