This application requests funding for travel awards to US-based scientists to attend a conference on the Systems Biology of Structures and Energetics in Mammalian Cells, with a focus on understanding the structural and functional basis for the transitions in integrated cell functions that characterize the development of tumors. Recent years have witnessed a remarkable surge in the recognition of the critical role of energy metabolism as a central constituent of the cancer phenotype. In addition, cancer cells involve major transitions in structure-function relationships that indicate a fundamental re-ordering of the integrated cell function. Although there are major gaps in our understanding of the relationships that drive these and related transitions, much of the detailed knowledge of the subcellular structural events and their energetic and metabolic implications resides with investigators who are not intimately involved in the disease-focused research. Based on these considerations, an international conference will be organized in Manchester, UK, under the auspices of the Biochemical Society of Great Britain, which will bring together investigators who are experts on the structural and energetic aspects of cellular function with systems biology researchers who have a major orientation on integrated cell function and with cancer researchers who can put these perspectives in a disease context. The conference format aims at an innovative approach to enhance discussion and promote interactions and collaborations between investigators from very different backgrounds and knowledge bases, to facilitate and promote their contribution to the understanding of changes in integrative cell function that leads to cancer. This application is to request travel awards for US-based investigators to participate in this conference. Applications will be encouraged from established investigators from diverse areas of research who can bring different perspectives to the discussion, as well as from early career investigators who are willing to break through existing paradigms and open new vistas on the problem of integrating cell function in disease. Particular emphasis will be placed on facilitating the participation of women scientists and encouraging the participation of researchers from disadvantaged minorities as well as investigators with disabilities.
There is much evidence that the transition to the cancer phenotype cannot be adequately described by the deregulation of individual genes or pathways, but requires an understanding of integrated cell function. The conference on Systems Biology of Structures and Energetics in Mammalian Cells aims at bringing together scientists who are specialists in structural and functional aspects of cell function and systems biologist interested in integrative cell function with cancer researchers who understand the disease process. The application requests funding for travel awards to encourage participation of US-based scientists to participate in and contribute to this conference, which is expected to bring novel perspectives to the field of cancer research that may contribute to the development of improved therapies.