The specific aim of this proposal is to obtain partial funding for the expenses (travel and lodging) for academic speakers and students from the USA to attend the Fifth International Meeting on Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. The meeting will be held Oct 10-13, 2011 in the Biopolis Center of Singapore under the auspices of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition International Association (TEMTIA). The objectives of the meeting are to 1. Bring together investigators in the separate disciplines of cancer, pathology and development to discuss their observations on EMT and explore whether there is a consensus on important components of the process. 2. Provide a forum where students and junior investigators can interact with senior investigators and display their own work and ideas in the field. 3. Expand a viable co-operative cross- disciplinary forum of EMT-related researchers internationally, particularly with outreach to Asia. This will continue to provide a worldwide network for exchange of expertise, reagents and techniques across disciplines. 4. Publish a timely meeting update on cellular, molecular and genetic aspects of EMT in an appropriate cross-disciplinary international journal. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a fundamental cellular process undertaken by cells in the embryo to form 3-dimensional structures from sheets of cells. During EMT, epithelial cells lose adherence to adjacent cells, degrade the local basement membrane and invade the underlying interstitial extracellular matrix. At the cellular level, this process requires specific signal transduction elements, new gene transcription, reorganization of the cytoskeleton, secretion of extracellular matrix molecules and growth factors. In the embryo, this process is reiterated at gastrulation, neural crest cell formation, somite breakdown, pancreatic islet formation, heart valve formation brain organization and in several other areas of organogenesis. In the adult, EMT occurs as a component of wound healing and in the pathologies of cancer metastasis and tissue fibrosis.
Support is requested for travel by academic US scientists to participate in a scientific meeting that brings together researchers exploring common aspects of cell invasion in development cancer and organ fibrosis. The field of epithelial mesenchymal transition is rapidly expanding and the conference will bring together groups who do not normally intersect.