We request partial support for the 2012 Society for Research on Biological Rhythms Conference, to be held at the Sandestin Resort in Destin FL from May 19-24, 2012. The meeting, which attracts 500-600 attendees, will focus on the breadth of topics that represent key research areas in chronobiology, including molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, neurobiology, physiology, metabolism, cancer, aging, immunology, behavior, sleep, mathematical modeling, and applied research. The role of the clock in human health is vast;the field is rapidly advancing and reaching the point where basic and applied research is beginning to coalesce. To meet our goals of stimulating translational research and new collaborations, the meeting will feature 18 symposia of invited speakers, and 12 slide sessions (with speakers selected from submitted abstracts), that combine the best of basic clock research with those that translate this information into human applications. This meeting is needed to fit the explosion of new data into mechanistic models of the clock, and to translate this work into applications for human health. The symposium speakers and session chairs are recognized leaders in their fields, and were chosen to represent our breadth and realize this goal. Special attention has been given to cultural and geographical diversity, as well as gender balance.
We aim to improve this diversity further through advertisement of the meeting at minority institutions, and with NIH funding, to provide offers of travel awards to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and underrepresented groups. To further encourage participation, these groups will be given priority status when selecting presenters for the slide sessions. All meeting abstracts will be made available to the public on the SRBR web site. Training aspects of the meeting are fully developed, and include a highly subscribed one-day training day for students and postdocs, which will precede the main meeting.
The circadian clock regulates rhythms in a wide range of processes in organisms spanning all phyla, and understanding the molecular, biochemical, cellular, and neuronal mechanism of the clock holds great promise for developing treatments for mental illness, sleep disorders, jet lag, and other human health problems, including metabolic disease, cancer, and addiction. The field is rapidly growing and expanding into areas that in the past were not typically aligned with chronobiology, including aging, cancer, metabolism, and immunology, providing new opportunities to translate basic research. To reach this potential, the 2012 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) will unite basic and applied researchers, and trainees, to place the wealth of data into mechanistic models of the clock, and to develop ideas and collaborations for translating chronobiology research into new therapies for circadian and related disorders.