This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on the Neurobiology of Brain Disorders as part of a Gordon Research Conference series to be held at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. The meeting will take place between August 5th and 10th, 2012.
The Specific Aim of this GRC is to bring together leading scientists who are at the forefront of the field of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases to present and discuss their latest findings and concepts. The Conference will feature a wide range but related topics that are relevant to disease mechanisms, such as synaptic dysfunction, autophagy, protein misfolding and aggregation, mitochondrial biology, and RNA-binding proteins. Invited speakers represent a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, electrophysiology and imaging technology. Every effort will be made to encourage participation of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members as well as women and members of minority communities. The Conference will provide opportunities for junior scientists to present their work in the poster sessions and to interact informally with leaders in the field. In addition, short talks will be selected from the submitted posters, so junior scientists will have opportunities to participate in oral presentations. The collegial atmosphere and the ample free time in the afternoons and late evenings provide ideal settings for participants from different disciplines to brainstorm and establish interdisciplinary collaborations. The significance of this application is that this GRC will provide a unique forum for the international community working on the neurobiology of brain disorders to come together and discuss the latest advances and the future challenges in the field. The relevance of this application to public health is that the discussions generated will help define the remaining important questions in the field of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases in terms of both basic biology and disease mechanisms, which will aid the development of novel therapeutic strategies for these devastating diseases that are major public health problems. The long-term goal of this GRC is to provide a consistent platform for the community to meet regularly (every two years) in order to disseminate the most recent discoveries and to formulate the most important questions facing research on brain disorders.
Neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases are growing public health problems;for example, Alzheimer's disease alone represents the 4th leading cause of death among the elderly in developed countries. This Gordon Research Conference intends to bring together scientists who work on basic biology and disease mechanisms of these brain disorders to discuss the latest advances and define future important questions. The Gordon Conference is an ideal venue that allows participants to present and discuss freely unpublished data and their implications as well as formulate future challenges for better understanding disease mechanisms and developing novel therapeutic strategies.