This conference will focus on the 'Regulation and Function of Small GTPases'. It is the eleventh in a series of FASEB summer research conferences devoted to this topic and it has been the "must go to" meeting in the field for the last 20 years. The enduring commitment to this meeting lies in its continued focus on unravelling complex signal transduction pathways and using state-of-the art technology and refined model systems to do so. Small GTP-binding proteins (e.g. Ras, Rac, Rho, Cdc42, Rab, Rap, Rheb and Ral) regulate diverse cellular processes including proliferation, migration, development, gene expression, and metabolism. Moreover, the deregulation of these GTPases and downstream effector pathways underlies many human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, vascular disease and developmental disorders. The founding member of the small GTPase superfamily, Ras, is the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers and, together with its effectors, is a major target for drug discovery. Over the last decade, many other family members have been shown to be fundamental in cancer and metastasis (RhoA, Rac1, Rab5, Rheb, RalA). The principal objective of the meeting is to stimulate cross-pollination of ideas among a diverse group of researchers that spans basic biochemical mechanisms, cell and tissue biology, and translational research. Because Ras, Rac, Rab, Rho, Rheb and Ral play a particularly important role in cancer and metastasis, there will be a strong cancer theme underlying this meeting. However, we will also highlight progress from a number of biological fields (metabolism, neurobiology, developmental biology) to ensure that we are leveraging and learning from discoveries made in other important related fields. To enhance the exchange of ideas, the sessions will be arranged around biological themes, but included varied approaches and model systems. The juxtaposition of individuals with wide-ranging and complementary expertise will ensure that new ideas emerge and future collaborations are established. The conference will be held June 2-7, 2012, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which is an ideal location for fostering informal discussions and supporting a collaborative environment. There are 35 invited speakers from the United States, Europe, Singapore and Japan (all of which are confirmed). We will particularly focus on engaging the next generation of researchers, and 16 talks will be given by students, post-docs or investigators just starting their independent career. Two discussion sessions will be held with the sole purpose of encouraging and advising the next generation on writing papers and getting grants. Poster sessions will further enhance the opportunity for the presentation and discussion of unpublished data. Specific attention has been paid to inclusion of women, and of young and minority investigators. While this meeting has always had an inclusive atmosphere we will also be offering 8 travel awards to minority and female applicants at various stages of their careers. This initiative will be detailed in the application. !
This conference, Regulation and Function of Small GTPases, aims to promote the very best research in the field of small GTPases. Key sessions span topics including basic mechanistic questions such as compartmentalization of signals and effector protein interaction, the integration of small GTPases into larger regulatory networks, therapeutic targeting of small GTPases with a focus on cancer, and the development of new research tools and methodologies. This conference is the latest in a continuing biennial series that has become 'THE'meeting to attend for those in the field of small GTPases. Smaller, meetings like this are vital for generating new ideas, developing collaborations, and inspiring the next generation of researchers.