While the association of amyloid with a variety of human diseases has been long appreciated, the precise molecular pathways governing amyloid appearance and amplification, the causality of these events in disease initiation and progression, and the sensitivity of these processes to therapeutic disruption remain significant open questions that are the subject of wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary research. This R13 proposal seeks core support for a FASEB Summer Research Conference on "Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Consequences of Protein Aggregation." The ninth conference in a series that began in 1995, our program seeks to leverage the breadth of proteins, systems, and approaches available to advance our understanding of the full range of biological phenomena linked to amyloidogenesis with the goal of ultimately intervening in these processes. The conference, to be held in Big Sky, Montana from June 23-28, 2013, will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of newly arising advances and for establishing collaborative relationships to address the grand challenges in the field. The small size (typically 150 participants) of this conference and its innovative representation of the full range of research on amyloidogenesis provides a unique opportunity to capture and integrate the complexity of this process and synergistically advance the field.
Diseases associated with protein aggregation, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's Diseases, type II diabetes, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, affect an estimated 50 million people worldwide, a significant human, societal and economic burden, for which there is currently no effective treatment or cure. The proposed conference will bring together scientists working on all aspects of these disorders to promote the timely exchange of advances in the field and thereby support the accelerated development of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative strategies.