This application requests partial support for the 17th Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Summer Research Conference on Retinoids to be held at Itasca, Illinois on June 1-6, 2014. This bi- annual research conference has been very well attended (ranging from 100 to 200 attendees over the past 30 years) and remains the sole major national and international conference that addresses the full spectrum of retinoid biology. While the mechanisms of action and the biological functions of retinoids have been intensively studied, there is an increasing need in understanding and applying retinoids in human nutrition and diseases. Currently, a great deal of ongoing research activity is supported by the NIH (the NIH RePORT database indicates that there are currently 1,460 NIH funded individual research grants involving retinoid/vitamin A biology). The 2014 conference will start with a new "Round Table" panel providing a holistic and historical view by several senior investigators in the field. This will be followed by 8 symposia, 2 traditional poste sessions, and one new "Poster Award" in conjunction with a new "Meet the Expert" session to close the meeting. The goal is to foster the exchange of new research findings. In particular, we aim to encourage new/young investigators meeting and networking with senior investigators in this field, and facilitate the inclusion of new insights/ideas/techniques from scientists and clinicians in other related fields. The main topics to be addressed at the conference include both basic and translational fronts of retinoid biology: (1) retinoid metabolism;(2) retinoid enzymology;(3) retinoid signaling;(4) retinoids in development and stem cell biology;(5) retinoids in disease I - cancers;(6) retinoids in disease II - immunity and metabolism;(7) retinoids in disease III - eyes and the nervous systems;(8) retinoids and carotenoid chemical biology. The overall goal is to bring together a group of investigators (senior scientists, mid-career scientists, junior scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students) who work in diverse disciplines (as biochemists, molecular biologists, nutritional scientists, cancer researchers, vision researchers, stem cell biologists, biophysicists, structural biologists, immunologists, chemists, and clinicians) to present and discuss their newest research findings that share a common focus on the retinoids. This conference will provide a forum for critical review of recent research and incorporation of newly developed ideas and technologies into translational fronts of this classical topic. This will allow new investigations to provide needed insight into the applications of retinoids in preventing disease and maintaining health and in developing new therapeutics, and facilitate collaborations among basic scientists and clinicians.
Retinoids, the active forms of vitamin A, have wide ranging effects on many aspects of human health including vision, metabolism, embryonic development, immunity, and differentiation of diverse cell types. Retinoids are also important therapeutics such as for cancers, skin and immunological disorders, neurological and metabolic diseases including diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. The bi-annual FASEB Summer Research Conference on Retinoids provides the sole major national and international forum that addresses the full spectrum of retinoid biology. The 2014 meeting is the 17th conference in this FASEB conference series, and will expand on the translational relevance and emphasize more recent discovery in therapeutic applications. The ultimate goal is to stimulate timely scientific exchange and provide insights into the roles and uses of retinoids in disease prevention and treatment.