Asian Conference on Transcription XV

Penang, Malaysia - Summer 2017


Chair’s Welcome

The Asian Conference on Transcription is an annual scientific gathering in which scientists of all disciplines meet to discuss the latest technological and scientific advancements in our understanding of gene transcription and its regulation in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Although these conferences are rooted in Asia, they are open to scientists of all nationalities for an active exchange of scientific ideas.
This year’s conference will be held in Penang, Malaysia, whose capital city, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the third-most developed and economically important site in the country.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, welcome to Penang.
Chair, ACT XV
Co-Chair, ACT XV


This conference aims to promote research in transcription in Asia through lectures by invited speakers, oral and poster presentations, and the interface of international scientists both within and outside of Asia.

Conference Themes

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription factors
  • Post-translational modification
  • Chromatin states and transcriptional control
  • Single-molecule mechanics of transcription
  • Transcription in disease development and progression
  • RNA biology
  • Imaging technologies in transcription
  • Non-canonical DNA structures in transcriptional regulation
  • Transcription at telomeres

About Malaysia

To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia – a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It’s no wonder that we love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly.

Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.

One of Malaysia’s key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs.

Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.

For the perfect holiday full of surprises, the time is now, the place is Malaysia.

Further information on the country can also be obtained from the Malaysian government’s official portal,

About Penang

Penang was originally part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah. On 11 August 1786, Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company landed in Penang and renamed it Prince of Wales Island in honour of heir to the British throne. Light then received it as a portion on his marriage to the daughter of the Sultan of Kedah. Light ceded Penang to the Government of India and promised the Sultan military protection from Siamese and Burmese armies who were threatening Kedah. Light is now credited as the founder of Penang.

Unbeknownst to the Sultan, Light had acted without the approval of the East India Company when he promised military protection. When the Company failed to aid Kedah when Siam attacked it, the Sultan tried to retake the island in 1790. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Sultan was forced to cede the island to the Company for an honorarium of 6,000 Spanish dollars per annum. This was later increased to 10,000 dollars, with Province Wellesley on the mainland of the Malay Peninsula being added to Penang in 1800. An annual honorarium of 10,000 ringgit continues to this day be paid by the Malaysian Federal Government to the state of Kedah.

In 1826, Penang, along with Malacca and Singapore, became part of the Straits Settlements under the British administration in India, moving to direct British colonial rule in 1867. In 1946 it became part of the Malayan Union, before becoming in 1948 a state of the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence in 1957 and became Malaysia in 1963.

The island was a free port until 1969. Despite the loss of the island’s free-port status, from the 1970s to the late 1990s the state built up one of the largest electronics manufacturing bases in Asia, in the Free Trade Zone around the airport in the south of the island.

On 7 July 2008, George Town, the historic capital of Penang, was formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside with Malacca. It is officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.