This proposal seeks partial support of the only major national/international meeting dedicated to excitation/contraction coupling and detailing/treating the dysfunctions in this process underlie numerous striated muscle diseases. The Muscle: Excitation-Contraction Coupling (ECC) Gordon Research Conference (GRC) will meet from May 19 to 24, 2019 at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco, Lucca (Barga), Italy. The 2019 ECC GRC program was developed by an Executive Organizing Committee consisting of leaders in ECC research including Drs. Michael Fill (USA), Filip Van Petegem (Canada), Donald Bers (USA) and Ana Gomez (France). The two overarching objectives of the 2019 ECC GRC are: Objective 1: Assemble the top basic and disease-focused ECC researchers to share new breakthroughs, to discuss the molecular mechanisms governing ECC in health/disease and to accelerate development therapeutic options to address muscle fatigue, atrophy, sarcopenia, rhabdomyolysis and genetically-inherited forms of skeletal and cardiac muscle disease. Objective 2: Increase the visibility and leadership of junior ECC investigators (students, postdoctoral fellows & new independent scientists) and inspire/motivate their research careers to new highs by providing an interactive informal forum in which to present their work and network with each other as well as established ECC leaders. The 2019 ECC GRC will consist of ~36 speakers, 13 poster highlight talks and ~18 topic discussion leaders. Scientific sessions will detail the structure-function of ECC at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels and vigorously promote the translation of this information into promising new therapeutic strategies for ECC-related disorders that include, 1) hypokalemic periodic paralysis, malignant hyperthermia, central core disease, centronuclear myopathy, Brody's disease, exertional rhabdomyolysis and Native American Myopathy in skeletal muscle, 2) Timothy Syndrome, CPVT and various cardiomyopathies in cardiac muscle but also, 3) neurological diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, certain ataxias and Alzheimer's disease. The 2019 ECC GRC will be preceded by a 2-day Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Integration of junior ECC investigators attending the GRS will be assured by providing them discussion co-leader roles at the GRC and innovative GRC participation opportunities during ?Junior Investigator Question? periods, ?Poster Flash Sessions? and ?Late Breaking News? talks. These latter GRC elements will maximize poster session vitality and participation. We expect the 2019 ECC GRC/GRS to attract 175-200 basic and clinical researchers across all career stages, genders, races, heritages, research disciplines, professional affiliations (academic, industrial, government), and geographical locations. Our overall goal is to promote: 1) open dialogue and communication, 2) visibility and career advancement of promising young investigators, 3) knowledge of molecular mechanisms and the dysfunctions that compromise muscle performance and 4) development of novel and effective therapies to benefit those afflicted by the myriad of ECC-related muscle disorders.

Public Health Relevance

The biennial 2019 Muscle: Excitation-Contraction Coupling Gordon Research Conference will share and critically evaluate new breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms underlying normal striated muscle function, the dysfunctions that cause disease and potential therapeutic strategies addressing those diseases. This meeting is a unique and critical forum in which students, postdoctoral fellows present their research and network between themselves as well as with top established senior investigators in the field. This is the only major meeting dedicated to this clinically essential research area and is thus essential to its growth and vitality; indeed, this assembly of basic scientists and clinical researchers is crucial to driving the translational discovery which will ultimately address a myriad of Excitation-Contraction Coupling related diseases, profoundly advancing human health and quality of life.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Conference (R13)
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Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee (AMS)
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Boyce, Amanda T
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Gordon Research Conferences
West Kingston
United States
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