This proposal requests partial support for an internationally attended meeting on Ion Channels, as part of the Gordon Research Conference series, to be held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, July 8 - 13, 2012. The broad and long-term goal of the conference is to increase our understanding of the fundamental structure, function and physiological roles of ion channels as well as their dysfunction in disease.
The specific aims of this meeting will be to convene 40 speakers and discussion leaders that represent critical areas of ion channel research with a maximum total of 180 participants for a five- day meeting in a relatively secluded setting. The program will have nine sessions that broadly address current issues in ion channel mechanisms in human health and disease. In addition, four poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute their wor to these topics. The significance of this application is that the Ion Channels Gordon Research Conference is a critical component of the established meetings that fertilize ideas and research in the international community of ion channel biologists. Indeed, the small size and intensive discussions engendered by the Ion Channels GRC make it uniquely important for the catalysis of new ideas and directions among the participants. The health relatedness of this application is that the discussions will define questions that require experimental resolution in a wide variety o areas that affect human development and health.
The relevance of this application is that the detailed discussions of cutting edge research will define the questions that require experimental resolution in areas that affect human development, and excitability disorders of almost every tissue and organ system, including the central nervous system, sensory organs, the pancreas, cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscle. These questions are also directly relevant to human aging. Ultimately, the definition and experimental resolution of these issues will pave the way for innovative therapeutic approaches to a wide variety of human diseases.