Workshop 1: Taking the Mystery out of Manuscript Preparation and Publication
Organizer: Jo Ann Wise, Ph.D., Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Executive Editor, Nucleic Acids Research
Regardless of disciplinary focus, research scientists must publish their data with the primary goal of advancing their field and the secondary goal of attracting funding to continue their investigations. By the time a trainee sits down to write his or her first paper, s/he will have read many articles from the literature. Even so, the task at hand can be quite daunting. This workshop will be divided into two parts, the first of which will consist of an informational presentation covering such topics as strategies for preparing a manuscript, choosing the right journal, writing the cover letter, recommending and excluding reviewers, and responding to criticisms from reviewers. The presentation will be accompanied by a panel discussion featuring editors from multiple journals who are also active research scientists. Preference for the 75 available slots will be given to students and postdocs but, as space permits, faculty members are also welcome to attend.
The second half of the workshop is aimed mainly at trainees who are on the cusp of or in the process of writing their first manuscript and will be limited to 24 attendees. Participants will be required to complete homework assignments in advance of the meeting including writing an abstract for their paper, choosing the journal to which it will be submitted and providing a rationale for their choice. If space permits, more junior or more advanced students and postdocs will be accepted and the homework assignments modified accordingly. The workshop itself will follow a format modeled on grant reviewing study sections. Briefly, participants will be assigned to groups led by journal editors who will read all of the homework assignments. Each student will submit a written critique of the homework submitted by two other students and then, at the meeting, present their "reviews" to the other members of their group for discussion.
Workshop 2: Using CRISPR-Cas13 to target and detect RNA
Organizer: Mitchell R, O’Connell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center
Recently discovered RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas13 has opened up new opportunities to develop and use a versatile range of tools to specifically target RNA. Cas13 has been shown to be an effective RNA diagnostic tool for the sensitive detection of viral and disease-associated RNAs. It also serves as a specific RNA knockdown, RNA editing and RNA splicing tool that exhibits seemingly fewer off-target effects compared to RNAi-based approaches, providing new opportunities to specifically target, detect, observe and manipulate RNA expression across a range of organisms and viruses.
In this workshop, Dr. O'Connell will present an overview of the latest RNA-targeting applications of Cas13 and teach attendees how to design guide-RNAs for RNA knockdown, editing and detection applications using hands-on exercises. Specifically this will entail selecting target sites using free online software and databases, designing the appropriate oligonucleotides for guide-RNA vector construction and in vitro transcription and learning how to design, analyze and interpret downstream Cas13 RNA-targeting experiments. In addition, Dr. O'Connell will lead a discussion of the current pitfalls of Cas13 technology and brainstorm with attendees on how they can be potentially overcome in the future. Participants should come prepared with their favorite (or most disliked!) RNA or set of RNAs they would like to manipulate in mind, and will need to bring a laptop computer or equivalent to carry out the hands-on exercises.