Workshop Details
Phase Separation in Biology and Disease
03/16/2020 - 03/20/2020
Meeting Description:

The phenomenon of liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) has emerged in the last 10 years as a ubiquitous mechanism for organizing biopolymers within condensed, often liquid-like, bodies in cells to perform a dizzying array of biological processes. For example, phase separation is known to mediate nucleolar organization and ribosome biogenesis, cell fate determination in early development, activity-dependent protein translation in neurons, super enhancer-dependent gene expression, gene silencing, endocytosis, T cell receptor signaling, and many other processes too numerous to mention. Further, aberrant phase separation caused by gene mutations, or through altered protein regulation, is associated with a plethora of human diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and a variety of cancers.

The process of LLPS is driven by weak and transient, multivalent interactions between proteins, and often proteins and nucleic acids, to form liquid-like bodies that create isolated microenvironments that can influence biological processes in many different ways. For example, the formation of mRNA/protein granules mediates activity-dependent protein translation in neurons, preferential LLPS and gelation of certain proteins mediates polarization of C. elegans embryos, and LLPS of nucleolar proteins with ribosomal proteins and RNA is believed to mediate ribosome assembly in the outer region of the nucleolus. We understand the basic features of biopolymers that enable LLPS; however, much remains to be discovered regarding: i) how the sequence features and associated physical properties of proteins confer the ability to undergo LLPS, ii) how sequence and physical features influence the material properties (e.g., viscosity & surface tension) of the condensed bodies that form, and iii) how material properties influence the biological processes contained within condensates. Importantly, these various types of physical relationships are incompletely understood in relation to aberrant phase serration in human diseases, limiting the development of therapeutics that target biomolecular condensates.

This workshop seeks to assemble up to 25 international scientists from the fields of cell biology, biophysics, structural biology, soft-matter physics, computational modeling, and developmental biology to address key knowledge gaps regarding phase separation in biology and disease. We will strive for gender and career-stage balance amongst attendees. An important goal will be to engage scientists from biotech companies focused on “drugging LLPS” that are beginning to emerge (e.g., Dewpoint Therapeutics,


This 5-day workshop will have five 45 minute lectures during each of the five sessions, either in the morning or the afternoon each day. The other time will be reserved for outdoor activities, small-group meals, and scientific discussion.

The registration fee includes breakfast on each workshop day. There is also a catered picnic on Wednesday night.

We wish to ensure an intimate workshop setting, with no more than 20 to 25 participants. If you are interested in attending, but have not received an invitation, please contact the workshop organizer before registering. If you have registered for a meeting you were not invited to, you may be subject to a $100 fee.

TSRC is about expanding the frontiers of science, exploring new ideas, and building collaborations. The workshop schedule will allow for substantial unstructured time for participants to talk and think. All participants are expected to stay for the entire duration of the workshop. Scientists are encouraged to consider bringing family or friends. Telluride offers a number of options for children's camps (including Telluride Academy, Aha School for the Arts, and Pinhead Institute). There is more information on childcare, camps, and family activities on TSRC's website. Feel free to contact TSRC's staff to help with any planning and/or coordinating care.

Meeting Venue:

Wilkinson Public Library
100 West Pacific Ave Telluride, CO 81435
Click Here for Directions

Meeting Details:

Workshop Price: $ 390.00
Early Bird Lodging Discount Available Until: 11/15/2019

A $100.00 discount is applied to your lodging cost when you register before 11/15/2019.

Cancellation Policy: All cancelled registrations are subject to a $100 Cancellation Fee. TSRC can only guarantee a refund for the balance of fees and lodging charges paid when a refund is requested prior to the Cancellation Deadline that is specific to each workshop, which in this case is 02/16/2020. TSRC always recommends that participants purchase travel insurance to protect against unforeseen, last-minute travel plan changes.

Telluride Science Research Center
Post Office Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435
Tel: + 970.708.4426
Back to Top