This is a renewal application proposal seeking NIH funding to partially support US junior faculty from under-represented groups and US trainees to attend the 15th International Meeting on Human Genome Variation and Complex Genome Analysis (HGV2014) to be held from September 17-19, 2014 at the Conference Center of the Culloden Estate &Spa in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the 16th International Meeting (HGV2015) to be held in September 2015 on the East Coast of the United States. The meetings are part of a meeting series that began 15 years ago, then entitled "SNPs and Complex Genome Analysis", in response to the emergence of great interest in SNP research. The first small SNP1998 Meeting was a gathering of ~50 investigators who came together for workshop style brainstorming and debate in Skokloster, Sweden. The event was extremely successful and consequently grew into a leading international meeting that limits attendee numbers to <200 to retain its dynamic 'workshop'atmosphere. The organizing committee of 6-7 active researchers changes each year to keep the content topical, with Anthony Brookes, and in more recent years Stephen Chanock, and Pui-Yan Kwok being the main organizers. The meeting has witnessed exceedingly rapid maturation of the SNP field, and it has 'evolved'into the realms of structural variation and whole genome/medical sequencing. In response, and reflecting the multi-disciplinary challenge that is genome variation research, the meeting title was changed to 'Human Genome Variation'in 2006 (HGV2006). The "combined" meetings were highly successful, with researchers from 20+ countries attending the past meetings. The objective of the HGV meeting series is to bring together researchers from the entire spectrum of human variation research to push the field towards a full understanding of the relationship between human variation and health. The HGV2014 meeting is particularly timely because the field of human genome variation research is entering a critical phase, with the 1000 Genomes Project almost completed, the identification of numerous genetic loci associated with many diseases by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the ENCODE project providing much understanding of the non-coding parts of the genome, and an explosion of DNA sequence data from whole genome, whole exome, and whole transcriptome sequencing. With an increasing recognition that copy number polymorphisms/structural variations and de novo mutations are important causes of human diseases, the two main themes of HGV2014 will be "From Single Cell to Population Variation" and "Biomedical Informatics". We anticipate that the more results of "medical sequencing," "personal genome sequencing," and "single cell sequencing" will come out in by mid-2014 so a meeting such as HGV2014 will be a perfect forum to assess these results. As in previous meetings, HGV2014 and HGV2015 will bring together investigators in diverse fields to promote collaborations and move the field even further along.
The HGV2014 and HGV2015 Meetings will bring together researchers in the field human genome variations from around the world to explore and discuss the full spectrum of variation analysis, from the origins of human variation to its implication to human health and disease to the challenge of managing and analyzing the enormous amount of data being generated in the field. A major focus of the meetings is to train young scientists in genomic research.
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