We ask for partial support for the 2011 Neurotrophic Factors Gordon Research Conference. The conference will be held from June 5th through 10th, 2011, at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. This conference, held every other year, is viewed as the most important meeting for conveying discoveries of the highest significance in the neurotrophic factor field. It attracts virtually all of the leading scientists studying neuronal growth factors, their mechanisms of action and their roles in development, plasticity and diseases of the nervous system. Moreover, in recent years it has been attended by a significant number of clinicians and scientists in the related fields of developmental neuroscience, and neurological and mental health disorders and by industry representatives whose companies engage in research in neurological and mental health disorders. Over the years, many of the major breakthroughs in the field have been showcased at this meeting. The Conference has played a catalytic role in building the neuroscience community by bringing together both young and established investigators with diverse interests in neurotrophic factors and with expertise in molecular biology, cell biology, signal transduction, synaptic transmission, development, behavior and disease. The overriding objective for the 2011 conference is to enhance communication between scientists working in diverse disciplines to increase their ability to understand neurotrophic factors and to deduce how exploiting their actions may allow us to enhance the lives of individuals with disorders of the nervous system.
The public health relevance of the Conference is its ability to accelerate the transmission of knowledge from fundamental neuroscience to the benefit of patients that suffer with a variety of disorders - Alzheimer's disease, Down syndrome, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, depression, obesity, epilepsy, stroke, and peripheral neuropathies, including those that complicate diabetes and other chronic medical disorders. As such, it fills an important gap in creating and sustaining research with enormous potential benefit to the health and well being of America and the rest of the world. Indeed, we expect this conference to catalyze many new collaborations that address questions important to understanding and treating neurological and mental disorders.