The Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin Gordon Research Conference is a biennial event, scheduled for its thirteenth meeting from August 18-23, 2013. This conference is the primary international research forum on the mammalian barrier. It is a uniquely interdisciplinary conference that attracts dermatology, molecular biology, bioengineering and pharmaceutical scientists to present and discuss the latest research on all aspects of the epidermal permeability barrier. Originally thought of only as a passive barrier to water movement, epidermal barrier function now is known to encompass a variety of barriers, regulating passage of water, toxins, drugs, microbes, and ultraviolet radiation. As our understanding of the variety of epidermal barriers has expanded, and the number of skin diseases impacted by epidermal barrier abnormalities has increased, each conference has highlighted new aspects of the barrier. Broad, Long-term Objectives: 1) To advance scientific knowledge in the field of skin barrier research. 2) To foster interdisciplinary approaches to understand and treat barrier-related skin disease. 3) To nurture young scientists working in barrier-related scientific fields.
Specific Aims : 1) To disseminate the most recent scientific and clinical advances in barrier research. 2) To identify, define and analyze the most important and unresolved issues in this field. 3) To identify and pursue interdisciplinary research opportunities. 4) To encourage discussion and forge collaboration among participants. 5) To include a broad diversity of participants, including representation of academia, industry and government, as well as foreign, female, disabled and underrepresented minorities. Each planned session will address epidermal barrier function in health and in specific diseases. Thus, this meeting will advance our understanding of the epidermal barrier's roles in regulating human skin biology and disease, specifically those that involve one of the epidermal barriers (for example, atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, contact dermatitis, skin sun damage and skin infections). NIH funding allows us to invite prominent investigators to present their research or chair sessions. This funding also supports junior investigators who may be working on the most innovative projects in the field. Finally, especially in these times of reduced corporate giving, NIH funding encourages complementary fundraising from corporate and foundation sources.
Many skin diseases occur because the skin barriers to water, bacteria or toxins do not work. This meeting will gather scientists from many different fields to understand how these barriers work in healthy skin, why these barriers stop working in skin diseases, and how to restore them and thereby correct these skin diseases.