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The 4th Genomics Frontiers Symposium held in Shenyang, 2016
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The 4th Genomics Frontiers Symposium with three major themes on “RNA Epigenetics”, “Cancer Genomics”, and “Sequencing Technology” was held on July 27–30, 2016 in Shenyang, China.

The symposium is hosted by Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), together with Genetics Society of China, and organized by the journal Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics (GPB), CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, and Genomics Association of the Genetics Society of China, together with this year’s local organizer Yin'an International (Liaoning) Gene Technology Co., Ltd. The symposium series was first launched in 2012 aiming to host in-depth discussions from outstanding scholars in the frontier of genomics and bioinformatics and to foster future collaborations among all attendees. Twenty-nine invited speakers presented their new findings and perspectives at the symposium and attracted approximately 100 registered audiences.

Dr. Songnian Hu, professor of BIG, CAS, and Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, and the Executive Associate Editor-in-Chief of GPB, started the symposium on behalf of the Symposium Chair, Dr Jun Yu by delivering the opening remarks on July 27th. In the following “RNA Epigenetics” section, keynote speaker Dr. Fuchou Tang from Peking University presented his work on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression network in human early embryos. Dr. Yuanchao Xue reviewed sequential regulatory loops as key gatekeepers for neuronal reprogramming in human cells. Based on RNA structurome, Dr. Qiangfeng Zhang from Tsinghua University revealed the second layer of genetic information. In addition, keynote speaker Jianzhi Zhang from University of Michigan discussed extensively the diversity in post-transcriptional modifications; while from the plant point of view, Dr. Guifang Jia investigated reversible RNA adenosine methylation in plant biological regulation. In the end of this section, Dr. Ge Shan and Fangqing Zhao showed that the evolution of a lncRNA leads to a primate-specific modulation of alternative splicing and a novel codon-based de Bruijn graph algorithm for gene construction from unassembled transcriptomes, respectively.

During the “Cancer Genomics” section in the following day, cancer-orientated practice on precision medicine was deeply discussed among scholars and doctors. For instance, at the beginning of this section, Dr. Guanghai Dai from the General Hospital of the PLA first reviewed precision targeted therapy of colorectal cancer. Subsequently, based on low-dose chemotherapy regimen, Dr. Qianfei Wang showed the mutation clearance and clonal evolution in acute leukemia patients. On the other hand, based on whole genome and exome sequencing, Dr Songnian Hu discussed the landscape of genetic characterization of an ulcerative colitis associated colorectal cancer patient. The tumor-selective replication herpes simplex virus-based technology was further introduced by Dr. Wen Zhang, which significantly improves clinical detection and prognostication of viable circulating tumor cells. Dr. Bangwei Cao from Beijing Friendship Hospital and Guohui Fu respectively reviewed the development of targeted therapy and antiangiogenesis in gastric cancer and genomic pathological diagnosis and precise medicine, broadening our current knowledge of the gene expression patterns of related cancers. Another two speakers focused on the study of breast cancer. Dr. Tao Sun showed the mechanism of endocrine resistance and precise endocrine treatment in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, while Dr. Wen Liu introduced histone demethylases licensing estrogen receptor alpha-dependent enhancer RNA and related coding gene activation in breast cancer. At the end of this section, Dr. Xiaorong Dong introduced studies on translating the inflammatory microenvironment of radiation induced brain injury into therapeutics.

Dr. Jun Yu opened “Sequencing Technology”, the third section of this symposium, to a multi-track approach to define the processes from genotype to phenotype. Following his foresight speech are several interesting studies on nanomaterial-based technology. Dr. Amit Meller from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, gave his keynote speech introducing the nanopore sensing-beyond DNA sequencing in general. Subsequently, nanomaterial-based sensing system with DNA aptamer as bio-recognition element, digital PCR and single-cell whole genome amplification in nanoliter droplets, single oligonucleotide discrimination with aerolysin nanopore, as well as DNA nanotechnology and its application in gene detection and medicine transportation were further reviewed and introduced by Drs. Zhisong Lu, Wenbin Du, Yitao Long, and Xiaolong Shi, respectively. Beside these nanomaterial-based technologies, several other hot technologies or topics, such as based Picoliter well array chip digital recombinase polymerase amplification, MicrofluidicChip, PacBio single-molecule real-time technology, characteristic arrangement of nucleosomes, were also reported by Dr. Yude Yu, Xianhua Jiang, Weiwei Wang, Yongxin Song, Fei Chen, Zhihua Zhang, and Yigang Tong.


This symposium attracted audiences from different universities, hospitals, and multiple CAS institutes in Beijing and other cities national wide. The successful symposium got covered by social media, such as seqChina on WeChat. Thanks to the fast development in genomics technologies, the new research areas emerged and became trending topics rapidly. The 4th Genomics Frontiers Symposium seized the opportunity to invite leading scientists globally to focus on the hottest topics in biology: “RNA Epigenetics”, “Cancer Genomics”, and “Sequencing Technology”. The communication platform established may promote the scientific exchange, translation and cooperation among academic, clinical, and industrial attendees. More trending topics will be covered in future events for the sophisticated Genomics Frontiers Symposium series.