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Scientific Organizers:
James L. Manley, Siddhartha Mukherjee
and Gideon Dreyfuss

Date Dates:
March 5–8, 2017

Location Location:
Taos, New Mexico, USA
Submit abstracts for short talk consideration by December 6, 2016.

Save on the registration fee by January 10, 2017.

It has been known for decades that defects in mRNA processing can cause, or contribute to, numerous human diseases. The earliest examples of this involved simply mutations in cis-acting signal sequences (e.g., for splicing and polyadenylation) of target genes, for example the human beta globin gene in beta-thalassemia. But the number of diseases linked to defects in mRNA processing has increased dramatically in the last five to ten years, reflecting in large part insights from deep-sequencing efforts. Indeed, other more interesting mechanisms beyond cis-mutations have emerged, including changes in the concentrations of RNA-binding regulatory proteins and other processing factors in, for example, cancer, and mutations that affect the function of not only regulatory proteins but also components of the core splicing machinery, which is seen in various cancers as well as several neurodegenerative diseases.

Although previous meetings have touched on these topics, this will be the first to focus exclusively on links between mRNA processing and human disease. The meeting will bring together two groups that only infrequently overlap: scientists/physicians whose primary interests center on disease but who have become interested in RNA processing as a result, and scientists who study basic mechanisms of RNA processing and gene expression that have proven to be relevant to disease.

In summary, this three-day conference will:

  • Focus exclusively on links between mRNA processing and human disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Provide an in-depth look at the various defects in mRNA processing that contribute to disease, such as cis-mutations, changes in the concentrations of RNA-binding regulatory proteins, and mutations that affect the function of not only regulatory proteins but also components of the core splicing machinery.

Following an opening keynote address by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, the conference consists of sessions focused on:

  • mRNA Splicing and Links to Disease
  • RNPs and Disease
  • MDS, Leukemia and Splicing
  • RNA-Based Therapeutic Approaches
  • Splicing and ALS
  • Further Links between RNA Processing and Disease

The conference it will be of value to those working in the fields of:

Cancer • Genetics/Genomics • Molecular Biology • Neurological Disease • RNA Biology • Splicing


Keystone Symposia conferences offer:

  • A retreat-like atmosphere
  • An intimate environment
  • Interactive poster sessions
  • Exchange of ideas and experiences
  • Access to experts during and after talks
  • Short talk slots for breakthroughs and up-and-coming/junior investigators
  • Free time for recreation and collaboration-building

Confirmed Speakers
(as of Dec 5, 2016)

Omar Abdel-Wahab, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
Thomas R. Cech, HHMI/University of Colorado, USA
Don W. Cleveland, University of California, San Diego, USA
Robert B. Darnell, HHMI/Rockefeller University, USA
Gideon Dreyfuss, HHMI/University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA
Masatoshi Hagiwara, Kyoto University, Japan
Catriona H.M. Jamieson, University of California, San Diego, USA
Adrian Krainer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, USA
Angus I. Lamond, University of Dundee, UK
James L. Manley, Columbia University, USA
Lynne E. Maquat, University of Rochester Medical Center, USA
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Columbia University Medical Center, USA
Seishi Ogawa, Kyoto University, Japan
Nikolaus Rajewsky, Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, Germany
Robin Reed, Harvard Medical School, USA
Phillip A. Sharp*, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Joan A. Steitz, HHMI/Yale University, USA
Maurice S. Swanson, University of Florida, USA
Juan Valcarcel Juarez, Centre De Regulacio Genomica, Spain
Jonathan S. Weissman, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Catherine Ju-Ying Wu, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, USA

*Keynote speaker

For the most up-to-date list of speakers and talks, click here:


How to Register


Toll-Free: 800-253-0685

Outside USA & Canada:
+1 970-262-1230


Conference Deadlines

Abstract Deadline:
Dec 6, 2016*

Discounted Registration Deadline: Jan 10, 2017

Abstracts for poster presentation can still be submitted online through the Jan 10 deadline.

Additional Information

  • Deadlines are at midnight US Mountain Time.
  • Discounted abstract submission and discounted registration save 50 USD and 150 USD, respectively, on later fees. Short talk speakers will be chosen from abstracts received by the "Abstract Deadline" for the meeting.
  • Please note that the first advertised meeting date is the date of arrival and registration, and the last date that of the last organized sessions.

Visit our website for the program details and to plan your travel so as not to miss any sessions.

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Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Colorado, USA that is directed and supported by the scientific community.
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