Plants produce over 200,000 natural products that provide the basis to develop novel therapeutic agents to treat the world's most serious ailments. Roughly 75% of the world relies on medicinal plants for primary pharmaceutical care. Natural products are rich resources for drug development comprising 60% of anticancer compounds and 75% of drugs for infectious diseases. Given the multiplicity of chiral centers, elaboration with modifying substituents and important roles these compounds mediate between plants and environment, natural products play an important role in the design and development of two-thirds of all drugs. The current post- genomic era presents new opportunities for manipulating plant chemistry that will further impact the level and nutritional content of global food supply and lead to the development of novel drugs and therapeutic compounds. To establish a setting for advancement of multidisciplinary collaborations needed to unravel the complexity of plant natural product biosynthesis, the dynamics of plant metabolic networks, and advance basic and applied research in plant metabolic engineering in support of drug development activities, we are requesting support for the 2011 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and joint Graduate Research Seminar (GRS) on Plant Metabolic Engineering to be held July 24-29, 2011 at the Waterville Valley conference center (NH). Similar to prior meetings of this conference series, we expect 175 speakers and participants from the US and abroad, at all career levels, representing institutions from academia, industry, private institutes, and federal laboratories. Concerted efforts will continue to encourage the participation of women, persons with disabilities, and scientists from underrepresented groups. We will host a Graduate Research Seminar (GRS) immediately prior to the GRC. The GRS provides a unique venue for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows to present their research in a setting of their peers, learn to evolve new research ideas, and build a dynamic and interactive scientific community as the GRS participants are fully integrated into the larger GRC meeting. The 2011 GRS will be centered on """"""""Roundtable Discussions"""""""" and opportunities for participants to openly discuss issues related to the field in general, as well as future directions thus allowing participants to establish ownership of a field, a community and a meeting venue. All participants to the GRS are expected to stay for the GRC, further enhancing the educational component of this conference.
Plants produce natural products, many of which have a profound and lasting impact on human health. 75% of the world's population relies upon medicinal plants for its primary pharmaceutical care including anticancer compounds and drugs for infectious diseases. The GRC in Plant Metabolic Engineering provides a setting for developing the multidisciplinary collaborations and interactions needed to unravel the complexity of plant metabolism in support of drug development activities, food nutrition, energy production and agronomic production of plants. The preceding 2011 GRS will be centered on """"""""Roundtable Discussions"""""""" and opportunities for participants to openly discuss issues related to the field in general, as well as future directions thus allowing participants to establish ownership of a field, a community and a meeting venue.