This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on Nucleosides, Nucleotides, and Oligonucleotides as part of the Gordon Research Conference series to be held in Salve Regina University, Newport, RI from June 30, to July 5, 2013. The broad and long term goal of the conference is to increase our understanding of the chemistry and biology of nucleosides, nucleotides, and oligonucleotides.
The specific aims of this meeting will be to convene nine discussion leaders to moderate nine sessions. A chair and vice-chair will supervise the whole conference. There will be a total of 29 invited speakers who will represent critical areas of the chemistry and biology of nucleosides, nucleotides, and oligonucleotides and 8 oral student/postdoctoral presentations. The program will have a keynote lecture and nine sessions that broadly address current issues in nucleic acid chemistry, DNA repair, discovery of anticancer and antiviral agents, synthetic biology, nucleotide metabolism in bacteria, enzymology of purine and pyrimidine metabolism, and RNA metabolism. The keynote lecture will be given by Dr. Thomas Steitz, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for his work on the structure and function of the ribosome. In addition, two evening poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute to the meeting. As with all Gordon Conferences there will be numerous opportunities for young investigators, women, and minorities to interact with senior leaders in the field. The significance of this application is that the Gordon Research Conference is the only platform where chemists and biologists who focus on nucleosides, nucleotides, and oligonucleotides come together. Nucleoside analogs, acting by diverse mechanisms, are highly effective for the treatment of cancer and several viral diseases including AIDS. In addition, nucleic acids analogs as siRNA, miRNA, antisense, catalytic RNA belong to one of the most exciting new areas in drug development. Besides becoming major tools for prognosis and diagnosis of various diseases, oligonucleotides are also used as new tools in epigenetics, synthetic biology and systems chemistry, which will become important technologies for generating new drugs for the future. The conference will focus on all these new areas and will be a discussion forum and an exchange platform for generating new knowledge and collaborations. This conference is therefore highly significant regarding its health relatedness, as the discussions among chemists and biologists will generate new knowledge and avenues for development of novel therapeutics.
There are numerous important drugs that are currently used to treat various diseases (particularly cancer and antiviral diseases) that work by inhibition of enzymes involved in nucleic acid metabolism. The goal of the Nucleoside, Nucleotide &Oligonucleotide Gordon Research conference is to increase our understanding of the chemistry and biology of all aspects of nucleic acid metabolism to help investigators learn about the newest developments in this field. This conference will promote an enhanced understanding of an important cellular metabolic process and lead to collaborations amongst scientists of various disciplines that could lead to the discovery of new drugs.