The goal of the signal transduction field is to identify and characterize the biochemical and molecular basis of communication from one molecule to another as part of a signaling pathway. Over the last 30 years, this knowledge has provided a vastly improved understanding of how kinases and phosphorylation events control all known cellular processes associated with normal growth and development. Unfortunately, these pathways are also deregulated through an assortment of mechanisms, and when this occurs a variety of human developmental disorders and diseases arise. There are over 500 protein kinases in the human genome with the potential to regulate protein phosphorylation, but relatively few are well characterized. Of those that are, many are now known to possess important functions in normal development and disease. Because of the central role these enzymes play in a variety of biological processes and in many human diseases, and because protein kinases are potential targets for therapeutic intervention, a tremendous effort has been made at determining the molecular basis for information transmission and the biological processes affected. The characterization of new kinases and their functions will likely reveal even more novel therapeutic targets. The study of molecular cancer research has often been intertwined with advances in the study of kinases and phosphorylation, as it is now known that alterations in kinases are amongst the most common mutations found across nearly all known forms of human cancer. As a result, kinase inhibitors have emerged as the most prevalent form of anti-cancer agents in the past 50 years, with hundreds of new kinase inhibitors entering clinical trials every year for the past few years. These are truly exciting times in the protein kinase and protein phosphorylation arena. Thus, it is critical that the exchange of information and ideas between the leading scientists in the field occur in order for this scientific discovery o proceed. Since its inception in 1983, the FASEB summer research conference on "Protein Kinases and Protein Phosphorylation" (held biennially) has consistently been one of the preeminent meetings in the field of signal transduction, providing a premier venue for the communication of research findings from both academia and industry. The goal of the proposed conference is to continue this tradition of exciting and enthusiastic scientific exchange.
Protein phosphorylation mediated by protein kinases plays an essential role in normal growth and development and when improperly regulated, contribute to a wide variety of human diseases, including nearly all forms of human cancer. The goal of the FASEB Meeting on Protein Kinases and Protein Phosphorylation is to provide a venue for reporting cutting edge research findings and for promoting the free exchange of scientific information. Such interactions will further aid in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate these important biological processes and will promote the exchange of new insights and information into the identification of critical targets for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cure of human diseases.