The Physical Basis of Cellular Memory and Adaptation

The Physical Basis of Functional Genome Organization

April 14th - 21st, 2017


Simon Alberti - MPI Dresden

Jackie Vogel - McGill University

Mathieu Blanchette - McGill University

Josee Dostie - McGill University

Workshop Series Focus

Two complementary workshops will run in parallel in 2017, and will bring together approximately 40 researchers from biophysics, cell biology, computational biology and structural biology around a common goal of how to physically define and measure molecular and cellular adaptation, cellular memory and genome architecture and function. A joint session will be organized between the two workshops. Participants should contact Jackie if they would like to participate in the joint session. Both workshops will have social events and evening discussions, over a cold beer or a rum punch with snacks.

2017 Workshop Themes

Organization of matter within cellular systems - Alberti

Biological machines - Vogel

Genome organization as viewed by molecular and visual techniques - Blanchette and Dostie


The workshop will start on the evening of April 15th 2016, with an informal reception. Talks and discussions will take place from the morning of April 16th to the afternoon of April 21th. Participants should plan to arrive on April 15th (if possible) and are free to stay until the 22th if desired. A workshop dinner will be held the evening of April 21st. Longer stays, either arrival before and/or depature after the meeting, may be possible if arranged in advance. Please contact Jackie if you wish to arrive early or stay after the meeting.


The 2017 workshop is limited to 18-20 participants (per theme). Please contact Jackie if you wish to being a student or post doc, or bring a guest. Each participant will be allocated a 60-minute time slot: ~40 minutes for presentations, followed by ~20 minutes of discussion. The schedule will leave ample time for informal discussions, with the goal to develop new collaborations and continue existing ones. A workshop paper may be prepared. A limited number of trainee speaker slots are available on a first come, first served basis. Trainees will have ~20 minutes for presentation and 10-20 minutes for discussion.

Fun in the Sun

Although the goal of the workshop is research centred, we will also have time for leisure. The usual schedule is to have presentations and discussions in the morning (9:00-12:00) and evening (7:00-10:00+), but to leave the afternoons free for other activities. The Institute is located right on a quiet beach, excellent for sun bathing, snorkeling and scuba diving, wind surfing, etc., or just to work on projects with a bunch of good friends and a glass of Bajan Rum Punch. The island also has nice hiking trails, golf courses and surfing areas, all within one hour of (cheap) taxi or thrilling but convenient public transportation.

Location and Accomodation

The Bellairs Research Institute is a owned by McGill University and used during the summer by marine biologists. The computer science department has been holding workshops there for more than 15 years. Quantitative & Physical Biology workshops began in 2011. The Institute has space for about 35 people. Bellairs offers relatively basic amenities. Most people will share a room with one other person. While not a 5-star hotel, the rooms are clean and safe but have no phone or tv (but US cell phones work). The institute is equipped with fairly fast and reliable wireless connection, as well as with desktop few computers. Presentations and discussions usually take place either outdoors or in a air-conditioned conference room. The dinner is prepared by an excellent local chef, while we usually have lunch at one of a few local restaurants. People interested in other types of accommodation (e.g. hotel with more or better services) should contact Jackie. See this additional information about The Bellairs Research Institute .

Travel Information

There are direct and affordable flights to Barbados from many Canadian, American, and European cities. Once at the airport, Bellairs is easily reached by taxi. The organizers will coordinate taxis for arrivals and departures ahead of the start of the meeting. Barbados is one of the richest islands of the Caribbean, and also one of the safest. English is the main language (although it is no longer a British Dominion) and the population is helpful and friendly. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted. Precise traveling instructions will be sent to the participants later.

Confirmed Participants

Name Affiliation

Simon Alberti

MPI Dresden

Yves Barral

ETH Zurich

Mathieu Blanchette

McGill University

Henrik Bengtsson


Alessandro Bonetti

RIKEN Yokohama

Chris Cameron

McGill University (Blanchette group)

Ibrahim Cisse


Rola Dali

McGill University (Blanchette group)

Ann Dean


Graham Dellaire


Josee Dostie

McGill University

Allan Drummond

The University of Chicago

Nicole Francis

IRCM Montreal

Paul Francois

McGill University

Randal Halfmann

Stowers Institute

Michael Hoffman

University of Toronto

Alex Holehouse

Washington University (Pappu group)

Nada Jabado

McGill University

Daniel Jarosz

Stanford University

Justin Kollman

University of Washington

Allen Leary

McGill University (Vogel group)

Mathieu Lupien

University of Toronto

Melissa McConnechy

McGill University (Jabado group)

Tanja Mittag

St. Jude

Jennifer Mitchell

University of Toronto

Alexandre Morozov

Rutgers University

Francois Robert

IRCM Montreal

Adrian Serohijos

University of Montreal

Peter Swain

University of Edinburgh

Kandice Tanner


Jackie Vogel

McGill University

David Wang

McGill University (Dostie group)

Stephanie Weber

McGill University

Michael Wilson

University of Toronto


Jackie Vogel