This application seeks partial funding for the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Cardiac Regulatory Mechanisms to be held at Colby Sawyer College (Colby-Sawyer, NH) on June 9-15, 2012. For more than 25 years this conference has prided itself on bringing together new investigators and established leaders to present their latest unpublished findings and engage in meaningful scientific and social interactions. The special informal nature of the GRC is unique in fostering discussions that span disciplines and geography and enables new personal and scientific connections to develop. Accordingly, an extraordinarily high number of scientists return to this conference year after year. Participants are chosen from amongst the most promising and productive scientists, at all stages in their careers and from diverse disciplines. Their bond is a common interest in the topic of regulation of the normal and diseased heart with a focus on Ca2+ regulatory mechanisms. We have a good mix of fundamental science related to regulation of normal cardiac electrical and mechanical properties, cardiac myocyte cell signaling, and abnormalities in these processes that contribute to cardiac dysfunction. The increased use of genetically modified animals and the development of defined cardiovascular phenotypes has made the cardiovascular system tractable and thus of broad and expanding interest to the cell signaling field. This year's conference has a particular focus on signaling pathways and includes several new areas of intense research interest including mitochondrial Ca2+ regulation, redox regulation, new model systems, subcellular compartments and their real time imaging. Other sessions focus on arrhythmias, Ca2+ signaling in myocytes, and novel signaling pathways. Discussion leaders are charged with and are historically successful at promoting lively discussions and critical questioning. Indeed a key objective of this conference is to foster an inclusive, intense, lively and interactive atmosphere that highlights controversies and enlightens participants by providing a deeper understanding of unresolved issues. This is an exciting time in cardiovascular science because of the use of transgenic and knockout mouse models, genetic information and new technologies that allow us to explore the cellular and molecular basis of normal cardiac function. We are beginning to translate these new findings into a better understanding of disease mechanisms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment. We expect that the proposed presentations will be both exciting and timely, and to include late breaking science and young investigators in the oral session by recruiting speakers from poster contributions and recent publications. This is a conference that those who have regularly attended look forward to, and that new attendees and young scientists recognize as an invaluable learning and career experience.
Important advances in science depend on the open exchange of the latest ideas and new findings and the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Cardiac Regulatory Mechanisms enables and catalyzes such exchange. The health relatedness of the conference is evident in the nature of the research presentations which focus on understanding how normal cardiac function is regulated and how it becomes dysregulated in disease. Resolution of these issues, as advanced by the talks and discussion, will direct future research and ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat heart disease.