This is a request to support the 2015 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and associated Seminar (GRS) on Cartilage Biology and Pathology that will be held in Galveston, Texas. The GRC will be the seventh in a series of highly successful biennial conferences, and it will be preceded for the first time by a GRS, a pre-meeting exclusively dedicated to and organized by trainees. The GRC on Cartilage Biology and Pathology owes its success to three major principles. First, it is the only conference that brings together clinicians-scientists, basic- science researchers and biomedical engineers, and covers the whole spectrum of cartilage pathologies and cartilage research disciplines. Second and exemplifying the GRC tradition, the conference emphasizes forward thinking, unpublished cutting-edge findings, and state-of-the-art technologies, alternates formal presentations with poster sessions and informal discussions, and limits attendance to 200 participants, a forum that promotes collegial interactions and establishment of productive collaborations. Third, it is open to researchers at all career stages and encourages mentoring, networking, and collaborations among aspirant, young and senior investigators. This last principle will be further emphasized in 2015 with the addition of a GRS. The GRS/GRC on Cartilage Biology and Pathology are justified not merely by the fact that cartilage is a pivotal skeletal tissue from development on to adulthood, but even more so by the fact that cartilage malformation and degeneration diseases affect the lifespan and quality of life of a large proportion of humans and remain largely incurable. Research to better understand the causes and progression of these diseases and to find strategies to reverse and even eradicate them is thus a top priority. In order to help change the clinical reality of cartilage diseases, the GRS will highlight recent advances and challenges in understanding cartilage diseases and the overarching theme of the GRC is entitled "working together at the frontiers of Science and technologies to eradicate cartilage diseases". Eminent scientists and promising young investigators will stimulate the audience according to this theme and will present in scientific sessions directly addressing the newest advances and remaining challenges towards understanding the various aspects of cartilage biology, disease types, and translational approaches. We expect these 2015 GRC/GRS on Cartilage Biology and Pathology to empower researchers across disciplines to make milestone progress towards improving the health of humans with all types of cartilage diseases and thus towards fulfilling the missions of the National Institutes of Health.
This application seeks partial support for the seventh Gordon Research Conference on Cartilage Biology and Pathology, a premier international forum for excellence in cartilage research, and for its first-ever, trainee- dedicated Gordon Research Seminar. The central theme of the conference is to promote translational research by working together at the frontiers of Science and technologies to eradicate cartilage diseases and this will be achieved by catalyzing opportunities to discuss research needs, integrate the most recent clinical, scientific and technological advances, exchange novel ideas, and foster mentoring and multi-disciplinary collaborations in a most collegial atmosphere. The ultimate goal is to help fulfill the highly laudable missions of the National Institutes of Health to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all cartilage diseases, from birth defects to adult-onset, aging-associated degenerations, and thereby help a majority of humans live better lives.