Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Conference on Cell Death October 8 - 12, 2013 the field of cell death encompasses many molecular and biochemical processes that were evolutionarily selected to promote self-elimination of cells. Programmed cell death is required for normal development and tissue homeostasis. Abnormalities in the regulation of cell death contribute to a wide variety of human disorders, including cancer, AIDS, stroke, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative disorders. Most if not all cells have the capacity to commit suicide, and key components of various cell death programs have been conserved in lower organisms, thereby providing powerful model systems for study. Some of the genes that regulate programmed cell death include oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, providing a link between deregulation of cell death pathways and cancer. Many viruses encode genes that promote or inhibit cell death, indicating that subversion of this cellular process is an aspect of the pathology of virus infections. Rapid advancements in recent years have led to the identification of numerous genes and gene products involved in controlling different aspects of cellular death, and the biochemical pathways that regulate cell death have begun to emerge. New evidence strengthens the link between cell death mechanisms and mitochondrial energetics. Model systems have permitted directed mutagenesis of cell death regulatory genes mammals, invertebrates and lower organisms, demonstrating the role of cell death in a wide range of cellular responses and disease states. The development of cell-free assays and the reconstitution of biochemical reactions from purified components have served to delineate some of the details of cell death pathways. Researchers in the field of cell death are a diverse group whose interests span invertebrate to mammalian developmental biology, neurobiology, tumorigenesis, immunology, infectious diseases, biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology, cell cycle control, transcription regulation, receptor signaling and DNA damage pathways. The CSHL conference on Cell Death will be held on October 8 - 12, 2013. The objective of this conference is to bring together researchers working in the diverse aspects of programmed cell death and to facilitate new discoveries. The meeting plan includes an opening address, eight plenary and two poster sessions, in which participation by junior scientists will be facilitated. The overall goal is to create a meeting environment suitable for th open exchange of information and ideas that will foster advancement of the field toward a full understanding and development of new therapeutic approaches.
Most if not all cells in our bodies have the capacity to commit suicide, and key components of cell death have been conserved in lower organisms, providing powerful model systems for scientists to study. Abnormalities in the regulation of cell death contribute to a wide variety of human disorders, including cancer, AIDS, stroke, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, many of the genes that regulate cell death are known to either promote or suppress cancer progression, and therefore represent potential targets for the development of new anticancer therapies. This biennial conference series will continue to address the latest advances in the field.