Smooth muscle provides multiple hollow organs (e.g. vasculature, respiratory and reproductive tracts, intestine, and bladder) with their ability to contract or relax according to physiological needs. Thus, smooth muscle research is critical to understand the health status of several body systems including vascular, respiratory, urinary, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems;as well as the etiology of numerous diseases, including stroke, coronary vasospasm, asthma, erectile dysfunction, incontinence, pulmonary failure. The 2012 FASEB Smooth Muscle Conference (Snowmass, CO June 24-29) will bring together prominent and young investigators from around the globe to discuss recent advances in this vital field;its significance is underscored by top-notch speakers with over 120,000 citations total, and by ~50% of the talks dealing with health related issues including hypertension, tissue repair, hypertrophy, remodeling and chemoproteomics. The conference will address innovative concepts and techniques (e.g. stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, microRNA, proteomics, and advanced imaging) promoting excellence and providing young investigators with tools to become future leaders. A "New and Notable" session will add momentum to the conference. The 4-day format is optimum with 1 keynote speaker, 8 morning and evening sessions, and afternoons dedicated for posters, "Meet the Expert" roundtables, informal discussions, and group recreation. The agenda includes sessions assembled with strong science and with many addressing translational efforts to maintain human health and quality of life. Sessions 1-2 deal with cell-to cell communication and injury-induced cell responses important to understand tissue biology, remodeling and repair. Sessions 3-4 will deal with contraction-relaxation networks including ion channels in health and disease. These topics are critical to keep muscle tone healthy, and unravel changes that occur for example in pulmonary hypertension. Sessions 5-6 cover the areas of smooth muscle functional regulation by addressing how hormones and the cytoskeleton act to control smooth muscle transcription, tone and proliferation. Session 7 is dedicated to entice researchers to shift to global approaches like proteomics to rapidly advance the field in the discovery of new health defining mechanisms or disease related markers;while Session 8 will address the New and Notable. Short oral presentations have been reserved for young investigators selected from the abstracts with the two best receiving the "Sizzling New Investigator Prizes". The environment is excellent for interactions and networking in a relaxed atmosphere. Informal discussions in "Meet the Expert" roundtables will increase the opportunities of young investigators to make liaisons with established investigators. Appropriate representation of minorities is being sought among chairs (>30% women), speakers (~30% women, 1 minority;which are expected to increase) and attendants (ads;FASEB offers MARC travel awards for minorities). In summary, the 2012 Smooth Muscle conference strives to foster diversity at all levels, innovation, and translation of basic knowledge into clinical solutions.
The 2012 FASEB Smooth Muscle Conference is a critical forum for basic and clinician, national and international, researchers to advance this vital field that deals with health and diseased states of many body organs like blood vessels, respiratory and reproductive tracts, intestine, bladder, and other hollow organs. Smooth muscle lies within the walls of these organs and defines how they contract or relax in response to physiological needs;failing smooth muscle causes diseases like heart infarct, hypertension, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, gastrointestinal disorders, asthma and lung failure. The conference will bring top-notch researchers, as well as young investigators of diverse origins to discuss current and innovative concepts and technologies with the intention to bridge the gap between basic and clinical problems and to promote a faster translation of basic knowledge into clinical solutions.