The 2013 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Directed Cell Migration will be held from January 19-25, 2013 in Galveston, TX, USA, continuing this biennial GRC series since 2005. The conference addresses how cells polarize and migrate directionally in vitro and in vivo. The topics range from protein biochemistry, cell signaling and migration to intravital microscopy in the living animal. The themes cover normal and pathologic cell migration in development, leukocyte trafficking, wound healing, and cancer metastasis and further include the use of microdevices and in-silico models to identify mechanisms of cell migration, and therapeutic approaches targeting cell migration and its contribution to disease. The program highlights shared and divergent mechanisms that steer single-cell versus collective cell migration, environments (2D, 3D) and models (in vitro, in vivo), and their implications for function and malfunction of cells. The conference will emphasize new concepts about the regulation of cell migration, and will explore links and differences between cell migration during development, wound healing, immune cell trafficking, and cancer. The combination of interdisciplinary speakers and topics has been selected with the specific intention of stimulating new ideas and collaborations in the field of cel migration and chemotaxis research, with focus on novel, unpublished findings. Besides world-known experts, young group leaders (Michael Sixt, Anna Kashina, Stephanie Alexander, Ewa Paluch, Xavier Trepat, Andrew Ewald) will present invited lectures. Talks from up to 20 young investigators selected from the submitted abstracts will allow for strong support and exposure of graduate students, post doc and junior principal investigators. Scholarships will be offered to encourage the attendance of young scientists, women and underrepresented minorities. Throughout the conference, interactions between senior and young investigators will be promoted in both formal and informal settings. This GRC is the first of this series to be preceded by a GRS on directed cell migration, organized by young researchers (Antoine Khalil, Michael Weiger), with focus on critical reviewing of how experimental models have shaped (and limited) concepts in cell migration research. The GRS will be opened by Peter Devreotes, founding chair of this GRC series in 2005, by discussing the evolution of paradigms in chemotaxis and directed cell migration research. The closing GRS lecture will be given by Michael Sixt, on how chemotaxis and haptotaxis are regulated during migration in 3D environments. Eight talks selected from the abstracts and two poster sessions will allow for engaged interactions and discussions. Two special events include a talk by Anna Kashina about her personal experience as scientist and professional novel writer, and an informal "Ask the PI" seminar with the Chairs and Keynote Speakers on career development in the field of cell migration. For both, the GRC and GRS, support will assure that the meeting will be successful and will provide much needed sponsorship for outstanding young scientists who wish to attend.
This is an interdisciplinary conference that focuses cell migration in diverse processes including model organisms and development, leukocyte trafficking and host defence, wound healing and tissue repair, and cancer. Mechanisms include chemical gradients (chemotaxis, haptotaxis) and physical guidance by cell and tissue structures. Besides researchers focused on basic mechsnisms of pathfinding, the conference is relevant for modeling and targeting cell migration in disorders such as inflammation and cancer.