Cell division (mitosis) is the culmination of the cell cycle, and even seemingly minute deficiencies in the molecular mechanisms that control mitosis profoundly affect the fate of the daughter cells and ultimately, the fate of the entire organism. A range of pathologies, such as genomic instability, cancer, or birth defects arise from improper formation of the mitotic apparatus (spindle). Thus, research on mitosis is the focus of the NIH mission to improve public health. A vast number of scientists focus their investigations on various aspects of mitotic apparatus. In fact, the field of mitosis amalgamates molecular cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, computational biology, and functional genomics. To foster exchange of the information and ideas, as well as to encourage new interdisciplinary collaborations we seek funds to partially defray the cost of the 3rd FASEB-sponsored meeting on """"""""Mitosis: Spindle Assembly and Function"""""""". This international meeting, organized by professors Claire Walczak of Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana, USA) and Erich Nigg of Biozentrum, University of Basel (Basel, Switzerland), will bring together approximately 175 researchers from the various sub-disciplines within the field of mitosis. The meeting will feature a keynote address by Dr. Conly Rieder of the Wadsworth Center (Albany, NY), a long-standing leader in the field. Podium presentations will feature invited internationally-renowned experts, as well as younger scientists whose work will be selected from the submitted abstracts. Nine platform sections covering all major aspects of mitosis will be held: 1. Mitotic spindle assembly;2. Quantitative approaches to mitosis;3. Centrosome structure and function;4. Kinetochore assembly and function;5. Chromosome structure and function;6. Mitosis career symposium;7. Cytokinesis and mitotic exit;8. Chromosome segregation and aneuploidy;9. Mitosis in Development. To complement the platform sessions, time will be allocated for three poster sessions, each 2 hours long. This meeting, held every three years as part of the FASEB-sponsored series, is the only regular international conference that focuses entirely on mitosis.
The faithful segregation of genetic material by the mitotic spindle to daughter cells is essential for the survival of an organism. Because defects in the process can contribute to genomic instability, birth defects, and cancer, the study of this fundamental process is relevant to human health and the mission of the NIH. The plan to bring together researchers who study all aspects of mitosis will therefore enhance the understanding of this important biological process.