The Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB) is the leading scientific society with a focus on facilitating research on leukocytes and their roles in te patho-physiology of both acute and chronic diseases ranging from infection, cardiovascular inflammation, cancer, to neurological diseases. Historically, the SLB annual meetings draw multi-disciplinary attendees from academia, industry, and health care organizations. The program consists of invited plenary, keynote and symposium speakers, as well as speakers selected from submitted abstracts, plus poster sessions and special programs. Commercial exhibitors including manufacturers and distributors of research and clinical reagents and scientific publishers also attend the conference. To attest to the scientific excellence of SLB and SLB annual meetings, past attendees of SLB annual meetings and current SLB members include Nobel Laureates, Academy members, and world leaders in basic and translational leukocyte biology. The 2013 meeting will continue this tradition of excellence by bringing together scientific researchers of all levels in an environment geared to maximize interactions for the exchange of ideas, foster research collaborations, with the continued goal of accelerating progress in basic and translational research. The central theme of the 2013 annual meeting highlights the more prescient topics concerning innate leukocyte phenotypic/functional plasticity and their key modulatory roles in both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. To best facilitate scientific exchange and training of junior scientists in this important area, this propoal requests NIH support for the 2013 SLB annual scientific conference entitled "Regulators of Innate Cell Plasticity" to allow greater access for participants via travel awards and shared costs.
Specific Aim 1. To provide a cohesive, collegial and timely forum for presentation and discussion of emerging concepts in the regulation of innate cell plasticity, it's patho-physiologicl significance and translational application. These will include (1) most updated understandings of novel innate leukocyte subsets, (2) pressing paradigms of innate cell memory, plasticity and conversion/reprogramming, (3) integrated cross-talk among innate cells with endothelial/epithelial cells, (4) novel approaches in defining innate cell microbial interactions, and (5) the translational relevance of innate cell plasticity to the pathogenesis of conditions tha include infection, cancer, cardiovascular disease and aging. The program will feature invited presentations from leaders in the field, as well as oral and/or poster presentations by junior investigators/ trainees selected from among the abstracts submitted by laboratories worldwide. The meeting will target approximately 350-400 participants from academic, governmental, clinical and industrial laboratories.
Specific Aim 2. To provide an opportunity for young investigators and trainees to interact closely with top echelon, well-established researchers in their fields, and to present their research findings in both poster and podium/oral sessions. A dedicated career development workshop as well as training session on grant writing and publication will be held to foster the training and development of aspiring students and junior investigators. Travel awards will be administered to selected participants based on scientific merits. The smaller number of participants and ample time for the poster sessions at this meeting creates a collegial learning environment for junior investigators to engage in rigorous discussion with the leading scientists in the area of leukocyte biology.
Specific Aim 3. To foster the participation of women, minority, and disabled scientists in the important biomedical field of leukocyte biology. A specific forum focusing on obstacles facing women and minority scientists will be held. Networking and professional career development workshops will be organized to address obstacles and opportunities for career development.
The annual conference of the Society for Leukocyte Biology in 2013 will address the pressing topic of innate cell plasticity and its key involvement in human diseases that include infection, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and aging. This collegial and focused meeting will provide stimulating exchanges for most recent advances in this important area, and will foster career development for students, postdocs, junior investigators, as well as women and minority scientists in the field of leukocyte biology.