This application requests partial support for the "Proteases in Hemostasis and Vascular Biology" conference to be held under the auspices of the Summer Research Conference program of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). This meeting will be the 11th in a series that has been held biennially since 1992 and is scheduled to be held at the FASEB summer conference site in Nassau, Bahamas on June 2-7, 2013. The focus of the meeting has evolved from one originally devoted to structure-function studies of thrombin into the broader arena of proteases in hemostasis and vascular biology. Interest in this area has been exceptionally strong and research activity is accelerating based on new insights on the role of proteases and their receptors, substrates and inhibitors in hemostasis, vascular cell signaling, barrier function, embryonic development, bacterial virulence/host defense, and inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease and neuroinflammatory disease. This unique conference has established itself in the field of proteases and vascular biology and enjoys an international reputation for consistently emphasizing unpublished, cutting- edge basic and translational research by investigators with diverse expertise and broad demographics. The meeting has routinely drawn together a powerful mix of premiere established investigators, outstanding young investigators and gifted trainees for intimate, balanced, highly-interactive and productive scientific exchanges. Some of the most important recent achievements in the area of proteases in vascular biology were first unveiled at previous conferences in this series. The roster of invited speakers and discussion leaders who have already agreed to participate is impressive and include top investigators in the field. These attendees will enhance the stimulating nature of the environment for all attendees and especially junior investigators and trainees. As in past conferences, it is a priority of the organizers to promote program participation of women and minorities, and facilitate attendance by junior faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows and individuals with physical disabilities. The program currently includes a keynote address and 8 sessions devoted to: 1) Protease structure, function and regulation;2) Platelet adhesion;3) Fibrin(ogen)(olysis);4) Platelet signaling;5) von Willebrand Factor, TTP and proteases;6) Proteases and inhibitors in host defense;7) The O'Mics: Genomics/proteomics/degradomics/bloodomics;and, 8) Tissue Factor.
Myocardial infarction, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease remain major causes of morbidity and mortality in the US and the rest of the Western world. Cardiovascular disease is also an increasing problem among the developing countries. Research has revealed the critical role of proteases in thrombosis, vascular cell signaling and inflammatory pathways related to cardiovascular disease. The field has made significant progress in defining the mechanisms by which proteases and their receptors, substrates and inhibitors contribute to physiological and pathological processes, and has identified novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of thrombotic and inflammatory diseases. Small, highly interactive meetings are important ways of fostering the productive exchange of the latest research insights between academic scientists, physicians and investigators in industry, and for developing new and productive collaborations to translate research into therapy.