The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Environmental Endocrine Disruptors continues to be the premier meeting in the field of endocrine disruptor research. This GRC is perhaps the only scientific meeting in which every single talk is directly related to the mission of NIEHS and began in 1998 as a unique forum to attract researchers from across the research spectrum who shared common interests in the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on wildlife and human health. This meeting has been held biennially since 1998 and is organized by the GRC, an organization internationally known for the high quality, cutting-edge nature of its meetings. Now in its 9th incarnation, this GRC attracts experts from basic science, clinical medicine, epidemiology, public health, government, NGOs and industry, perhaps the widest constituency of any GRC. The 2014 meeting will be held at Lucca (Barga), Italy on May 11-16, 2014, together with an associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) at the same location (May 10-11) which is oriented toward early stage investigators (junior faculty, fellows and students). Key goals for the 2014 GRC are to link observations in wildlife with mechanistic laboratory studies using model systems and human clinical and epidemiological studies to provide an integrated view of how EDCs affect health. Sessions have been planned on reproductive health, thyroid disruption, obesity/metabolism and immunity. These areas are similar to those of past meetings (because the topics continue to be areas of great concern). The 2014 meeting is distinct because the program has been designed to integrate wildlife, laboratory animal and human clinical and epidemiological studies into nearly every session. One slot in each session has been reserved for emerging hot topic talks to be selected from submitted abstracts to ensure that the latest results (particularly from young scientists) are presented. The GRS was held for the first time at the 2012 GRC and was enthusiastically received. Activities during this GRS are intended to: (1) provide young investigators with a strong background in mechanisms through which EDCs act and cutting edge approaches to study them to maximize their understanding of the science to be discussed in the subsequent GRC, (2) produce feedback on their ongoing research projects from their peers and from experts in the field, and (3) facilitate peer interactions to promote future networking. The scientific discussions, research talks, poster sessions, and informal interactions among the participants of the GRC and GRS will greatly contribute to advancing our understanding of novel molecular mechanisms involved in endocrine disruption of human health. The interactions and collaborations forged here will provide a strong base for future international efforts to understand and mitigate the important public health problem of endocrine disruption.
The Gordon Research Conference on Environmental Endocrine Disruption, together with the pre-meeting Gordon Research Seminar, will bring together leaders in a wide variety of scientific disciplines with junior investigators constitutingthe future generation of researchers. The scientific presentations, discussions and workshops during this conference are designed to expand our understanding of the mechanisms by which endocrine disruptors may contribute to disease processes, including effects of developmental exposures on human health, epidemiological studies, outcomes for wildlife and ecosystems, and underlying mechanisms of action of endocrine disruptors. The collegial and cooperative atmosphere that has always characterized this conference will provide the perfect setting for the intellectual development and collegial discussions to further biomedical research in this field.