The proposed conference on """"""""Eukaryotic mRNA Processing"""""""" will convene scientists studying various aspects of mRNA processing, transport, RNA interference, informatics and turn-over. Major advances have recently been made in these areas, and the proposed conference will be a timely event for discussing the latest unpublished results and exchanging ideas, thereby fostering new developments in this rapidly moving field. The proposed 2011 conference will be held in August and is the eighth meeting of a conference that is held every other year at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The most recent meeting was held in August 2009 and attracted 335 scientists internationally, who are actively investigating various aspects of messenger RNA maturation in eukaryotic cells, using genetic, biochemical, molecular, and cell biological approaches. As in the previous meetings, a major focus will be on nuclear events in mRNA maturation, particularly mRNA splicing and polyadenylation, but the scope will now be expanded to encompass both the impact of the history of an mRNA on its ultimate biological fate, the emerging fields of RNA interference and microRNA function as well as the application of informatics and genome-wide approaches to the analysis of RNA processing. The meeting format will consist of eight plenary sessions and two poster sessions. For the 2011 meeting we will subdivide each plenary session into two parts (separated by a coffee break) that focus on related but separate topics. This subdivision allows us to specifically seek out a broader representation of fields and to recruit a more diverse set of faculty as session chairs. As always, all speakers will be selected on the basis of the submitted abstracts, which will encourage active participation by junior scientists. We will particularly encourage presentation of unpublished work by the students and postdoctoral fellows who are leading these projects, as has traditionally been a hallmark and a unique strength of the Cold Spring Harbor meetings.
In genes of higher organisms from yeast to man, the information encoded in the DNA sequence is interrupted by non-coding regions called introns. An RNA copy of the gene has to be read off, cut and then spliced back together to remove the introns and produce a continuous """"""""message"""""""" with the correct information to produce a protein. In many cases, the message can be cut and put back together in different combinations giving rise to proteins with different functions. This means that the number of different proteins in a cell can be much greater than the number of different genes. Mistakes in the splicing of the RNA cause serious problems as defective proteins are produced, and this sometimes happens as a consequence of genetic defects or disease. The molecular machinery that carries out this gene splicing is very complicated and has to be tightly regulated in the cell. Many scientists are studying how this messenger RNA processing occurs and is controlled, helped by the fact that the RNA splicing machinery is highly conserved between yeast and humans. This conference brings these scientists together to discuss their latest results. A key to the success of the conference is that the majority of oral presentations are given by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty chosen on the basis of scientific merit, ensuring that the conference showcases the latest developments which are often yet to be published. Participants come from academic centers, research institutes and industrial centers around the world to present and discuss their findings. Importantly, this application requests support for junior scientists who might not otherwise be able to attend to actively participate in the meeting.