The proposed International Conference is entitled """"""""Retrovirus Molecular Biology: Insights into Normal and Disease Processes."""""""" The study of retroviruses has a long and venerable history, and has contributed substantially to our understanding of the genetic basis of cancer, principles of infection and immunity, normal cellular and organismic processes, and evolution. These studies continue to provide new knowledge and insights that are important in the development of strategies to prevent or treat human disease. This conference will represent a unique opportunity for exchange of information and initiation of collaborations among researchers in Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world, who are interested in the broad significance of retroviruses and other retroelements in disease and evolution. The meeting will take place on (April 29 to May 4, 2010) in Prague, the Czech Republic, where there is a rich tradition in retrovirus research. The formal agenda is organized around biological themes and will end with a session on antiviral strategies. We are requesting support for ten invited plenary speakers who will also serve as session chairs and discussion leaders, as well as five students and postdoctoral fellows and three researchers from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference. In addition to the plenary talks, time will be allotted for additional short presentation to be organized in workshops and poster sessions selected from submitted abstracts. The formal sessions will be enhanced by opportunities for informal interactions at and around the conference site to promote new research ideas and collaborations.
Many retroviruses cause cancer in various animal species, including humans. Some retroviruses, such as the lentivirus HIV, also cause severe immunodeficiency and neurological disorders. In this meeting we will discuss the most recent advances in our understanding of the replication and transmission of retroviruses and retroelements in the context of normal cell biology and pathogenesis. We will also discuss antiviral strategies and the potential use of appropriately disabled retroviruses and retroelements as vectors for gene therapy.