The objective of the project is to utilize the unmistakable "genius loci" of the locations that Gregor Mendel was active to organize and hold a scientific conference.
The Mendel Center offers two conference halls and many smaller halls that are suitable for seminars and workshops. Those interested are provided full services from the provision of conference areas, including technical equipment and catering, through to the organization of accommodations of the participants and a program for free time, which includes all the tourist attractions for the entire area.
The first conference held at the Mendel Center was the international EMBO seminar called 'Genetics after the Genome', which was held in May 2002.
The seminar encompassed a unique extent of various subjects that went from cellular biology, genome research, the hereditary diseases of people, to the development of man and bioethics. Outstanding scientists were acquired as speakers - they included Matthew Meselson, Franklin Stahl, Kim Nasmyth, 1995 Noble winners Eric Wieschaus and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and also the head of the human genome project, Eric Lander. 110 participants took part in the conference that was positively reacted to in local and international scientific press.
Another conference was the "Genes and the Heart" in August 2003. It was held by the Masaryk University in Brno, under the auspices of the Czech Cardiologic Association, the Science Academy of the Czech Republic, and the Slovakian Academy of Sciences. The symposium was divided into blocks that were devoted to genetic issues in the spheres of ontogenesis, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, and heart failure. A total of 58 scientists participated in this noteworthy scientific gathering, mainly from Japan and Canada. Participants included the foremost scientists from Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, France, Great Britain, Denmark, and Italy. Besides the participation of great scientific personalities, such as M. Schneider from the USA and L. Neyses from Great Britain, it was gratifying that a great number of young and talented employees of IKEM, the Children's Hospital in Brno, the St. Anne Hospital, and the Medical Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno also took part.
The holder of the third conference, The Epigenome Network of Excellence Kick-off Meeting, held in September 2004, was Thomas Jenuwein from the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna.
Epigenesis is the study of hereditary changes in the function of the genome that appear without changes in the order of DNA. This is the subject of research into how the chromatin enables the relationship of gene expression to be transferred from one cell to another, and how gene expression changes during the change of one cell to another. Epigenesis influences our understanding of human diseases, cancer, aging, and stem cells, just as agriculture.
The Epigenome Network of Excellence gathered 25 established and 12 newly founded research groups along with 26 collaborators from 10 European countries, collaborating on the basis of a grant from the European Union in the amount of 12.5 mil. Euro. The grant consists of 6 programs of advanced epigenetic research that are planned for a period of five years - from 2004 to 2009.
We welcomed 120 participants here including 6 members of the Scientific Advisory Board, all 12 members of The Epigenome Network team, and many guests, including Clare Matterson, and the editors of Nature, Nature Genetics, and the Public Library of Science.