This is an application for partial support of the 2015 Collagen Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). It will be the 27th meeting of this GRC since its inception in 1970 and 3rd meeting of the GRS since its inception in 2011. The GRC will be held at the Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, from July 12th to July 17th. It will be preceded by the GRS at the same location, from July 11th to July 12th. This GRC has historically provided a unique forum for a diverse, international group of junior and senior scientists to present and discuss recent advances at the frontier of chemistry, biology and pathology of connective tissues with a focus on collagens, which are the major components of these tissues. The conference provides an environment conducive to informal interactions and discussions among investigators of different interests and technical expertise that enrich and advance the field. Collaborations are established, new scientists are recruited to the field, and major discoveries about collagen are often reported for the first time at this conference. The GRS provides a forum for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to showcase and discuss their work among peers and mentors. All GRS attendees are encouraged to participate in the GRC, enhancing the participation of young scientists and enriching the conference atmosphere.
The specific aims of the 2015 Collagen GRC and GRS are: 1) to communicate and disseminate new, mostly unpublished data and concepts;2) to promote interactions and collaborations among basic, clinical, and industry researchers;3) to facilitate student and fellow interactions among each other and with established scientists;and 4) to increase diversity and attract new researchers to the collagen field. The program will focus on new, unpublished findings and concepts relating expression, biosynthesis and structure of collagens to their function and pathology, particularly in applicatio to developmental biology and disorders of muscle, bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and skin as well as to inflammation and rheumatic diseases. Importantly, new session topics have been integrated into the traditional program to bolster interest, increase participation in the conference, ensure enthusiasm throughout the week, and promote major advancements in the field. Each session will feature graduate students and postdoctoral fellows selected from the GRS. New topics relative to the previous conference include Collagens in Basement Membranes, Collagens in Cell Niche and Cell Signaling, Collagens in Organism Physiology, and Collagen Based Materials and Bioengineering. The other session will provide updates on such important topics as Expression and Regulation of Collagen Genes and Gene Networks, Structure and Function of Different Domains in Collagen Molecules, Collagen Homeostasis, and Collagens in Pathology. Overall this international conference will showcase the major advances in the field of collagen research and will be, as it has always been, the seminal conference in the field.
This application requests support for the 2015 Collagen Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar. These biennial conferences provide a unique forum for interaction of scientists, students, and post- doctoral fellows with common interests in the chemistry, biology and pathobiology of collagens in tendons, ligaments, bone, cartilage, skin, kidney, eye, brain, and other tissues. New collaborations are formed and major discoveries are often reported for the first time at these conferences.