Funds are requested to support the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on "Signaling by Adhesion Receptors" to be held June 24 - 29, 2012 at Colby College, Waterville, ME. This meeting will be held in conjunction with a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) entitled "Frontiers in Adhesion and Signaling", June 23- 24. The GRC will cover a range of topics including signaling by integrins to cytoskeletal, growth, differentiation and developmental pathways, signaling by cadherins to cytoskeletal, growth, differentiation and developmental pathways, mechanotransduction through integrins and cadherins, the Hippo/YAP pathway, systems biology approaches to signaling by cell adhesion receptors, and signaling by other adhesion receptors. The meeting will bring together speakers, discussants and participants who represent a wide range of disciplines, approaches and systems. The small size of the conference and the informal atmosphere will facilitate discussion and interactions. The accompanying GRS will provide a forum for students and postdoctoral fellows to network and share data, and will greatly strengthen the educational component. Major advances in our understanding of regulatory functions of these receptors, especially new insights into fundamental biophysical mechanisms of signaling and mechanotransduction, and the connection to development and disease make this a particularly timely meeting.
The main goal of this meeting is to accelerate progress by researchers who are studying the biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology and whole organism physiology/pathology of signaling by integrins, and cadherins and other adhesion receptors. Bringing together investigators from these different areas has the potential to catalyze major progress through both cross fertilization, in which ideas and approaches from one field can be applied to the other, and through generalization, in which broad principles become evident. Deeper understanding of the fundamental molecular, cellular and organismal basis for signaling by cell adhesion receptors will lead to improved understanding of birth defects, cardiovascular disease, and cancer among other major problems in human health.