The present application seeks three years of conference funding to provide partial support for registration fee and/or travel support for participants to attend the 2014, 2015 and 2016 meetings of the Mammary Gland Biology Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and the newly established and already highly successful Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). The unique contribution and significance of this long-standing conference is that it will bring together developmental biologists, experts in breast cancer risk and prevention, stem cell biologists, lactation physiologists, breast pathologists, endocrinologists, cancer biologists and oncologists to collectively tackle important issues in mammary biology, breast cancer prevention and treatment. The goals for a successful program are to inspire important insights, energize new scientists and foster creative collaborations that will deepen our understanding of normal breast physiology and accelerate the eradication of breast cancer. The multipronged nature of these meetings guarantees a high degree of scientific cross-fertilization.
The specific aims of the meeting will be to 1) provide a program of highly qualified, internationally recognized speakers to address outstanding scientific questions and controversies, 2) foster discussion, unfettered dialog and promote collaborations, and 3) contribute to the training and development of the next generation of scientists. The 2014 conference will focus on outstanding questions and recent discoveries related to breast cancer risk and prevention, mammary niche and reprogramming, pubertal and pregnancy hormones, lactation and involution, tumor heterogeneity and resistance to therapy as well as dormancy and metastasis. Experts in these fields were invited to share their most recent findings and discuss emerging challenges. These are important issues, and the innovative approach of pairing research into development, prevention and cancer within the same meeting will stimulate new and creative thinking. Short talks highlighting outstanding work by young investigators and trainees will be chosen from the submitted abstracts. Other unique features of this meeting include: (i) a tradition of sharing unpublished data;(ii) a program that includes substantial time for questions and open discussion, (iii) an environment that supports informal discussions outside of formal presentations;(iv) active participation and training environment for students and postdoctoral fellows through the Gordon Research Seminar and the Gordon Research Conference;and (v) the encouragement of international collaborations and perspectives. Finally, this meeting will feature "Lunch with the expert", where trainees and experts will meet during lunch each day to provide opportunities for discussing career paths, writing grants and papers as well as other topics brought up by the trainees.
This conference aims to disseminate the latest unpublished data and stimulate discussion among leading investigators and trainees on the most recent findings and future research regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of mammary gland development, breast cancer risk, prevention, and progression to metastasis. The Mammary Gland Biology GRC/GRS is the only conference that focuses on the normal biology of the mammary gland. Specific topics include 1) epigenetic factors (including environmental exposures, diet, and obesity) that alter normal mammary gland development and promote breast cancer susceptibility, 2) gene-environment interactions, 3) comparative mouse-human studies of mammary gland development and breast cancer initiation, and 4) basic biological mechanisms of breast cancer progression and metastasis.