We propose to organize and support the 2013 Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Elastin, Elastic Fibers &Microfibrils to be held in conjunction from July 20th - 21st (GRS) and July 21st - 26th (GRC) 2013 at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. This biennial conference represents the leading international forum for knowledge exchange and dissemination of research on the elastic fiber and microfibril system, which are critical components of the vasculature, lung, bone, muscle skin and other tissues. The conference will provide the scientific community and non-academic stakeholders with new basic mechanisms of elastic fiber systems, as well as with new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for acquired and genetic connective tissue disorders originating from derailed functions of the elastic fiber/microfibril system. Research focusing on elastic fiber systems and its components is highly applicable to the disease targets of the NHLBI and NIAMS. Abnormal deposition and turnover of elastic fiber components and microfibrils is central to the pathogenesis of acquired diseases including atherosclerosis, aneurysms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, vascular remodeling in systemic and pulmonary hypertension, and skin aging mechanisms. Genetic disorders discussed in the conference include, but are not limited to Marfan syndrome, Beal's syndrome, Williams-Beuren syndrome, supravalvular aortic stenosis, Urban-Rifkin-Davis syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, acromelic dysplasias, cutis laxa, stiff skin syndrome and systemic sclerosis affecting the cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal systems. These combined acquired and genetic diseases affect millions of Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide.
The specific aims of the combined 2013 GRS/GRC conference are: 1) To gather diverse (gender, nationality, career stage, minorities, working environment) investigators, representatives from patient advocate groups and other non-academic stakeholders from multiple disciplines for a focused, comprehensive conference presenting the latest findings, innovative ideas and cutting edge research in elastic fiber related research. 2) To foster international collaborative opportunities, teams and networks between investigators which will inspire and facilitate multidisciplinary and translational approaches to investigating acquired and genetic elastic fiber and microfibril diseases. 3) To improve health by stimulating knowledge transfer and by giving the opportunity to basic scientists and clinicians to exchange with representatives of biotech and pharmaceutical industries. 4) To encourage and mentor new trainees through the new Gordon Research Seminar toward career success in elastic fiber-related research and support them through travel and excellence awards.
The combined 2013 Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Elastin, Elastic Fibers &Microfibrils will explore the latest research on elastic and musculoskeletal connective tissues and their associated diseases. Common diseases involving components of elastic fibers and microfibrils are emphysema, hypertension, aneurysms, stroke, atherosclerosis, UV damage to the skin, and many inherited disorders affecting blood vessels, lungs, bone, muscle and skin. These combined acquired and inherited diseases affect millions of Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide.