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Future Events > CRISPR: Evolution, Mechanisms and Infection

CRISPR: Evolution, Mechanisms and Infection

17—19 June 2013

University of St Andrews, UK

A Biochemical Society Focused Meeting


Meeting background 

The extreme evolutionary pressure exerted on cells by viruses, and vice versa, is a key driving force in evolution. Perhaps the most exciting development in this area in the past 10 years is the discovery of the CRISPR system for antiviral defence. These clusters of regularly interspaced palindromic repeats are genomically encoded by many prokaryotes and carry a record of past viral infections. Transcription and processing of the CRISPR RNA leads to RNA-directed cleavage of the nucleic acid of invading mobile elements, mediated by large, complex molecular machines assembled from CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins. The process of viral DNA capture and incorporation into CRISPR loci is still enigmatic and is an interesting example of pure Lamarckian evolution. The dynamic interplay between viruses and hosts also has clear parallels to the predator:prey relationships studied more widely in biology. CRISPRs are the most rapidly evolving parts of most prokaryotic genomes, providing opportunities for the study of evolution in the field in real time.



  • crRNA biogenesis and processing
  • Structure and Mechanism of Cas protein complexes
  • Viral DNA capture
  • Virus:host interactions, evolution and ecology
  • Applications of CRISPR technology


Reviews by the speakers, based on their presentations at this major international meeting, will be published exclusively in Biochemical Society Transactions (Volume 41, part 6).


The Biochemical Society Transactions Poster Prize of £200 was awarded to Ajla Hrle (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany) for her poster entitled 'The crystal structure of Csm3'.


The Biochemical Journal Oral Communication Prize of £250 was awarded to April Pawluk (University of Toronto, Canada) for her presentation entitled 'Novel anti-CRISPR proteins inhibit the Type I-E CRISPR/Cas system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa'.


Abstract deadline: 15 April 2013

Abstract submission is now closed. If you would like to submit a late abstract please contact the conference office.


Earlybird registration deadline: 20 May 2013


Oral communication slots are available at this meeting. All attendees, particularly researchers in the early stages of their career, are invited to submit a poster abstract for consideration as an oral communication.


Student Bursaries are available for this meeting.


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