This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on the Multi-Drug Resistance Efflux Systems as part of Gordon Research Conference series to be held in Les Diablerets, Switzerland, June 12 - 17, 2011. The conference will bring together the world's leading researchers investigating membrane transporters that play a significant role in resistance to anti-cancer and anti-infective drugs, are important for microbial pathogenesis and oncogenesis, involved in drug adsorption, distribution and excretion, and have been recently implicated in several human diseases. The broad and long-term goal of this conference is to foster cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations so as to enhance our basic knowledge of the structure, mechanism, and regulation, physiological and pathophysiological functions of polyspecific (or multi-drug resistance) transporters with the aim of developing new insights and strategies for the control of multiple diseases.
The specific aims of this meeting will be to convene over 40 leading experts that cover critical areas within this new field, with a total of 140 participants for a five-day conference in a very isolated setting. The program will be structured into nine sessions covering various aspects of multi-drug resistance associated with diverse types of transporters in various organisms, recently uncovered physiological functions, structural diversity and multiplicity of molecular mechanisms, regulation of expression and activity in different living systems and two sessions on translational research focused on the approaches to overcome/modulate activity of polyspecific transporters as a therapeutic strategy and the role of polyspecific transporters in drug discovery and development. In addition, afternoon poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute to these topics. Every effort will be made to encourage participation by postgraduate students and postdocs, to have parity in the numbers of women, and to include minorities and persons with disabilities. The significance of this application is that this Gordon Research Conference will provide the cross-disciplinary forum for bringing together and synergizing members of the international research community that work on different aspects of distinctive classes of multidrug efflux systems. The health relatedness of this application is that the discussions generated will help define the important questions relating to basic science but also those required for the development of novel strategies for combating multi-drug resistance, various transporter-mediated diseases and improving efficacy and safety of numerous therapeutic agents.
All living cells use special membrane transport proteins to keep their interiors free from toxic products of cellular metabolism and a variety of environmental toxins. A single multi-drug resistance (MDR), or polyspecific, transporter might handle literally hundreds of structurally diverse compounds. This substrate promiscuity makes MDR transporters a fascinating subject of research. By the same token, however, it renders some of them a serious impediment to human healthcare, since many of their substrates are clinically useful drugs used to fight cancer and various infections caused by fungi, parasites and bacteria. In addition, more and more data indicate that polyspecific transporters play a significant role in human physiology, toxicology, pharmacology, and disease. Three previous Gordon Research Conferences on Multi-Drug Efflux Systems firmly established this series of meetings as an open and stimulating forum for scientific exchange in all basic and applied aspects of polyspecific membrane efflux transporters. The discussions of current research at this Gordon Conference will focus on important issues that need to be addressed for the development of successful strategies to combat multi-drug resistance and various transporter-associated diseases.