Our senses provide us with the information that we need to perform all the essential functions of life: navigate the world, avoid danger, find food, choose mates and nurture our offspring. Each sensory modality is tuned to a specific set of stimuli;this tuning sets the limits of our sensory experience. Thus understanding how sensory cells detect and transduce sensory stimuli is critical to understanding how the nervous system responds to the environment to generate appropriate behaviors and perceptions. Moreover, disruption of sensory signaling in diseases ranging from blindness to deafness to insensitivity to pain can be devastating for humans. Despite ample evidence of shared molecular components and shared principles for transforming sensory input to neural signals across the senses, researchers investigating distinct senses rarely have opportunities to interact directly. With new technologies emerging at an ever- increasing rate, the timely sharing of information is needed to greatly accelerate research in sensory biology. The goal of this conference proposal is to assemble leading researchers across all sensory modalities (vision, smell, taste, touch, temperature, pain) and create an event designed to spark new collaborations among established and emerging investigators as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The conference, entitled "Sensory Transduction", will be the 68th Annual Symposium of the Society of General Physiologists (SGP), a conference that has long been recognized as a pioneering and high- impact meeting for physiologists, cell biologists, and biophysicists. The venue, the campus of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, is a magical place that affords participants with an intimate environment and ample opportunities to share scientific insight in both formal and informal settings.
We request funds to support the 68th Annual Symposium of the Society of General Physiologists (SGP) entitled Sensory Transduction to be held September 2-6, 2014 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting will bring researchers investigating all major senses (vision, smell, taste, touch, temperature, pain) from diverse professional arenas (academia, government, industry) with the goal of advancing our fundamental understanding of sensation. As humans rely on our senses to navigate, find food and mates, and to avoid danger, this research holds the promise of improving daily life and alleviating diseases associated with loss of sensation such as blindness, deafness, and sensory neuropathy.