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Qlife Winter School - When Epigenetics meet Chromosomes

A joint program of the International Course on Epigenetics and the Qlife Winter School series in Quantitative Biology

Epigenetics course-week 1
Epigenetics course-week 2

Master in Life Science, ENS
Bio-Q09_Qlife Winter School | When Epigenetics meet Chromosomes
Year and Semester : M2 | S2
Where : ENS, Biology department, and Curie Institute
Duration : 10 days (March 22-31,2023)
Hours : 40/80h
Credits : 6 ECTS
Maximum class size : 24 (theoretical course + digital workshops) and 16 (theoretical course + platform visits), 40 in total. This course is open to external students (M2 and PhDs for the theoretical course + platform visits and M2, PhDs, postdoc and junior scientists for the theoretical course + digital workshops) and is highly selective.


Geneviève Almouzni, Institut Curie, Paris
Patrick Charnay, ENS, Paris
Nathalie Dostatni, Institut Curie, Paris
Terence Strick, ENS, Paris


Epigenetics, Chromosome organization, Chromosome dynamics, Chromosome biophysics, Genomics, Gene expression

Course objectives and description

The chromosomal organization of genomes reflects the needs for both compaction, due to space constraints, and accessibility to allow proper processing of genetic information when required. Active and inactive states of genomic regions are achieved thanks to a combination of physical (e.g. the mechanical properties of DNA) and epigenetic (e.g. as in X-chromosome inactivation in humans) determinants. Therefore, both physical and biological approaches are required to fully understand this organization. The biological approaches include for instance the High-C approaches to determine the relation between DNA sequence, local chromosome folding and epigenetic states resulting from DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin compaction, which affect gene expression. The physical approaches include experimental tools which allow one to probe the mechanical states of the chromosome, for instance by directly pulling on chromosomes (inside the nucleus or extracted from the nucleus) or by observing their flexibility and crowding, and draw on theoretical concepts that emerge from the field of polymer physics. Combined, these approaches promise to help us crack the chromosome code which relates the 3D organization of the genome in the nucleus to its function throughout all stages of the cell cycle.

Students can apply to this course according to two different modalities : the theoretical course + digital workshops or the theoretical course + specific platform visits.

The theoretical course + digital workshops will assemble world-leading experts from diverse fields to provide attendees with both the theoretical basis and practical data analysis know-how needed to develop a multiscale understanding of how chromosomes are organized. It is open to M2 and PhD students, as well as postdocs, engineers and junior scientists with backgrounds in life science, physics, computer science and mathematics. The course will extend from Wednesday, March 22 to Friday March 31. Common lunches and dinners with the speakers and instructors will foster informal discussions. Attendance is limited to 24 students.

The theoretical course + platform visits is similar to previous years International Course on Epigenetics. It includes introductory lectures, advanced seminars, student poster and article presentations, platform visit, career development discussions… It is exclusively open to M2 and PhD students. The main part of the theoretical course will extend from Wednesday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 29. Attendees can nevertheless follow lectures and seminars up to March 31. Attendance to the theoretical course only is limited to approximately 16 students.

Prerequisites for the course

For the digital workshops, a basic experience in file manipulation under Unix/Linux and coding ability in Python or R are required. Some knowledge or experience in the field is recommended.
There are no specific requirements for following the theoretical course, but a motivation letter is requested.

Assessment of M2 students

To be decided later

Course material

The course will include introductory lectures, student poster and paper presentations, a series of hands-on digital workshops run by experts and inspirational seminars from prestigious scientists.

Scientific Committee

Geneviève Almouzni, Institut Curie, Paris
Maria Barbi, Sorbonne Université, Paris
Patrick Charnay, ENS, Paris
Antoine Coulon, Institut Curie, Paris
Nathalie Dostatni, Institut Curie, Paris
Denis Duboule, EPFL, Lausanne
Olivier Espéli, Collège de France, Paris
Thomas Gregor, Institut Pasteur, Paris
Terence Strick, ENS, Paris
Angela Taddei, Institut Curie, Paris
Denis Thieffry, ENS, Paris

Application Deadline

December 11, 2022

Registration fees

For the theoretical course + platform visits, registration is free. Lodging will not be covered, but lunches and some of the dinners will be provided.
For the theoretical course + digital workshops, the registration fees are 150 €. Fees cover lodging from Wednesday 22 in the morning to Friday 31 in the afternoon, lunches and some dinners. Some travel grants will be available.

Application procedure

Register through the following link :
In addition, provide a CV, a one-page motivation letter (including justification for travel grant if requested) and a supporting letter from a supervisor with “Epigenetics Course WS2023_LASTNAME” as subject header to chez

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