This proposal requests support for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Chemical Biology and Novel Tools in Pharmacology, organized by Laura L. Kiessling, Kevan M. Shokat and Jason Gestwicki, which will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico from February 12 - 16, 2012. The best solutions to the most important problems in biomedical science have come from multi-disciplinary research. In particular, the discovery of new chemical probes and therapeutics requires cross-cutting expertise and the innovative application of new technologies. Scientific forums, however, have become increasingly specialized and narrow in their scope. The specific purpose of the Keystone Symposia meeting on Chemical Biology and Novel Tools in Pharmacology is to initiate and foster active discussions between academic and industrial researchers in the broader area of pharmacological tools. Rather than focus on a specific disease, model system, or technical method, this meeting will bring together a variety of experts whose primary, common trait is their innovative use of chemical and biological approaches to solve important problems in biology. From this organizing principle, the specific aims of this meeting have been devised as follows: (a) to assemble chemists and biologists who may not normally interact with each other, (b) to make new connections between chemists and biologists, academics and industrial scientists and (c) to provide a forum for an open discourse of modern, cross-platform ideas. An unintended consequence of increasingly specialized forums for scientific discussions is the lack of mechanisms for dissemination of novel ideas, platforms, and methodologies. The major innovation of this meeting is that it is designed to encourage and inspire researchers to explore and implement inter-disciplinary and emerging methods in chemical biology and pharmacology to their specific biological questions.
Increasingly specialized forums for scientific discussions inhibit dissemination of novel ideas, platforms and methodologies. In contrast, the Keystone Symposia meeting on Chemical Biology and Novel Tools in Pharmacology is designed to encourage and inspire researchers to explore and implement inter-disciplinary and emerging methods in chemical biology and pharmacology to their specific biological question. We expect that the integration of chemists with biologists, across multiple sub-disciplines and in both academics and industry, will accelerate translation of chemical probes into human therapeutics.