This proposal requests funding for partial support for two sequential meetings on Lysosomes and Endocytosis as part of the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series to be held in Proctor Academy, Andover, NH from June 17th-22nd 2012 and again in June 2014. We also request funding for an associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for 40-50 graduate student and post-doctoral trainees immediately preceding each Conference. The Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC has a tradition of over forty years as the key international venue for presentation of cutting edge research in the area of membrane traffic in the endocytic pathway and diseases of lysosome biology. The field continues to evolve, with recent advances elucidating roles for the endocytic pathway in new areas such as development, cytokinesis, signaling, innate and adaptive immunity, metabolism, neurodegeneration and genetic disease. Through high quality formal presentations and rigorous poster sessions, the Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC will highlight these areas and foster the development of new hypotheses, research directions, and collaborations. The GRC will have approximately 150 participants, including at least 40 speakers and 8 discussion leaders representing critical areas in research in endocytosis and lysosome biology, and a keynote speaker with a long history of contributions to the field. The program for 2012 will focus on the molecular underpinnings of the endocytic pathway, the role of endosomes and lysosomes in genetic disease, host-pathogen interactions, adaptive and innate immunity, and metabolism. Ten speakers will be selected from abstracts submitted and one session will be devoted to discussion of new directions. In addition, two poster sessions - each spanning two evenings - will permit all participants to contribute to these topics. The 2014 conference will be organized along distinct lines but will cover many of the same topics, with additional foci on development, neuronal function and cancer. The Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC represents a highly significant investment for the NIH with interests touching on the mission of multiple Institutes. The requested funds will be used to support travel and registration for invited speakers, discussion leaders and junior investigators. Funds are also requested to support invitees to the associated GRS, in which trainees will be provided with background material and will be encouraged to present their data to each other to build presentation and networking skills.
The Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar on Lysosomes and Endocytosis explore fundamental cellular pathways that underlie normal human physiology, disease, and host defense. These pathways control susceptibility to and defense against infectious disease, cellular digestive pathways that malfunction in genetic, neurodegenerative and nutritional metabolic diseases, growth control pathways related to cancer, and cell interaction pathways required for proper development. The conferences bring together top researchers in the field to discuss their latest and most important research findings, and thereby advance public health by exchanging new ideas, establishing new collaborations, and driving future research areas.