The present R13 grant requests support for a joint Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminars (GRC/GRS) on Cannabinoid Function in the CNS to be held in 2013. We will exploit the innovative GRC/GRS format to accomplish three Specific Aims: 1. To promote and sustain a scientific forum that allows for in depth presentation and adequate discussion of cutting edge unpublished data in the area of Cannabinoid Function in the CNS. 2. To foster opportunities for cutting edge collaborative science that propels the next generation of scientific advances and unites basic researchers studying cannabinoid-related neuroplasticity with clinical researchers studying long term impact of altered neuoroplasticity in disease states. 3. To promote and mentor the next generation of cannabinoid scientists while encouraging diversity and inclusiveness in the cannabinoid field through the Gordon Research Seminar. The joint meeting format is warranted based upon the critical role of the endocannabinoid system in controlling neuronal excitability, the contribution f endocannabinoid dysregulation to disease states, the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid modulators and the increasingly widespread use of both recreational (e.g. spice) and medicinal (e.g. Sativex, medical marijuana) cannabinoids in humans. The recent advent of cannabinoid- based medicines requires that continued research emphasis be placed on understanding cannabinoid effects in humans, especially long-term consequences (i.e. abuse liability, adverse side-effects, safety considerations). Clinical studies of cannabinoids have not been represented at any prior Gordon Research Conference on cannabinoids, mandating that program organizers specifically reach out to clinical researchers that would not typically attend a Gordon Research Conference focused on basic as opposed to clinical science. The format of the GRC thus provides an important opportunity to build bridges in interdisciplinary science between preclinical researchers studying neuroplasticity and clinical researchers studying human disease states marked by altered neuroplasticity (e.g. pathological pain, addiction, neurodegenerative diseases). The Gordon Research Seminar (GRS 2013: "Endocannabinoids in Neurophysiology and Neuropathology") is organized by and for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and has been highly ranked by trainees as a venue for providing mentoring and networking opportunities at a critical stage of trainee development. The GRS directly precedes the GRC (GRC 2013: "Synapses, Circuits and the Human Brain"). R13 support of the 2013 joint GRC-GRS is expected to promote mutually beneficial increases in diversity in the cannabinoid field. The present R13 grant is expected to foster opportunities for cutting edge collaborative science while ensuring the continued success and sustainability of a highly rated GRC devoted to cannabinoid research.
The joint Gordon Research Conference/Gordon Research Seminar (GRC/GRS) on Cannabinoid Function in the CNS is expected to propel scientific advances in the cannabinoid field while promoting the training and mentoring of young scientists. The innovative joint GRC/GRS is expected to have a beneficial impact upon human health by building bridges in interdisciplinary science between preclinical researchers studying endocannabinoid-mediated neuroplasticity and clinical researchers studying human disease states (e.g. addiction, pathological pain, neurodegenerative diseases). The GRC/GRS format is thus expected to promote mutually beneficial scientific interactions and collaborations while maximizing the potential for future research to generate scientific advances with high clinical relevance.