Mitochondria are essential cellular organelles, long noted for their central function in ATP production, as well as many other anabolic and catabolic pathways. Exciting new breakthroughs in our understanding of basic biology and function of mitochondria have taken place in recent years. New research has identified mitochondria as key players in many aspects of cell biology and disease, well beyond their central role in metabolism, including control of cell growth and differentiation, oxygen sensing and ROS signaling, and as hubs of the innate immune and inflammatory responses. These advances have led to realization that the contribution of mitochondria to human disease and aging is multifaceted and more far-reaching than previously anticipated. Therefore, the importance of the 2013 FASEB conference "Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Dynamics in Health, Disease and Aging", for which this proposal seeks support, is clear. There is a growing need to create interactions between investigators that understand and study the basic biology of the organelle with those engaged at these new frontiers of mitochondria, with the goal of melding these activities into a better understanding of how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to human disease and aging. This area is undoubtedly one of the most exciting research topics in contemporary biology and medicine. The major topics that will be covered in this meeting are: 1) Basic Mitochondrial Biology, 2) Mitochondrial Diseases;3) Mitochondria in Aging and Longevity;4) New Frontiers in Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine. The meeting will bring together scientists with a broad range of expertise, ranging from established investigators to graduate students, to present and discuss the most recent advances in the biology of mitochondria and its links to disease and aging. The conference will facilitate discussion of basic and biomedical science as well as stimulate translational research opportunities. The goals will be: 1) to organize and support a conference in the field of mitochondrial biology and dysfunction. The conference will be held June 16-21, 2013, at the FASEB conference site in Big Sky, Montana;2) to promote the exchange of scientific ideas among basic and translational scientists interested in diverse aspects of mitochondrial biology and mitochondrial dysfunction in human disease and in aging, with a focus on stimulate collaborative approaches and cross-field stimulation;3) to encourage and promote participation by junior investigators, women and minorities, with the goal of integrating them in this important and rapidly growing field.
The FASEB Conference on Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Dynamics in Health, Disease and Aging is relevant to public health because of the ever-growing number of links between mitochondrial malfunction and human disease and age-related pathology. An important outcome of this meeting is that experts in the field of basic mitochondrial biology will interface with those working in specific disease areas and new frontiers of mitochondrial cell biology. It is expected this will forge new interactions and collaborations between these groups and illuminate novel insights into how mitochondria cause primary metabolic disorders, as well as contribute to common diseases with an aging component such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegeneration.