The annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the largest gathering in the world of clinical and basic scientists working in the renal field. Prior to each annual meeting the ASN sponsors an intensive basic science symposium whose topic, selected by the ASN's Basic Science Committee, reflects an area of investigation with major advances that impact the renal field. The conference is intended to foster new collaborations and promote applications of new technologies for studying the kidney. The 2011 Advances in Research Conference to be held in Philadelphia on November 8-9, 2011 is entitled "Micro-RNA". The conference will feature 24 established investigators, most of them from outside the field of nephrology, who will speak on diverse aspects of micro-RNA research. The specific scientific themes of the meeting to be addressed by the Speakers include diverse aspects of micro-RNA research, including the basic biology of micro-RNAs (expression, processing, cellular action, and interacting proteins), significance of micro-RNAs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, and development, and state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo methods for micro-RNA research. Studies of micro-RNAs in the kidney and hypertension began only very recently, yet the significance of this area is rapidly becoming clear. For example, micro-RNAs have been shown to be important for the development of glomerular podocytes, the development of renin-producing juxtaglomerular cells, the development of acute renal injury, diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, and renal interstitial fibrosis, and the regulation of normal renal physiology. At this conference, ASN members and other interested participants will have the chance to interact with world leaders in the field and will be exposed to state-of-the-art research. The purpose of this grant application is to request fund for junior faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and graduate student travel awards so that members can attend this conference prior to the ASN annual meeting in Philadelphia.
The goal of this annual conference is to update Renal Community researchers in a field that is instrumental to advancing our understanding of kidney function and/or disease. The focus of this year's conference is micro-RNAs. As usual, the majority of the speakers for the two day conference are top scientists from outside the Renal Community, who were selected for their scientific contributions in their respective fields. In the past, conference participants have developed collaborative relationships with some of the speakers, which greatly facilitates advancing kidney research and the potential to develop therapies that can improve the health of the population.