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 1-6, 2014. 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 (May 31 - June 1, 2014). The GRS is a 1.5 day meeting, organized by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, which offers an opportunity for junior researchers to network and discuss the topics that will be covered in more depth during the 41/2-day Meiosis GRC. The long term goal of the conferences is to understand the fundamental mechanisms that ensure the stabile inheritance of the genome during meiotic cell divisions in both normal and disease conditions.
The specific aims of the meeting are to: foster innovation, create networks between young and established investigators, rapidly disseminate new and unpublished results, and promote interdisciplinary synergies. The GRC will gather approximately 175 participants, including 53 speakers, to present and discuss cutting-edge, mostly unpublished research. The program comprises 9 plenary sessions that broadly address current issues in meiotic recombination, meiotic progression and cell cycle checkpoints, epigenetic control of meiotic processes, regulation of meiotic gene expression, chromosome pairing and synapsis, sister chromatid cohesion, chromosome interactions with the nuclear envelope, chromosome segregation, and the evolution and natural variation of meiotic processes. Four poster sessions, open to all participants throughout the conference will provide a basis for extended and in- depth critical discussions. The poster sessions are a particularly valuable forum for forging interdisciplinary collaborations and for new investigators to join networks. The GRS will include between 50-60 participants and will have three plenary and one poster session. This application has direct relevance to human health. Roughly 58% of human conceptions suffer an error in meiosis that results in miscarriage or birth defects related to chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, many of the mechanisms that repair programmed double strand breaks during meiosis also serve to protect mitotically dividing cells from harmful DNA lesions. Therefore, understanding meiosis provides novel insights into genome stability and preventing cancer. This pair of conferences brings together graduate students, postdocs, young investigators and established PIs to push the leading edge of innovation and knowledge in this critical area of reproductive health.
The basis of sexual reproduction is the fusion of eggs and sperm produced by the specialized cell division known as meiosis. Errors in meiotic processes examined by the conference participants, such as recombination and chromosome segregation, cause genome instability and chromosome imbalances that result in miscarriage and birth defects. This conference will enable scientists across the career spectrum (from students to senior investigators) to network, present new data, and test ideas still in development to expedite progress in understanding normal meiosis and the consequences of errors in this critical reproductive process.