The 2011 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Gradient Sensing and Directed Cell Migration will be held from June 5-10, 2011 at Les Diablerets Conference Center in Les Diablerets, Switzerland. This conference will follow three successful Gordon Conferences in the field of chemotaxis research, which have been held every two years since 2005. The conference addresses the basic research question of how cells polarize and migrate directionally in diverse systems by discussing development, neuronal path finding, leukocyte trafficking, wound healing, tissue repair, and cancer. The conference is also relevant to the development of therapeutics aimed at disorders where cell migration is central to disease pathogenesis including: cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic and allergic diseases, asthma, and cancer. The program highlights the commonality of mechanisms that regulate directed cell migration in the context of diverse systems and the implications of these common pathways to the development of disease. The conference will emphasize new concepts about the basic mechanisms that regulate gradient sensing and directed cell migration, and will explore links between cell migration during development, wound healing, immune cell trafficking, and cancer. Nine discussion sessions are planned: (1) Directed Cell Migration in Cancer, (2) Neuronal Polarity and Growth Cone Guidance (3) Directed Cell Migration in Animal Model Systems, (4) Collective Migration in Development and Wound Healing, (5) Inflammation and Leukocyte Trafficking, (6) Cell Signaling in Chemotaxis, (7) Cell Polarity and the Cytoskeleton in Directed Cell Migration, (8) Quantitative Modeling of Directed Cell Migration. The combination of speakers and topics has been selected with the specific intention of stimulating new ideas and collaborations in the field of chemotaxis research. The session speakers, selected from a variety of fields, will emphasize novel, unpublished results directly related to gradient sensing and directed cell migration. Young investigators will be encouraged to present and discuss their findings in a supportive environment through the invitation of up to 20 additional speakers, selected from submitted abstracts, and by participation in the posters sessions. Scholarships will be offered to encourage the attendance of young scientists, women and underrepresented minorities. Throughout the conference, interactions between senior and young investigators will be promoted in both formal and informal settings. Support of this program will assure that the meeting will be successful and will provide much needed sponsorship for outstanding young scientists who wish to attend.
The Gordon Research Conference on Gradient Sensing and Directed Cell Migration addresses the fundamental mechanisms that regulate directed cell migration and axonal path finding. This area of research has substantial importance to the development of new therapeutics to treat a diverse array of human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma and neuronal degeneration. This conference will bring together experts who study directed cell migration mechanisms in simple and complex systems in order to stimulate new ideas and advance our abilities to improve public health.