This proposal requests funding for partial support for two sequential meetings on Lysosomes and Endocytosis as part of the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series to be held in Proctor Academy, Andover, NH from June 15th-20th 2014 and again in June 2016. We also request funding for associated Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) for 40-50 graduate student and post-doctoral trainees immediately preceding each Conference. The Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC has a tradition of over forty years as a key international venue for presentation of cutting edge research in the area of membrane traffic in the endocytic pathway and diseases of lysosome biology. The field continues to evolve, and this meeting is a key venue to discuss recent advances that are elucidating roles for the endocytic pathway in new areas such as development, cytokinesis, signaling, innate and adaptive immunity, metabolism, neurodegeneration and genetic disease. Through high quality formal presentations and rigorous poster sessions, the Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC will highlight these areas, disseminate new methods and approaches, and foster the development of new hypotheses, research directions, and collaborations. The GRC will have approximately 150 participants, including at least 40 speakers and 8 discussion leaders representing critical areas in research in endocytosis and lysosome biology, and a keynote speaker with a long history of contributions to the field. The program for 2014 will focus on the molecular underpinnings of the endocytic pathway, the role of endosomes and lysosomes in genetic disease, host-pathogen interactions, nervous system function and regulation, cancer and signaling, and metabolism. Ten speakers will be selected from abstracts submitted, with one entire session devoted to discussion of new directions. In addition, two poster sessions - each spanning two evenings - will permit all participants to contribute to these topics. The 2016 conference will be organized along similar lines but will cover some distinct topics, with additional foci on tissue physiology and translational approaches to diseases. The Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC represents a highly significant investment for the NIH with interests touching on the mission of multiple Institutes. The requested funds will be used to support travel and registration for invited speakers, discussion leaders and junior investigators. Funds are also requested to support invitees to the associated GRS, in which trainees will be provided with background material and will be encouraged to present their data to each other to build presentation and networking skills.
The Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar on Lysosomes and Endocytosis explore fundamental cellular pathways that underlie normal human physiology, disease, nervous system function and host defense. These pathways control susceptibility to and defense against infectious disease, cellular digestive pathways that malfunction in genetic, neurodegenerative and nutritional metabolic diseases, growth control pathways related to cancer, and cell interaction pathways required for proper development. The conferences bring together top researchers in the field to discuss their latest and most important research findings, welcome students and investigators who are new to the research topic, and thereby advance public health by exchanging fresh ideas, establishing new collaborations, and driving future research areas.