This proposal requests support for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Mitochondrial Dynamics and Function, organized by Luca Scorrano and Jodi Ina Nunnari, which will be held in Banff, Alberta, Canada from March 19 - 24, 2012. Mitochondria are no longer considered "only" as the cellular thermodynamic converter: mounting evidence implicates them as key organelles in cell signaling, proliferation, aging, disease and death. Indeed, our view of this organelle was profoundly altered with the discovery that mitochondria function within a connected network that is continuously remodeled by fusion and division events. This reality has sparked and accelerated new scientific discoveries through the intersection of different fields about the functional roles and molecular features of mitochondrial behaviors. The interaction between the cell death and mitochondrial dynamics fields is the best example of such interplay and has led to the discovery that modulators governing cell death and mitochondrial dynamics, respectively, are in fact interacting with one another. This Keystone Symposia meeting uniquely builds on this rich interdisciplinary interaction, interaction which continues to provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial behavior and mitochondrial-associated diseases. Opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions will be significantly enhanced by the concurrent meeting on Cell Death Pathways: Beyond Apoptosis, which will share a keynote address and two plenary sessions with this meeting.
Mitochondria are key organelles for the life and death of the cell. Their malfunction has been implied in many degenerative and proliferative diseases - e.g., neurodegeneration and cancer, respectively - and a new field of "mitochondrial medicine" aims at addressing how major diseases can be tackled by targeting this organelle. The Keystone Symposia meeting on Mitochondrial Dynamics and Function will critically examine mechanisms underlying mitochondrial behavior and the multiplicity of mitochondrial functions in health and disease. Opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions will be significantly enhanced by the concurrent meeting on Cell Death Pathways: Beyond Apoptosis, which will share a keynote address and two plenary sessions with this meeting.