Partial support is requested for an international meeting on Meiosis as part of the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) to be held at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH on June 3-8, 2012. In addition, support is requested for the Meiosis Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) that will be held in the same location, immediately prior to the GRC (June 2-3, 2012). The GRS is a 1.5 day meeting, organized by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, which offers an opportunity for junior researchers to meet each other and be introduced to topics that will be covered in more depth during the 41/2-day Meiosis GRC. The long term goal of the meetings is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation and cell division in both normal and disease conditions.
The specific aims of the meeting are to provide a forum for scientific interaction in this interdisciplinary field, to present the newest results in the field, to introduce young researchers to the field, to promote interactions between young researchers with established investigators and to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions that will foster new approaches, concepts and ideas. The GRC will convene approximately 175 participants, including 53 speakers, to discuss cutting-edge, mostly unpublished research. The program comprises 9 plenary sessions that broadly address current issues in homologous recombination, regulation of meiotic progression, cell cycle checkpoints, histone modifications and control of meiotic gene expression, chromosome pairing and synapsis, sister chromatid cohesion, the meiotic bouquet and the nuclear envelope, chromosome segregation and the evolution of meiosis and sexual reproduction. Four poster sessions will provide an additional forum open to all participants. The GRS will convene between 50-60 participants and will have three plenary and one poster session. The health relatedness of the application is that errors in meiosis are responsible for at least half of clinically recognized miscarriages, as well as a spectrum of chromosomal birth defects in humans. Repair of programmed meiotic double strand breaks present an excellent system for understanding the mechanisms and regulation of homologous recombination, a process important in mitotically dividing cells for maintaining genome stability and preventing cancer. This meeting provides a forum for discussions that will advance our understanding of this fundamental aspect of reproductive health and that will frame the experimental questions necessary to drive future research.
Meiosis is an evolutionarily conserved, specialized cell division that creates gametes (eggs or sperm) used for sexual reproduction. Mistakes in chromosome separation during meiosis produce gametes with abnormal numbers of chromosomes that in turn can result in spontaneous abortions or individuals with developmental disabilities. This meeting will provide a forum for discussions that advance knowledge of reproductive health, and that define the future experimental questions aimed at understanding normal meiosis as well as the errors made by meiotic cells.