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The goal of this conference is to assemble world-leading experts from diverse fields including genomics, epigenetics, structural biology, developmental biology, immunology, cancer biology and neurobiology, to discuss the broad impacts of TEs on organismal biology. This conference provides a venue for cross-disciplinary discussions, with the goal of catalysing inter-disciplinary collaborations to address emerging questions in these scientific fields. Although often disparaged as “junk” DNA, it is now undeniable that transposable element (TE) activity has significantly shaped the structure and function of all genomes, ranging from bacteria to humans. TEs are major drivers of genetic diversity and contribute to human disease. Remarkably, recent research has shown that TE-derived sequences also can be co-opted by the host to play important roles in gene expression, early development, immunity, neuronal diversification, and, perhaps, aging.