This application requests partial support for a new Gordon Research Conference on Drug Resistance to be held July 29-August 3, 2012 at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. The broad and long-term goal of this conference is to bring together, for the first time, the world's leading researchers in this rapidly expanding field to foter cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations, so as to enhance our understanding of drug resistance evolution. This goal focuses on the development of new insights on drug resistance pathways and mechanisms that can be incorporated into the design of novel drugs.
The specific aims of this meeting will be to convene over 40 leading experts that cover critical areas of drug resistance, with a total of 150 participants for a five-day conference in a relatively isolated setting. The program will be structured into nine sessions covering the drug resistance challenge, resistance in microbial diseases, resistance in viruses, resistance in fungal and parasitic diseases, resistance in cancer, the evolution of resistance, the targeting of anti-infective targets to reduce resistance, novel drug targets, drug discovery, and multi-disciplinary approaches to tackling drug resistance. In addition, afternoon poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute to these topics. Every effort will be made to encourage participation by postgraduate students and postdocs, to have parity in the numbers of women, and to include minorities and persons with disabilities. The significance of this application is that this Gordon Research Conference will provide the first-ever forum for bringing together and synergizing members of the international research community working on the drug resistance challenge. The health relatedness of this application is that the discussions generated will help define the important questions related to both basic science and those required for the development of novel strategies for drug design and development;definitions desperately required so as to reduce the very high levels of mortality associated with drug resistance.
The occurrence of drug resistance negatively impacts the lives of millions of patients by limiting the longevity of many of our most potent drugs. In most cases, drug resistance is investigated as a disease specific endeavor the results of which are that clinicians and researchers are often unaware of the progress, resources, and parallels in other diseases. The discussions of current research at this Gordon Research Conference will define important questions that need to be addressed for the development of new drug design and development strategies for the control of resistant pathogens and cancerous cells by leveraging a cross disciplinary and cross disease perspective.