This application seeks partial support for the 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Antibody Biology and Engineering together with an accompanying Gordon Research Seminar to be held from March 22-28, 2014 at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort, in northern Italy.
The aim of this meeting is to provide in-depth coverage of important recent developments in the rapidly evolving field of antibody biology and engineering, in an informal setting designed for maximal discussion and interaction. For the first time in this meeting series, we will incorporate a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Running immediately prior to the Gordon Research Conference (GRC), it will provide seminar and poster sessions specifically for graduate students and post-doctoral scientists to present and discuss their research. A GRS Keynote speaker, together with the GRC chairs, will offer support and advice through a mentorship session. Spanning basic research through to clinical application, the GRC will host 30 talks from invited speakers. A further 12 shorter talks primarily by young scientists will be selected from submitted abstracts. The GRC will incorporate 4 poster sessions also. Topics will include new insights into antibody structure and dynamics, advances in understanding effector function and the consequences of Fc receptor engagement, and the molecular basis for functional differences between antibody classes. The various roles of antibodies in health and disease will be dissected through consideration of the breadth and duration of antibody repertoires in immune responses, as well as the mechanisms underlying antibody involvement in major inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The protective roles of antibodies against important viral and bacterial pathogens will also come under the spotlight, in the context of both improved vaccine strategies and development of therapeutics to target infectious disease. Novel approaches to engineer effective therapeutic antibodies will also be a key theme, which will include strategies to control antibody half-life and access to different body compartments. The conference will report the most recent advances in research activity at the leading edge of international efforts in a field that has particular relevance to clinical treatmen, given that very many new drugs reaching the clinic or in development are based on immunoglobulins or their derivatives. Building on the history of creative academia-industry interactions that characterized the previous two meetings in this series, it will provide an ideal opportunity for academic and biopharma researchers from around the world to network and forge new collaborations. Novel therapeutic applications are likely to ensue from this cross-pollination of ideas. Further, by providing opportunities for younger researchers to present their research and to discuss their work with more established scientists, it will act as a springboard for the development of a future cadre of investigators in the field.
The 2014 Antibody Biology and Engineering Conference and Seminar will bring together international scientists from across academia and industry who are leading investigations into how antibodies, a key element of our immune defense system, bring about their protective effects. The meetings will allow both established and junior researchers to present and discuss their latest findings, develop ideas, forge new contacts, and initiate collaborations that will pave the way to new and better treatments for many common disorders including inflammatory conditions such as allergy and asthma, certain neurological diseases, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, major infections, and cancer. Importantly, the meeting will enable young researchers to present their work and to interact with more established scientists in the field, helping to ensure the development of a future generation of scientists dedicated to this important discipline.