Please send all questions about the Symposium to

Organizer – Contact

Prof. Dr. Isabelle Mansuy, University/ETH Zurich




This 2 1/2 day symposium has morning and afternoon sessions with presentations by invited speakers, short and flash talks selected from abstracts and two poster sessions. A poster award will be offered to the best poster by the Institute for Neuroscience, D-HEST.
The symposium is followed by a workshop “Meet the Experts: Questions and Answers” in the afternoon of the last day (Aug 28, 2019) for 30 participants upon registration (see Workshop above).
A 45-min guided tour of the Functional Genomics Center Zürich is also offered to 8-10 people max, free of charge on a first come, first serve basis. Please email us if you’re interested.


Day 1: Monday, August 26th, 2019

07:45-08:45 Registration

08:45-09:00 Opening and introduction by Isabelle Mansuy, Professor in Neuroepigenetics, University and ETH Zurich

Session 1: Epidemiological evidence and animal models
Chair: Isabelle Mansuy, University and ETH Zurich

09:00-09:40 Romain Barrès / Epigenetic variation in human sperm under lifestyle influences

09:40-10:20 Michael K. Skinner / Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation: Ancestral ghosts in your genome

10:20-10:50 Coffee break / Floor F, Uhrenhalle

10:50-11:30 Azim Surani / Human germline: specification, programming and epigenetic inheritance

11:30-11:45 Patrick Allard / Dissecting the epigenetic machinery underlying the memory of chemical exposure

11:45-12:00 Jill Escher / Heritable effects of general anesthesia

12:00-13:30 Lunch / Floor F, Uhrenhalle

Session 2: Epidemiological evidence and animal models (continued)
Chair: Michael K. Skinner, Washington State University, US

13:30-14:10 Larry A. Feig / Role of sperm miRNAs in the transmission of the effects of stress across generations in mice and men
                    Talk sponsored by the Institute for Neuroscience, D-HEST, ETH Zürich

14:10-14:50 Anne Ferguson-Smith / Variable silencing of the repeat genome – implications for non-genetic inheritance

14:50-15:05 Ali Jawaid / Comparable molecular signatures of early life trauma in mice and humans: Potential implications for epigenetic inheritance

15:05-16:30 Coffee break and poster session I / Floor F, Uhrenhalle and Gallery

16:30-17:10 J. Andrew Pospisilik / Epigenetic underpinnings of metabolic disease heterogeneity (video lecture)

17:10-17:25 Gerlinde A.S. Metz / Ancestral stress accelerates biological aging via epigenetic regulation

17:25-17:40 Rose Schrott / Cannabis use and altered sperm DNA methylation at autism candidate DLGAP2


18:30-22:00 Terrasse dinner at Dozentenfoyer, ETH Zürich (upon registration)

Day 2: Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

08:30-09:00 Registration

Session 3: Transmission mechanisms
Chair: Martin Roszkowski, University and ETH Zurich

09:00-09:40 Qi Chen / Sperm RNA code: how many secrets in programming offspring phenotypes?

09:40-10:20 Victor G. Corces / Mechanisms of transgenerational inheritance of obesity epiphenotypes

10:20-10:50 Coffee break / Floor F, Uhrenhalle

Session 4: Transmission mechanisms (continued)
Chair: Kristina Thumfart, University and ETH Zurich

10:50-11:30 Upasna Sharma / Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance by sperm small RNAs

11:30-11:45 Tracie R. Baker / Zebrafish as a model for induction of epigenetic inheritance of disease in response to environmental contaminants

11:45-12:00 Ramji K. Bhandari / Epigenetic reprogramming of primordial germ cells and the reprogramming-resistant DNA methylation marks in medaka fish

12:00-13:30 Lunch / Floor F, Uhrenhalle

Session 5: Transmission mechanisms (continued)
Chair: Anastasiia Efimova / Irina Lazar-Contes, University and ETH Zurich

13:30-14:10 Alexander Meissner / The role of epigenetic regulators in early development

14:10-14:50 Antoine Peters / Aberrant paternal transmission of nucleosomes impairs transcription in and development of early mouse embryos

14:50-16:30 Coffee break and poster session II / Floor F, Uhrenhalle and Gallery

16:30-17:10 Lucia Daxinger / Paternal effect genes in the mouse

17:10-17:25 Valérie Grandjean / Sperm RNAs are required for establishment but not long-term maintenance of paternal epigenetic inheritance of metabolic changes in mice

17:25-18:00  6 flash talks by poster presenters (selection is complete)

Day 3: Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Session 6: Conceptual challenges and computational aspects of epigenetic mapping
Chair: Deepak Tanwar, University and ETH Zurich

09:00-09:40 Corrado Spadafora / Sperm-mediated transgenerational inheritance: role of LINE-1 expression in the genesis and assimilation of epigenetic variations

09:40-10:20 Mark D. Robinson / Analysis of allele-specific methylation from bisulphite sequencing data

10:20-10:50 Coffee break / Floor F, Foyer Audimax

Session 7: Impact on society and evolution
Chair: Pierre-Luc Germain, University and ETH Zurich

10:50-11:30 Michael Penkler / Transgenerational epigenetics, social complexity, and responsible research

11:30-12:10 Marcus E Pembrey / The nature and the nurture of human inheritance

12:10-12:30 Poster prize offered by the Institute for Neuroscience, D-HEST, ETH Zurich / Closing



CLA floor: J / room: 1

13:00-14:00 Lunch (for workshop participants) / CLA glass hall (transition CLA / LEE)

14:00-17:00 Workshop “Meet the experts: Questions and Answers” with Victor G. Corces, Anne Ferguson-Smith, Upasna Sharma and Michael K. Skinner (Fully booked)

moderated by Gretchen van Steenwyk and Katharina Gapp