The p53 protein has been well-characterized as playing a tumor suppressor role in human cancer. Indeed, a majority of human tumors have sustained missense mutation in the TP53 gene. Mdm2 is a negative regulator of p53 that has been shown to act by inhibiting the transcriptional activity of p53 via direct binding as well as serving as an E3 ubiquitin ligase to target p53 for degradation. Consistent with such findings, Mdm2 has been implicated as also playing a role in human tumors with its overexpression or gene amplification being observed in a variety of cancers. A p53 Workshop is held every two years to bring together the p53 field in order to report on the latest research and to facilitate collaboration and exchange of reagents. In 2010, the 15th International p53 Workshop was held in Philadelphia, PA. Twelve years ago, a complementing Mdm2 Workshop was organized to be held in alternating years with the p53 conference. The seventh such workshop is to be held in Cambridge, UK in August, 2013. The meeting is being co-organized by Drs. Karen Vousden (Beatson Institute) and Alan Fersht (University of Cambridge). The site of the conference is at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In this application, funds are being requested to support three important specific aims.
The first aim i s to facilitate the attendance o graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at the Sixth International Mdm2 Workshop and enhance their ability to interact with leaders in the field.
The second aim i s to ensure the attendance and participation of women and underrepresented minorities as invited speakers at the Workshop. This will be accomplished by the participation of two invited speakers who are both women and underrepresented minorities.
The third aim i s to enhance the attendance and participation of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-stage investigators who are from underrepresented groups including women and minorities. The goals of the three aims will largely be accomplished through the judicious use of travel awards. The International Mdm2 Workshop continues to be a unique venue in which researchers in the field of Mdm2 research can come together to share recent findings, facilitate collaborations, and enhance exchange of reagents. This stimulates scientific research by ensuring that Mdm2 investigators are aware of the most current research in this significant area. In so doing, duplicate efforts can be avoided, pitfalls can be shared, and knowledge in the field can move forward as rapidly as possible.
The p53 tumor suppressor and its negative regulator the Mdm2 oncoprotein have been clearly shown to play significant roles in a wide variety of human cancers. The Seventh International Mdm2 Workshop will ensure that research in this important field is accelerated and translated to have impact on human disease.