Abnormal thrombopoiesis and thrombosis contribute to an array of hematological and cardiovascular pathologies, thus, requiring continued research and educational efforts. The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on the Cell Biology of Megakaryocytes and Platelets is the premier scientific meeting focused on the biology of megakaryocytes (MKs) and the platelets that arise from them. This will be the 5th biennial meeting that brings together two groups of scientists with complimentary goals and interests. Our meeting will begin with processes governing megakaryopoiesis and thrombopoiesis, including from inducible pluripotent and embryonic stem cells, moving to novel computational and screening methods to study theses processes, transitioning to the cell biology of these cells in the context of the cytoskeleton, and then to newly identified signaling, inflammatory and immune functions in MKs and platelets. This plan then leads smoothly to a session centered on discoveries related to MK and platelet pathology. In addition, there is a whole session devoted to presentations of Hot Topics, selected from submitted abstracts. There are several innovative aspects to the planned meeting, including 1. The sessions cover within the same cluster processes that govern MK and platelet development and function, thus, allowing convergence of two audiences with overlapping interests, further increasing exchange of perspectives;2. The translational potential is illustrated in a new session titled: From Bench to Bed Side, and talks, such as on novel therapeutic options for thrombocytosis associated with myeloproliferative neoplasm;3. Emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches is exemplified in several sessions;and 4. Inclusion, for the first time, of a session titled: Breaking Paradigms in MK and Platelet Biolog provides opportunities to learn about, and discuss new paradigms that challenge older concepts in the field. The retention of the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for the 2013 meeting is important. This venue encourages promising trainees to participate more visibly in the program and possibly be encouraged to continue and develop a career in MK and platelet biology. A novel aspect in the GRS plan involves a talk on a historical overview of discovery in MK/platelet biology. Abstracts submitted by trainees will be scored by a panel, and selected for oral presentations, of which some will also present under Hot Topics in the GRC. Round table discussions with investigators will provide mentoring related to careers in academia and in pharmaceutical companies. Taken together, we believe that the planned GRC/GRS represent the Frontiers of Science for our discipline, with keen attention to mentoring. The GRS/GRC meetings take place from March 9-10th and 10-15th, 2013, respectively, at the historic Hotel Galvez, Galveston Island, Texas, located on the Gulf of Mexico. With the unique surroundings of wide beaches and numerous attractions on and near the island, this will be an exciting and memorable venue for all attendees.
Megakaryocytes give rise to platelets, and processes within the megakaryocyte influence platelet formation and function, while platelets are critical for normal clotting and are a major contributor to pathologic thrombi, such as those that underlie the major cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and strokes. This application requests partial support for the costs of organizing and running the 5th Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on the Cell Biology of Megakaryocytes and Platelets, and the 2st satellite Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for trainees. The conferences include state-of-the-art presentations and discussions of the underlying biology of platelets and the megakaryocytes, coupled to mentoring experiences for young investigators, with the overall goal of advancing new insights to improve prevention and care of hematological and cardiovascular diseases.