For the past 29 years the David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis has brought together a mix of dysmorphologists, embryologists, anatomists, geneticists, and others who work on developing a better understanding of how human malformations occur and the underlying mechanisms of morphogenesis. The workshops are held annually and were initiated in celebration of the career of Dr. David W. Smith, who was the father of human clinical dysmorphology and first initiated these meetings. Workshops are held over approximately five days, typically on an academic campus in the summer, and have an attendance of 120 to 140 individuals who are selected following submissions of abstracts and reviewed by the scientific program committee. The workshop is intended to provide an interactive exchange and thus is limited only to those presenting that year. Approximately every five years the meetings have been held internationally, but most meetings took place in the United States. Each year three to five central topics are selected by the organizers;which takes into account when the topic had last been a focus, timeliness based on new scientific developments, and new fields. The meetings consist of a workshop format in which short presentations of hypothesis-driven findings are then followed by an intense discussion period. The meetings have a long history of wide-ranging and stimulating discussion, and have provided an especially important focus for the development and recruitment of fellows as well as junior faculty into the field of malformation and morphogenesis.
This application is a request to provide continuing support for the David W. Smith Workshop in the form of travel stipends for fellows, junior faculty, and a select number of plenary speakers. This Workshop has a history for being the primary forum where clinicians and basic scientists exchange information on the pathogenesis of human malformations.