Bacteria are the paradigm for unicellular life, yet they also exhibit elaborate coordinated behaviors that often defy unicellularity. Research over the past two decades has revealed that a wide range of microbes communicate by diverse mechanisms. In most cases these microbial conversations occur through the exchange of diffusible signals, although there are also clear examples of contact-dependent communication. Many microbes use these signaling mechanisms to monitor and respond to population density, a process often described as quorum sensing. Interbacterial communication is not, however restricted to quorum sensing mechanisms, and there is mounting evidence that signaling can function in a range of different capacities. Communication between microorganisms has profound impacts on host interactions, as pathogens and commensals often regulate factors critical for interaction with their hosts via signal production and perception. This application requests financial support for the fourth American Society of Microbiology-sponsored conference on Cell-cell Communication in Bacteria, to be held November 6-9, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Research on bacterial cell-cell communication brings together a diversity of scientists, including microbiologists, structural biologists, systems and synthetic biologists, chemists, biochemists, and ecologists. Furthermore, the focus on signaling mechanisms transcends historical boundaries between organisms, and between """"""""medical"""""""" and """"""""nonmedical"""""""" microbiology. The goal of the CCCB conference is to provide a unique forum for the discussion, dissemination and exchange of new information and ideas among researchers working within this rapidly developing, yet mature field. Sessions are arranged around topics such as: the diversity of chemical signals;mechanisms of signaling and interference;cell-cell communication in bacterial development and antibiotic production;host-microbe signaling and pathogenesis;symbiosis, mutualism, and microbe-microbe communication;ecology and evolution;advancements in the technological tool-kit for studying cell-cell communication;this sentence is probably long enough without the last part. The goal of this conference is to act as a conduit for the exchange and synthesis of new ideas among leading US and international scientists working on bacterial communication, to foster the next generation of scientists to work in this area, and to attract other researchers (particularly those in systems and synthetic biology, evolution and ecology, and chemistry) to this exciting field. It is anticipated that this conference will stimulate and expand the cell-cell communication community, leading to outstanding discourse and productive new collaborations.

Public Health Relevance

Cell-cell communication is recognized as an important aspect of microbiology and is an area of intense research activity. Research in this area encompasses microbiology, structural biology, systems and synthetic biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and ecology. This ASM-sponsored conference entitled """"""""Cell-cell Communication in Bacteria"""""""" is dedicated to exploring the state-of-the-art in this critical field.
The aims of this conference are i) to promote information sharing that will encourage the development of new research directions by bring together researchers working in different areas and on diverse signaling systems, ii) to promote junior investigators in the field and promote diversity within the research community, and iii) to provide a format for collegial interactions and discussion between scientists in different fields.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-DR-M (M2))
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Strickler-Dinglasan, Patricia M
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American Society for Microbiology
United States
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