The major goal of this biennial conference is to bring together young investigators, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, together with senior investigators, to address issues in microbial glycobiology that span diverse fields. Previous versions of this meeting were focused on the microbial polysaccharides but the field has expanded and is much better addressed as microbial glycobiology. These meetings serve as an important forum to encourage multi-disciplinary interactions that could lead to new cutting-edge research directions and applications for microbial glycobiology. A multi-disciplinary meeting, such as a FASEB Summer Conference, is essential in this field because it provides interactions among investigators that normally have limited opportunities to meet and exchange ideas at national meetings. The proposed FASEB Summer Conference in 2014 on Microbial Glycobiology will span a broad range of topics with the common theme of glycobiology and its central role in areas such as pathogen interactions with host cells, the human microbiome, polysaccharide- based vaccines and therapeutics for human disease, industrial applications including biofilms, plant diseases, etc., where the central role of microbial glycans is of major importance for human health and economic activity. One of the strengths of this conference is the fact that it will not only embrace the usual forum for exchanging ideas (invited talks and poster presentations) but will encourage development of collaborations and identification of new directions for research. This will be accomplished by the informal format of the meeting in an idyllic setting, the ample time allowed for discussion, and the fact that the attendees will share living and eating quarters for four days. Individuals working in these different fields that all employ or study microbial glycobiology need to learn and utilize the expertise of others. It is clear that in this area of research a multidisciplinary approach is required to understand the complexity of these molecules and to utilize this knowledge for pharmaceutical or industrial applications. While, there are many opportunities to go to meetings to interact with investigators that do things closely related to an individual scientist's own interests in the field of microbial glycobiology;what is needed is a forum to bring together diverse attendees that share this common interest but study it from vastly different perspectives. The FASEB Summer Conference format provides a unique and preeminent opportunity to optimize such interactions among scientists from diverse areas of microbial glycobiology research.
Microbial glycans are of major importance for human health and economic activity. Microbial Glycobiology spans areas such as pathogen interactions with host cells, the human microbiome, polysaccharide-based vaccines and therapeutics for human disease, industrial applications including biofilms, plant diseases. The proposed conference will bring together scientists working on various aspects of this field to promote the timely exchange of ideas and advances in the field and thereby lead to accelerated development of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative strategies.