We request partial support for the 2014, 2016 and 2018 FASEB Science Conference on "Protein Folding in the Cell". The 2014 meeting will be held July 20-27, 2014 in Saxton"s River, VT. This extraordinarily successful meeting is unique in bringing together cell biologists, geneticists, biophysicists, biochemists, and mathematical modelers to tackle the complex problems of protein folding and misfolding and their implications for human disease. The extent to which this meeting is central to the development of the field cannot be overstated. Recent progress in this topic has been explosive, as has the number of diseases linked to defects in protein folding and assembly. Thus, a common thread that runs through the conference are the associations between the biophysical consequences of protein folding/misfolding and human disease. Meeting attendees rely on diverse and emerging techniques, including those drawn from genomics, computational biology, biophysics, synthetic biology, and chemistry, and hence presentations highlighting new technological advances will be emphasized. Building upon the successful format that has shaped past meetings, specific sessions will highlight the protein folding pathway, the mechanism of action of molecular chaperones, pathways that lead to protein aggregation, protein folding networks and the evolution of networks, protein degradation pathways, organelle and cytoplasmic stress responses, and the consequences of defects in protein folding on organismal health, ageing, and development. For 2014, specific emphasis will be placed on emerging strategies to pharmacologically "correct" protein misfolding. This meeting also features three integral mid-day poster sessions, which serve as a nexus for more detailed scientific discussions and will facilitate interactions amongst established investigators, students and other early- career scientists and industry representatives. Career development opportunities include lunchtime "topic tables", led by invited speakers and that focus on a single topic relevant to career advancement (Writing Fellowship Proposals, Research in Industry, Faculty Positions at Liberal Arts Colleges, and Balancing Work and Family). This meeting has a strong commitment to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and this is reflected in the diversity of the invited speakers. In addition, one-third of all speakers will be selected from submitted abstracts in order to maximize participant and topical diversity. The small-town environment surrounding Vermont Academy in Saxton"s River VT provides ready access to resources to reduce barriers to participation by attendees accompanied by family members, including moderately priced B&Bs and childcare options. Programs for the 2016 and 2018 conferences will build upon the established strengths and unique niche of the meeting to draw together diverse scientists and research approaches, and highlight new and emerging developments in the field.
All proteins in the cell must achieve a particular shape, or conformation, in order to function. Defects in protein folding and secondary consequences of protein misfolding lead to a variety of diseases, including cystic fibrosis, diabetes, Huntington's and Parkinson's Disease, liver disease, and Alzheimer's Disease. To study the myriad processes that lead to these diseases, it is critical that scientists employ a diverse set of tools Since 1990, the FASEB Protein Folding in the Cell conference has drawn together biophysicists, cell biologists, geneticists, clinicians, and representatives from industry who shar a common interest in understanding how proteins fold, what happens when proteins misfold, and strategies to correct the consequences of protein misfolding.