Ion channels and transporters are ought to account for 1% of human genes, and their disruption by inherited mutations is intensively studied as a means not only to learn more about their physiology, but also to develop therapeutic strategies to treat inherited 'channelopathies'and also to treat or avoid more widespread disorders in which channels are causative and/or potential therapeutic targets, e.g., drug- induced cardiac arrhythmias, and epilepsy. Study of mutant ion channels has permitted an unprecedented understanding of the molecular basis of disease, as single mutant proteins can be studied using single channel patch-clamp techniques to determine the precise molecular etiology of channelopathies and created a platform for the treatment of channel disorders through the judicious application in new ways of clinically available drugs targeting ion channels. A major and ongoing step forward in our understanding of channelopathies has been the discovery of a number of regulatory proteins, which modulate ion channel function and which, when mutated in inherited disorders, also disrupt native ionic currents and underlies a range of pathologies. This conference, with its theme of ion channel regulation, encompasses this relatively new aspect of inherited channelopathies. This theme provides outstanding opportunities for collaboration, cross-disciplinary interactions, and interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research training. Ths is an application for partial support of the 6th biennial FASEB Summer Research Conference on Ion Channel Regulation. The conference will be held June 23-28, 2013 at the Sheraton Resort, Nassau, Bahamas. Funds from this grant will be used exclusively to support registration fees, lodging, meals and travel to the conference for 20 trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows). This meeting is designed to highlight the latest discoveries related to ion channel regulation and introduce novel conceptual and technological approaches. The goal of the meeting is to promote new collaborations and directions for research on channel regulation and to foster the development of junior investigators by offering them the chance to learn from, and develop relationships with, leading researchers in the field. This conference has previously fostered new cross-discipline collaborations among scientific groups and has stimulated more rapid advances because of synergistic interactions that occurred during and after the meeting. The Co-chairs of the 2013 conference will be Dr. Geoffrey W. Abbott (University of California, Irvine) and Dr. Geoffrey S. Pitt (Duke University), both recognized leaders in ion channel biology with an emphasis on channel regulation. The Program consists of nine scientific sessions, 1 keynote address, and a panel session titled """"""""Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Science"""""""". Most sessions were organized around general themes rather than ion channel subtype, to foster crosstalk between fields typically kept separate in traditional conferences. Several of the planned talks focus upon the molecular and cellular basis of rare diseases (channelopathies). Of the thirty-seven speakers giving full talks, 11 are women, (30% of speakers;5 of 9 session chairs are also women), and 2 are members of groups underrepresented in science. Eight short talks will be selected from submitted abstracts and invited early stage investigators, with an emphasis on inviting women, minorities underrepresented in science and trainees;we will also work with institutions within the Caribbean to encourage their participation, thereby encouraging novel collaborations. The conference venue has appropriate facilities for disabled attendees.

Public Health Relevance

Ion channels are proteins that provide a pathway for movement of aqueous ions across cell membranes. Regulation of ion channel function is essential for physiological functions including pain, nervous signaling and beating of the heart. Ion channel dysfunction causes diseases including chronic pain, epilepsy, periodic paralysis and sudden cardiac death. This conference grant will provide financial support for a conference that brings together scientists from a wide variety of disciplines but with several common goals: a fuller understanding of how ion channels function, how they are regulated, what happens when they dysfunction, and how can this be prevented or treated. The primary aim of this conference is to provide a synergistic environment fostering cross-disciplinary interactions and training opportunities to improve our understanding of ion channel regulation and how it influences human health and disease. NOTE: The critiques and criterion scores from individual reviewers are provided below in an essentially unedited form. These were prepared prior to the review meeting and may not have been updated or revised subsequent to the discussion at the meeting. Therefore, they may not fully reflect the final opinions of the individual reviewers at the close of group discussion or th final majority opinion of the group. The Resume and Summary of Discussion above summarizes the final outcome of the group discussion.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Conference (R13)
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
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Silberberg, Shai D
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Federation of Amer Soc for Exper Biology
United States
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Abbott, Geoffrey W; Pitt, Geoffrey S (2014) Ion channels under the sun. FASEB J 28:1957-62