This proposal seeks partial support for an international conference "Genome Instability and Human Diseases" to be held June 16-19, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The genome instability is associated with many hereditary and acquired human diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and others. The major themes of the meeting will be the cellular responses to environmental DNA damage, the relationship between mutations and cancer, the basic mechanisms of DNA replication and recombination, and specialized mechanisms of replication through challenging genomic regions, such as damaged and alternatively structured DNA. The meeting is unique in that it aims to promote interactions between outstanding researchers in diverse fields relevant to genome stability and human disease that do not typically meet at regularly held conferences. The meeting is intended to stimulate the exchange of new ideas and unpublished information, as well as contacts between younger and more established scientists. The location of the meeting in St. Petersburg will facilitate interactions and cross-fertilization of ideas with the European scientific community that is underrepresented at U.S.-based meetings. The program will include two keynote lectures by leaders in the genome instability field, five plenary sessions including invited talks and short talks selected from submitted abstracts, and two poster sessions. The abstracts will be selected for short oral presentations based on the scientific excellence and novelty of the research. We expect the meeting to result in several new multi- disciplinary collaborations and will stimulate the formation of new research directions in the laboratories actively working in the genome instability field. In the long run, the progress in understanding the mechanisms driving genomic instability will help develop better approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of human diseases. The funding is requested to provide financial assistance to speakers who would be otherwise unable to attend the meeting, and to reduce the cost of participation for graduate students and qualified individuals traditionally underrepresented at scientific meetings.
Genetic alterations are at the root of many human diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative and other disorders. The Genome Instability and Human Diseases meeting aims to improve our understanding of the mechanisms driving genomic instability. In the long run, this will help develop better preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for a wide spectrum of human diseases.