Funding support is requested for the Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors (NERLSCD) annual meeting. This meeting provides an exceptional opportunity for life sciences core facility directors and managers to network with colleagues, to learn about biotechnology advances and applications, and to discuss the challenges and results of implementing shared research resources. There are plenary sessions, workshops and discussion forums on operational and management issues facing biotechnology core laboratories. There are technical workshops on genomics, functional genomics, proteomics, imaging, and other technologies, including next generation sequencing, genotyping, microarrays, real-time PCR, proteomics and mass spectrometry, protein production and characterization, optical imaging, bioinformatics and bio-IT. A core facility poster session offers an opportunity for learning about regional life sciences shared resources and services. The NERLSCD meeting was established in 2006 as a result of a grass roots effort of core directors in the region to provide a forum for networking and for addressing the operational and technical challenges of life sciences core laboratories. Three annual meetings have been held in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The NERLSCD 2008 meeting had 150 attendees representing 60 institutions in 17 states and 1 Canadian province. The next meeting is scheduled for November, 2009, on the Ithaca, NY campus of Cornell University. Funding for past NERLSCD meetings was provided by sponsoring institutions and by registrations fees. No commercial vendor support was solicited or accepted for this meeting in order to facilitate the creation of a meeting environment that fosters informal and informative discussion and networking between core directors without influence or pressure from vendor representatives. However, due to the state of the economy, many of the previous institutional sponsors will be not be able to continue to provide the same level of support. Therefore partial funding support for the NERLSCD meeting for five years is requested under the NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (PA-08-149) program. The NERLSCD meeting is organized by a group of core directors from eight different institutions. The organizing committee members have a history of working effectively together and have extensive experience with shared research resource laboratories and with organizing scientific conferences. The NERLSCD meeting facilitates sharing of regional resources and thus helps reduce duplication of costly research biotechnology infrastructure. The meeting speaker sessions and workshop panel discussions focus on the effective management of core resources and on the optimal application of existing and emerging biotechnologies. Thus, support for the NERLSCD meeting will facilitate a broad range of current and future NIH funded projects in many different institutions.
Relevance to public health: Funding support is requested for the Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors (NERLSCD) annual meeting. The goal of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for networking among life science core directors and managers. The meeting provides an exceptional forum for core directors to interact with colleagues, to share technical advice, to discuss established and emerging biotechnologies, and to discuss the continuing challenges associated with the operation of shared research resource laboratories. The meeting will support a diverse array of core directors who play a crucial role in facilitating advances in knowledge and understanding in a wide variety of NIH funded life sciences research areas.