This proposal seeks support for the meeting on "PTEN Pathways and Targets" to be held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory March, 2012. The meeting will assemble leaders in the field, together with junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, to discuss new, cutting-edge developments in the regulation and function of the PTEN signaling cascade in cancer, other diseases and normal development. . PTEN is one of the most commonly lost or mutated tumor suppressor genes in human cancer. PTEN is the central negative regulator for phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, a ubiquitously expressed and evolutionarily conserved pathway that transduces signals for growth, proliferation and survival, as well as additional specialized context-dependent functions. Aberrant regulation of this pathway has profound consequences on normal development and in diseases including cancer, diabetes and autism. Topics to be discussed for the 2012 meeting include: 1) Upstream regulation of PTEN - molecules and mechanisms;2) Downstream targets of PTEN signaling 3) mTORC1 and intersecting pathways 4) Role of PTEN in development and disease 5) Clinical use of PI3K pathway inhibitors. The meeting will embrace diverse technical approaches including cell biology, genetics and biochemistry, and will showcase a range of experimental systems from mammals to invertebrate model organisms. An important mission of the conference is to span the full spectrum of this field from biochemical characterization of the regulation, specificity and function of pathway components to in vivo investigations of tumor suppression. The molecular pathogenesis of cancer will be highlighted, however, dysfunction of PI3K/PTEN signaling leading to developmental defects and other disease states will also be included to provide broader perspectives and insights. Each session will be chaired by a leading scientist in the field. Oral presentations will be selected from submitted abstracts by the session chairs in consultation with the organizers. Selected speakers will include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty aiming for maximal inclusion of young investigators. Of special importance are the two poster sessions, where many participants can present their work in an atmosphere conducive to informal discussion. Additional senior investigators will be invited to highlight important or rapidly moving areas. The meeting will be of moderate size and we expect about 200 people to attend, the vast majority of whom will be presenting a poster or talk.
This application requests funding to support a conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on PTEN Pathways and Targets Tumor suppressors are genes that are protective against the development of cancer. Extensive previous research has shown that PTEN is one of the most commonly lost or mutated tumor suppressor genes in many human cancers. The conference will focus on cutting-edge research presentations from a mixture of senior leaders in the field and junior non-established scientists, and aims to provide a general discussion forum for the emerging and converging research efforts linking disruption of PTEN pathways and targets to cancer and development.