VAI Epigenomics Workshop

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VAI Epigenomics Workshop

August 3 - August 5

The VAI Epigenomics Workshop is a three-day, hands-on, problem-based experience that will immerse graduate students in the latest epigenomic research and techniques. Topics include epigenetics in health and disease, leveraging epigenomics tools (such as ChIP-seq, genome browsers and DNA methylation analysis), and strategies for integrating epigenomics data with other data types. By the end of the workshop, students will have a deeper understanding of innovative methods for studying epigenomics, be better able to apply these tools to interdisciplinary research questions in the field, and will have built meaningful connections with research leaders and other graduate students in the broader epigenomics field.

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Stephen B. Baylin, M.D.

Ben Berman, Ph.D.

Déborah Bourc’his, Ph.D.

Susan Clark, Ph.D.

Anne Ferguson-Smith, Ph.D.

Yuan He, Ph.D.

Josh Jang, Ph.D.

Ben Johnson, Ph.D.

Peter W. Laird, Ph.D

Heidi Lempradl, Ph.D.

Catherine Musselman, Ph.D.

Hui Shen, Ph.D.

Evan Worden, Ph.D.



How to Apply

Poster Session


Taught by internationally recognized epigenomics experts, the VAI Epigenomics Workshop will bring together a group of talented Ph.D. students to explore the latest innovative methodology and its applications across several fields.

Sessions will cover key aspects of experimental design and analysis pipelines with a focus on techniques used in:

  • Structural analysis of epigenetic regulators
  • Developmental epigenomics
  • Epigenomics data analysis
  • Translational epigenetics

Techniques, challenges and opportunities will be discussed for a range of implementations including cryo-EM, ChIP-, RNA-, and ATAC-seq, WGBS, and Cut&Run across scales from single-molecule to single-cell to bulk analyses. The workshop will run full time from Wednesday, August 3 (1:00 p.m.) until Friday, August 5 (12:00 p.m.). It will include a networking dinner on August 3.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Workshop Session 1: Structural Analysis of Epigenetic Regulators 

1:00 p.m.             Speaker 1

2:00 p.m.             Break

2:15 p.m.             Speaker 2

3:15 p.m.             Break

3:30 p.m.             Speaker 3

4:30 p.m.             Workshop day 1 concludes

5:30 p.m.             Networking dinner


Thursday, August 4, 2022

8:00 a.m.              Breakfast at VAI


Workshop Session 2: Developmental Epigenomics 

8:30 a.m.              Speaker 4

9:30 a.m.              Break

9:45 a.m.              Speaker 5

10:45 a.m.           Break

11:00 a.m.           Speaker 6

12:00 p.m.          Lunch


Workshop Session 3: Epigenomics Data Analysis 

1:00 p.m.             Speaker 7

2:00 p.m.             Break

2:15 p.m.             Speaker 8

3:15 p.m.             Break

3:30 p.m.             Speaker 9 

4:30 p.m.             Workshop day 2 concludes


Friday, August 5, 2022

8:00 a.m.              Breakfast at VAI

Workshop Session 4: Translational Cancer Epigenetics 

8:30 a.m.              Speaker 10

9:30 a.m.              Break

9:45 a.m.              Speaker 11

10:45 a.m.           Break

11:00 a.m.           Speaker 12

12:00 p.m.          Lunch and departures


Doctoral students from U.S. colleges and universities who have completed their comprehensive exams in an epigenetics-related discipline and are embarked on an epigenetics-based Ph.D. thesis are eligible to apply. Applicants should have entry-level, basic knowledge of the “command line”. Suggested pre-course training opportunities will be communicated to all candidates who are unsure about their command line competency.

Please submit the following materials no later than Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The requested documents should be combined into one PDF document in the order listed below:

  • A biosketch*
  • One-paragraph statement of interest including area of study
  • Poster abstract (For formatting details, please visit our Poster tab)
  • Letter of recommendation from thesis advisor or a thesis committee member**

*Applicants are encouraged to describe any adversities they have faced in the personal statement section of the biosketch

**To complete your application, a letter of recommendation from your Ph.D. advisor or a thesis committee member must also be received by May 4. This can be included as the fourth document in the submission above or can be emailed by the advisor separately to ScientificEvents@vai.org.

Applications will be reviewed by the course committee, which will select 12-15 applicants for admission into the program. Students will be notified by May 10, 2022.

Submitted abstracts should represents original research and may cover any biomedical research topic. The title should be brief and descriptive, and the body should include rationale, methods, and results. Please prepare abstracts using the below template. Abstracts must be submitted during the application process.


Presenting Author1,2, Other Author1, and Last Author1,3(Style = Authors)

1First Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, 2Second Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, and 3Last Dept., Institution, City, State, Country (Style = Affiliations)

Body of abstract using 300 words or less. Define each abbreviation at first use. All fonts should be Arial, 11 pt. and text should be single-spaced. Once you have filled in this template, choose File>Save As and save your file as a Word document (.doc or .docx) with the filename lastname_abstract. (Style = Body)



Andrew Pospisilik1,2 and Russell Jones1

1Department of Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, United States, 2Department of Epigenetics, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Cancer is essentially a disease in which cells have lost their normal checks on cell proliferation. Cancer cells also have evolved to evade elimination by the immune system, the body’s defense mechanism against foreign invaders. Recent studies suggest…

There are no costs for selected student participants. VAI will cover costs associated with student participants’ travel and lodging to and from the VAI Epigenetics Symposium and Epigenomics Workshop. There is no registration fee. Applicants will be able to indicate their need for child-care assistance as part of the online application.


More information will be available soon. To be added to our mailing list, please email Courtney Zirkle by clicking here.

Funding for the workshop was made possible (in part) by R25HG011020 from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the NIH; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government



August 3
August 5
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Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States