Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - MC-GARD (Genome Architecture in Relation to Disease)

The MC-GARD series of events focused on genomics by studying nuclear DNA on three architectural levels; DNA-sequence, modifications and 3D-organization. Therefore seminars, computer and laboratory training were implemented. Topics logically evolved from issues related to methodological and analytical developments, through applications in research and diagnostics, and towards a better understanding of the nuclear organisation. The timing and sequence of the conferences have invariably anticipated actual advancements in the field of genome architecture on 3 different levels.

The first conference in Amsterdam started off at the sequence level of the DNA, focusing on copy number variations, aberrations and single nucleotide polymorphisms in diseases like cancer, congenital disorders and susceptibility to communicable diseases like, leprosy and tuberculosis. This was followed by a hands-on workshop in Helsinki training students in the analysis of copy number variations and aberrations and single nucleotide polymorphisms. The conference in Madrid moved on to a level focusing on non-coding and structural RNAs as well as methylomics. The second hands-on workshop in Braga was entirely computer oriented and information processing of all subjects discussed in the previous meetings incl. non-coding RNAs, methylation, copy number variations, aberrations, next generation sequencing etc.

The final meeting in Edinburgh then broadened again all this linear and computer information for students back in the 3-dimesional perspective of real-life, the nucleus. In this respect we are confident that these meetings formed a complete and coherent series. Meetings brought together experts from North America and Europe to give invited lectures and junior researchers were promoted to present their own research in short talks. Other students presented posters. Both for posters and social interaction ample time was allocated throughout all the programmes. In this manner MC-GARD has helped a new generation of scientists within the European community to appreciate, understand and investigate the expanded field of human genetics for the development of clinical diagnostics.

Students have built a discipline specific network and faculty further expended their networks. This was facilitated by the recurring nature of the meetings combined with the coherence and logical evolution of the subjects embarked upon. Beyond doubt, the MC-GARD series of meetings and training events have provided strong support to European research groups to develop and implement the most opportune new research and diagnostic techniques in the field of genome architecture and genomics.

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