COLD SPRING HARBOR LABORATORY CONFERENCE ON MECHANISMS AND MODELS OF CANCER August 13 - 17, 2008 Molecular alterations in tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes and their associated pathways and networks contribute in a very significant way to the development of human cancers. The last several years have seen an enormous increase in research dealing with cancer genes and their roles in growth control and various stages of tumor development. The proposed conference, in the tradition of Cold Spring Harbor meetings, will emphasize new discoveries and provide an open forum for the presentation of the latest research and results on different aspects of research on molecular mechanisms and cell and animal models of cancer. This proposal seeks support for three successive biennial meetings to be held in 2008, 2010 and 2012. The 2008 meeting will include the following topics: Cancer Genetics &Epigenetics;Mouse Models of Cancer;Stem Cells and Organismal Development;Signaling Mechanisms;Microenvironment &Inflammation;Experimental Therapeutics;DNA Damage and Cell Cycle Checkpoints;and Senescence &Apoptosis. The precise scope of the individual sessions will be decided on the basis of the openly submitted abstracts. Each session will be chaired by two established scientists in the field including the organizers, who will establish the format of each session based on the submitted abstracts. The chairs will introduce and give an overview of the topics in their sessions. Particular attention will be given to encouraging the active participation of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and new investigators, as well as the attendance of leading scientists in the field. Two leading experts in diverse areas of cancer genetics will deliver keynote addresses during the conference. It is anticipated that the meeting will provide unique opportunities for the exchange of data and ideas by both junior and senior investigators in different areas of research as they apply to cancer genetics and tumor suppressor genes. Given the success of past meetings held at CSHL on this topic between 1996 and 2006, we anticipate the attendance of about 400 scientists from laboratories around the world.
Molecular alterations in tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes and their associated pathways and networks contribute in a very significant way to the development of human cancers. These ?cancer genes? can act as brakes or accelerators on tumor development, and many approaches to treating cancer involve shutting off one of these accelerators or turning on a brake. Understanding the biology of these genes is critical to developing improved and more targeted therapies. Recently, the heterogeneity of tumors has emerged as a common theme in cancer, and the idea that the cell of origin in many cancers may be a specialized stem cell has gained considerable traction in recent years. Animal models (particularly in the mouse) are proving increasingly useful in recapitulating the stages of cancer seen in human beings and probing some of the different hypotheses of how this devastating set of diseases initiate and progress. These discoveries and approaches are opening new avenues for potential early diagnosis and therapy. This conference series will bring together leading scientists in cancer mechanisms and models from around the world to discuss and debate their latest findings.