Research in the past decade has spurred tremendous progress in our understanding of molecular mechanisms that underlie cell function. Advances have come from multiple cell types and organisms. Notably, yeast systems often have been at the forefront in the discovery of new proteins, pathways, structures, and in mechanistic insights. Despite its existence as a unicellular organism, yeast research has also revealed unexpected insights into the physiology of multicellular organisms and the functions of specialized tissues. Yeast cell biology continues to be a vibrant field of research, and yeast systems are critically important to the larger research community by serving as the test bed for new concepts and technologies. The intellectual merit of the meeting series on Yeast Cell Biology (2011, 2013 and 2015) is that it will create a premier forum for the discussion and exchange of cutting-edge discoveries about the internal functions of eukaryotic cells. The program will include eight sessions covering a wide range of topics in cell biology including membrane trafficking, cytoskeleton, the cell cycle, polarity, chromosomes, nuclear organization, and signaling, with a focus on higher order regulation that integrates these diverse events. Each session will be led by two outstanding and well-known investigators in the relevant area. With the exception of short talks presented by the session chairs, all of the talks and posters to be presented will be selected from submitted abstracts, and most of the talks will be given by students, postdoctoral fellows and other junior investigators. It is expected that more than 275 scientists will attend. Of these, over half are likely to be graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The meeting will serve to provide a stimulating environment for the free flowing discussion of some of the most exciting data and concepts at the frontiers of knowledge in cell biology. Given the rapid pace of developments in the field, this meeting presents an exciting opportunity for participants to learn about recent breakthroughs that will be relevant to their own research both in yeast and in other systems. The broader impacts of the proposed activity are manifold. First, they include the scientific implications for other fields beyond yeast cell biology, as discoveries in this field will continue to foster a rapid pace of fundamental discoveries and insights that impact the physiologies of all life forms. Second, they also include elements of education, training, resource sharing, and opportunities for interaction and collaboration. In particular, the meeting will provide: (i) training opportunities for junior scientists that will promote the development of presentation skills as well as overall scientific quality and analytical rigor;(ii) an intimate setting that will foster meaningful scientific interactions among scientists at all career levels;(iii) the dissemination of knowledge among multiple strata of research and educational institutions;(iv) sharing of resources, both material and informational;and (v) opportunities for the initiation of collaborations, which can benefit scientists from smaller labs and/or from primarily undergraduate (teaching) institutions who may have fewer resources and more limited access to cutting-edge technologies than do scientists from major research institutions.
Yeast is probably best known for its ability to make bread or alcohol, or perhaps for its ability to cause skin infections and worse. But this humble single-celled organism has become a mainspring of modern biology, because it shares the same principal components and structure as cells of higher plants and animals. This has made yeast a widely studied model for biologists to explore a variety of cellular processes, including how cells grow and divide, how they organize their DNA and chromosomes, how they maintain and organize their organelles, how they move and change shape in response to their environment, and how the sense and respond to external change. In fact work over the last three decades has shown again and again that even at the molecular level, yeast cells share many components and details with their more sophisticated cousins. The relative simplicity of yeast means that a huge body of knowledge about its biology has been accumulated, and many molecular tools and approaches were first developed and are at their most complicated in the analysis of these cells. It is also becoming more evident just how much apparently unrelated functions are actually highly coordinated and orchestrated, requiring a more holistic exploration of cell function to understand how individual parts work together. Because of the implications on biology in other systems, including in human health and disease, yeast cell biology continues to be a vibrant field of research, and yeast systems are critically important to the larger research community by serving as the test bed for new concepts and techniques. This proposed meeting series, long the forum for scientists to present their latest unpublished ideas, aims to keep the yeast system as an important and useful model system by promoting rapid dissemination of advances and open communication between experts in various disciplines. The intellectual merit of the meeting series on Yeast Cell Biology (2011, 2013 and 2015) is that it will continue a premier forum for the discussion and exchange of cutting-edge discoveries, attract and allow the active participation of a diverse group of scientists, and will help to accelerate biological research with real and well-proven implications for human well being.