This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on Nucleic Acids as part of the Gordon Research Conference series to be held June 5-10, 2011 at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine. The Gordon Research Conference on Nucleic Acids was established more than 50 years ago and since that time, fundamental discoveries in nucleic acids biology have impacted our understanding in areas ranging from nucleic acid chemistry to the role that nucleic acids play in mediating responses in nearly every facet of biology. The broad and long-term goal of this conference is to create a critical forum for discussion of new ideas by promoting interactions by bringing together the world's leading researchers in this rapidly expanding field to foster cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations, so as to enhance our understanding of the role nucleic acids play in biology, human health and disease.
The specific aims of this meeting will be to convene 35 leading experts that cover critical and diverse areas within this field, with a total of 150 participants, for a five-day conference in a relatively isolated setting which will promote interactions among the participants. The 2011 meeting of the Nucleic Acids GRC will highlight recent advances among eight broadly classified areas of nucleic acids research that encompass DNA and RNA biology, biochemistry and biophysics with a view toward highlighting emerging concepts and technologies in these fields. Specific topics include: Genome Integrity;DNA Replication;Transcription and Chromatin Dynamics;Co- and Post-transcriptional Regulation;Non-coding RNA;RNA Stability and Export;Ribosome Biogenesis, Function and Regulation;Nucleic Acid Structure and Catalysis. The significance of this application is that this Gordon Research Conference will provide a forum for bringing together and synergizing members of the international research community specializing in diverse areas of nucleic acids research. In particular, discoveries over the past decade have resulted in renewed excitement regarding the role of non-coding nucleic acids in cells and their impact on regulating nucleic acid biosynthesis and processing. The involvement of RNAi in chromatin silencing and remodeling is another prime example of the utility of this meeting because it brings together seemingly disparate areas of biology. We will place an emphasis on encouraging young scientists, especially those newly engaged in nucleic acids research, to attend and present at this meeting;with time specifically allotted in the schedule for short talks that will be selected from submitted abstracts. The health relatedness of this application is that the presentations and ensuing discussions will help define important questions related to basic science and the development of novel strategies for utilization of nucleic acids in the treatment of human disease. For example, several nucleic acid therapeutics based on discoveries which have been presented and discussed at the Nucleic Acids GRC, specifically RNAi therapeutics, are currently in clinical trials for macular degeneration and hepatitis C.
The stated goal of NIGMS is to support research that """"""""is the foundation for disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention"""""""". Over the past 50 years that the Gordon Conference on Nucleic Acids has been meeting, the field of nucleic acids has exploded with tremendous discoveries regarding the biologic significance and therapeutic potential of nucleic acids. For example, several nucleic acid therapeutics based on discoveries which have been presented and discussed at the Nucleic Acids GRC, specifically RNAi therapeutics, are currently in clinical trials for macular degeneration and hepatitis C. Our goal for the 2011 Nucleic Acids GRC is to continue to select speakers and topics that will provide a critical forum for discussion of new ideas, and interaction between investigators specializing in all the diverse areas of nucleic acids research, with an eye toward recognizing new ideas for the treatment of human disease.