Transcription and genome maintenance

Roscoff (Bretagne), France, September 9-13, 2024

Deadline for application: May 6, 2024

Chairperson: Gaëlle Legube
Centre de Biologie Integrative (CBI), 118 route de Narbonne, 31062, Toulouse, France
Phone : +33 (0)5 61 55 88 94
Email :

Vice-chairperson: Houra Merrikh
Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 37027, USA
Phone : +1 615 343 3846
Email :

To maintain genome integrity, cells have developed a complex signaling network, known as the DNA damage response or DDR, that regulates DNA replication, DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints. Failure to properly respond to DNA damage leads to genomic instability which is an underlining cause of various human genetics syndromes and associated with many age-related diseases, such as cancer or neurodegeneration.

Over the recent years, it has become evident that RNAs and transcription are major players in the maintenance of genome stability. Not only, they are considered as main threats that challenge DNA integrity, by interfering with DNA replication but are they also now recognized as an integral component of the mechanisms that repair DNA damage arising on the genome. 

The program of the proposed meeting is designed to cover these topics, from the mechanisms that trigger instability on transcribing genomic loci including through the formation of R-loops, to the direct role of RNAs and transcription in repair mechanisms and in disease onset.

The meeting will cover the following topics:

1. RNA:DNA hybrids: the good and the bad

2. Transcription-replication conflict as a source of genome instability

3. Transcription-induced genetic instability and RNA in diseases

4. RNAs and transcription in DNA damage repair

5. RNAs and transcription in chromatin, chromosome dynamics and nuclear compartmentalization

6. RNAs and Telomere maintenance

Invited speakers

(provisional titles)

Andres Aguilera (CABIMER, Seville, Spain)
Genome instability: from RNA to chromatin and replication stress


Claus Azzalin (Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisbon, Portugal)
Telomere transcription remodels the telomeric nucleoprotein


Petra Beli (IMB, Mainz, Germany)
Proteomic views on secondary DNA structures


Julius Brennecke (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Vienna, Austria)
Small RNA-guided heterochromatin formation and RNA quality control


Fred Chedin (Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genome Center, UC Davis, USA)
Investigating the mechanisms linking RNA processing dysfunction and genome instability: an R-loop connection?


Dipanjan Chowdhury (Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA)
The role of long non-coding RNAs in modulating the TIRR/53BP1 complex to maintain genome integrity


Karlene Cimprich (Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA)
RNA meets DNA: dangerous liaisons in the gnome


Stephane Coulon (Institut Paoli-Calmettes, CRCM, Marseille, France)
Dealing with replication stress at chromosome ends


Marianne Farnebo (Karolinska Institute, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Stockholm, Sweden)
Role of RNA in DNA repair and chromatin structure


Catherine Freudenreich (Tuft University, Medford, USA)
How relocation to specific nuclear domains aids in replication of fragile sites


Pierre Henri Gaillard (Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, CRCM, Marseille, France)
SLX4: playing with nucleases, helicases and more


George Garinis (University of Crete &IMBB-FORTH, Heraklion, Crete)
DNA damage-driven R-loops and innate immune responses in health and disease


Rosemary Kiernan (Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS, Montpellier, France)
Transcription, ncRNA and genome instability


Suzana Hadjur (University College London Cancer Institute, London UK)
The cohesin regulator Stag binds RNA to support nucleolar structure


Stephen Hamperl (Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES), Munich, Germany)
Proximity-labelling as a new tool to study transcription-replication conflicts


Sarah Lambert (University Paris Sud, Orsay, France)
RNA:DNA hybrids at replication fork: a way to regulate fork-resection


Joachim Lingner (Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), Lausanne, Switzerland)
Close encounters of TERRA long noncoding RNA with telomeres


Peter Mc Kinnon (Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA)
Aberrant RNA splicing and R-loops cause transcriptional collapse and neurodegeneration in genome instability syndromes


Houra Merrick (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA)
The formation of R-Loops and their exacerbation of replication-transcription conflicts


Benoit Palancade (Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, France)
Cis- and trans-acting factors preventing transcription-associated genetic instability


Philippe Pasero (Institut de Génétique Humaine, Montpellier, France)
Replication stress and inflammation mediated by post-replicative RNA:DNA hybrids


Tanya Paull (Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Texas, Austin, USA)
Interplay between NHEJ and Homologous recombination


Odil Porrua (Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier Montpellier- France)
Disentangling connections between transcription termination, R-loops and neurodegeneration


Olivier Sordet (Cancer Research Center of Toulouse, Toulouse, France)
Transcriptional DNA breaks and human disease


Julie Soutourina (Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Interplay between transcription and DNA repair: molecular mechanisms of Mediator functions


Jesper Svejstrup (The Francis Crick Institute, London UK; Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Transcription-associated genome instability


Vincent Vanoosthuyse (Laboratoire de Biologie et Modélisation de la Cellule, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon, France)
Towards a precise understanding of the direct impact of RNA:DNA hybrids on genome stability


Lee Zou (Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, USA)
Impacts of transcription and RNA on DNA break repair

Deadline for application: May 6, 2024

Registration fee (including board and lodging)

510 € for PhD students

740 € for other participants

Application for registration

The total number of participants is limited to 115 and all participants are expected to attend for the whole duration of the conference. Selection is made on the basis of the affinity of potential participants with the topics of the conference. Scientists and PhD Students interested in the meeting should deposit online before the deadline.

  • their curriculum vitae
  • the proof of their student status
  • the list of their main publications for the 3 last years
  • the abstract of their presentation:

The abstract must respect the following template:

  • First line: title
  • Second line: list of authors
  • Third line: author's addresses
  • Fourth line: e-mail of the presenting author

Abstract should not exceed 600 words. No figures.

After the deadline, the organizers will select the participants. Except in some particular cases approved by the Chairperson, it is recommended that all selected participants present their work during the conference, either in poster form or by a brief in- session talk. The organizers choose the form in which the presentations are made. No payment will be sent with application. Information on how and when to pay will be mailed in due time to those selected.