The Hershey Conference on Developmental Brain Injury was started in 1997 and has grown into a popular, well-attended international conference of physician-scientists and basic scientists, including a large proportion of trainees. It is withot peer in the field of Developmental Brain Injury. The overall goal of the 2014, 9th Hershey Conference is to once again bring together internationally known clinical and basic scientists committed to studying and treating the neonatal brain. The overall theme in 2014 will focus on mechanisms of cell death and plasticity following brain injury in developing animal models and in humans. The basic approach remains the same. Specifically the three objectives are: 1) application of the latest research in basic science to the clinical questions;2) recognition and discussion of ongoing controversy and progress toward resolution in developmental brain injury research;3) identification of future directions for the developmental brain injury field. The objectives of this R13 are: 1) to provide partial support for the invited speakers, many of whom are outside of the developmental brain injury field but will contribute significantly to the educational aspects of the conference 2) to provide support of trainees, junior faculty, and underrepresented minorities (URM), primarily from the US, to attend this meeting, 3) to provide basic infrastructure support for planning and administration of the meeting. With the return of the meeting to the US in 2014, we are applying for funding for the meeting itself as well as the trainee support. New to this proposal is request for funds to specifically fully support US URM to attend the meeting. Extensive participation of trainees, both from US and foreign institutions, has been a hallmark of the Hershey Conference. Trainees, both MD and PhD, constitute 30-50% of all participants and we hope to partially defray the expenses for most of this group. This meeting has historically been an excellent opportunity for informal interaction among trainees and the leaders in the field as well as a mechanism for post-doctoral and visiting scientist recruitment. In 2016 the conference will once again be primarily funded by foreign sources.
Hypoxic-ischemic and other injury to the neonatal brain continue to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity in infants and children and a tremendous public health problem in the US and worldwide. Prevention of the cerebral dysfunction in these children is of high importance. The 9th Hershey Conference on Developmental Brain Injury brings together an international group of leaders in this field, esteemed scientists from outside but related fields, as well as a high proportion of young trainees to continue the important discussions and dissemination of information constantly geared towards finding new and better modes of intervention, neuroprotection, and strategies to enhance repair and plasticity following injury.