Through its ability to be metabolized and sensed, glucose fulfills numerous crucial roles in biology. Glucose is the primary source of fuel for energy production in the brain, and its circulating plasma levels are regulated by numerous redundant mechanisms. Glucose is sensed by pancreatic beta cells, which respond by secreting the appropriate amount of insulin to regulate transport of glucose into peripheral tissues. One of the most important links between glucose transport and disease is the development of insulin resistance, a key defect in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, which is manifested by the progressive inability of insulin to induce glucose transport into adipose and muscle tissues. Furthermore, cancer cells have developed unique mechanisms to utilize glucose to support uncontrolled growth. In addition to its critical role in cell and whole body bioenergetics, glucose plays a critical role in the proper folding of proteins, and is thus critical for the maintenance of cellular architecture. All of the aforementioned processes absolutely require the presence and function of glucose transporters (GLUTs), which are transmembrane proteins specialized for the recognition and movement of glucose across membranes. The series of FASEB Summer Research Conferences, initiated in the 1990s with the title """"""""Glucose Transporter Biology"""""""" has been a unique venue for scientists involved in the study of glucose transport to meet every two years face to face to discuss new findings, arising questions, and emerging experimental approaches to the complex problem of glucose transport and its vast physiological repercussion. The 2011 FASEB Conference on Glucose Transporters, Signaling and Diabetes aims to gather an ideal mix of investigators comprising leaders in the field of glucose transport, leaders in fields that involve glucose transport, but who typically assist meetings in other areas (e.g. cancer, epigenetics), and new investigators and trainees in this field. New mechanisms will be utilized to maximize interactions between experienced and new investigators and trainees, including integrative directed discussions at the end of oral sessions, and """"""""meet the expert"""""""" sessions interspersed between sessions. Funding from NIDDK will be essential for subsidizing travel and housing expenses for as many of these young investigators as possible. The conference will incorporate the diverse interests of attendees by choosing many speakers from submitted abstracts. In addition, we will make special efforts to attract minority scientists, and maintain the traditional participation of about 50% women speakers.
Project Narrative The 2011 FASEB Conference on Glucose Transporters, Signaling and Diabetes aims to gather a group of investigators comprising leaders in the field, as well as new investigators and trainees, to discuss new findings, arising questions, and emerging experimental approaches to the complex problem of glucose transport and its vast physiological repercussion. This topic is highly related to human health, as glucose is the primary source of fuel in the body, and its regulation is disrupted in type 2 diabetes, a disease reaching epidemic levels in our society. Furthermore, cancer cells have developed unique mechanisms to utilize glucose to support uncontrolled growth. Thus, continued collaborative effort in the field of glucose transport is important in understanding and improving human health.