The Gordon Research Conference on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization has provided the premier forum for presentation and discussion of research in epithelial biology for several decades. This conference is routinely oversubscribed and is attended by the foremost international scientists in epithelial biology, as well as by more junior investigators, postdoctoral fellows, students, and scientists from industry. In recent years, the original focus on epidermal differentiation has broadened to encompass a wide range of topics of interest to epithelial biologists, including developmental biology of the skin and its appendages, stem cells and regenerative processes, epigenetics, the skin microbiome, immunology of the skin, and the role of the epidermal barrier in systemic disease. While the 2009 Conference highlighted hair follicle biology, the 2011 meeting will emphasize the epidermis, as well as covering a range of topics at the forefront of epithelial biology research. We will include scientists working in non-epidermal epithelia such as the retina, mammary epithelium, and intestine, and researchers whose interests lie outside epithelia, to provide additional insights, stimulate innovative approaches, and identify new areas of investigation. The program for 2011 provides a strong emphasis on epidermal barrier function and dysfunction;regulation and therapeutic applications of stem cells;inflammation;and morphogenesis. We will continue and build on our long-standing tradition of defining the most important problems and opportunities at the frontiers of epithelial biology, and facilitating interactions and discussion among scientists working in this area as well as leaders in other scientific areas.
We aim to further the development of young investigators entering the field of epithelial biology, and to encourage the involvement of scientists from under-represented minorities. To accomplish these aims, the 2011 Conference will bring together an international cadre of participants including scientists from academia, industry, clinicians and basic researchers, young scientists and senior scientists, dermatologists and pathologists, and cell, developmental and molecular biologists in an atmosphere conducive to the free exchange of ideas. """"""""Young Investigator Awards"""""""" will be given to the most promising graduate student and postdoctoral level presenters, and we will offer travel scholarships to outstanding minority applicants. The themes to be developed in the Main Sessions include: 1) Differentiation And Disease In Diverse Epithelia;2) Epidermal Homeostasis and Barrier Function;3) Therapeutic Applications Of Skin Cells;4) the Role Of Immune System In Epithelial Biology and disease;5) Skin Stem Cells;6) Epithelial Morphogenesis;6) Polarity, Adhesion, and the Cytoskeleton;and 7) Novel Regulatory Mechanisms. In addition, an oral Issues Rising session on Wednesday evening will highlight submitted abstracts to ensure that the program reflects exciting new topics that emerge between submission of this application and the meeting. The specific goal of this proposal is to generate funds to support Young Investigator Awards, and the travel, registration and for session chairs and invited speakers.
The Gordon Research Conference on Epithelial Differentiation &Keratinization, to be held July 4-8, 2011 at Snow Mountain, Vermont, will focus on Homeostasis, Regeneration and Disease in Diverse Epithelia. We will build on a tradition of defining the most important problems in epithelial biology and presenting new information at the frontiers of science, and aim to facilitate interactions and discussion between scientists from industry and academia, health professionals, students and postdoctoral fellows. Our overall goal is to integrate epithelial-centric investigations with emerging research areas in order to stimulate progress at the forefront of epithelial biology, and to promote the development of novel therapeutic approaches for epithelial conditions and systemic diseases caused by epithelial defects.