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Molecular Genetics for Zoologists

SPIRIT Summer School "Molecular Genetics for Zoologists"

    During evolution animals have conquered the most extreme habitats and have evolved astonishing capabilities and a fascinating diversity of forms. Moreover, animal pests lead to significant crop loss and threaten human health directly or by transmitting diseases. However, it has remained a challenge to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying many zoological phenomena because functional genetic work has been restricted to a select number of highly developed model organisms.
    With modern molecular methods, many organisms are now amenable to functional genetics: next generation sequencing can reveal genome sequences and expression profiles, RNA interference allows transcript levels to be knocked down to study gene function, new genome editing tools allow the genome to be modified with precision, and gene activity can be visualized in situ.
    When used together, these techniques allow for a plethora of zoological questions to be addressed at the genetic level. The Göttingen SPIRIT summer school aims to foster the development and use of these tools in both established and nonconventional animal models.

    Part 1: Göttingen Symposium on Molecular Zoology

    In a 2-day symposium, we want to bring together international scientists working on understanding the function of genes underlying all kinds of zoological phenomena.

    Invited speakers:

    Sue Brown (Kansas State University)
    Taro Nakamura (Harvard University)
    Michalis Averof (IGFL, Lyon)
    Guy Smagghe (Ghent University, Gent)
    Frank Lyko (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
    Ralf Nauen (BAYER Crop Science, Monheim)
    Antje Burse (MPI for Chemical Ecology, Jena)
    Irina Häcker (Fraunhofer IME, Gießen)

    Part 2: Göttingen SPIRIT Summer School Workshops Molecular Genetics for Zoologists

    Following the symposium, we offer a 3-day hands on training workshop using these methods, and we will discuss their application to the particular projects of the participants. Our aim is that you will leave Göttingen with an enhanced working plan for your project. This part is restricted to 20 PhD students or postdocs.

      Target group
      If you are a PhD student or postdoc working on a project with an emerging or undeveloped animal model, and/or employing molecular techniques unfamiliar to you, this summer school will have something for you. The symposium will introduce you to some leading experts with extensive experience with the described molecular methods, and whom have also developed nonconventional organisms to become model organisms. The workshops will give you hands-on experience with a technique of your choice that you can then apply to your favorite animal.
      Up to five Master students will be selected to join the symposium (lodging and registration fee covered by the SPIRIT Summer School).

      Gregor Bucher
      Daniel Jackson, Nico Posnien, Ernst Wimmer