This R13 application seeks funding to support the registration and workshop for students and postdoctoral fellows for the 21st anniversary meeting of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR) to be held April 24 - 26th, 2014. Since its inception in 1994, the ASNTR has convened every year in April/May in Clearwater, Florida, with an attendance of approximately 200 participants. This society has a strong tradition of translational research in the fields of cell transplantation and neuron/tissue engineering, as well as gene therapy as applied to neurological diseases (e.g. Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury). The focus of the meeting is generally to advance novel treatment strategies in neural repair. Clinical trials are often presented based on basic science research reported at previous meetings. Thus, students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as other attendees not only learn about the "bench science", but they actively participated in discussions with clinicians about translational issues. This interaction fosters the translation from the bench to the bedside and is a unique feature of ASNTR's annual meeting. Each year the ASNTR Education and Training Committee encourages students/postdoctoral fellows to submit their abstracts in a competition that scores their abstracts and ranks them according to creativity of the scientific approach, thoroughness of outcome measures, quality of writing as well as the potential impact on the field. The top rated applicants receive awards to cover their registration costs and partially cover the cost of their meeting attendance. ASNTR has always placed a high priority on funding these awards for students and post-doctoral fellows. Consistently, we have been able to attract support also from biotechnology companies and non-profit organizations to cover a small number of these awards, however, in recent years ASNTR has seen these contributions dwindle and although we will continue to seek funding from the private sector, we do not anticipate any increase in contributions above recent levels in the coming years. This application requests $25,000 in total direct costs to support the trainee awards for the top graduate students/postdoctoral fellows from US institutions that apply (awards of $1000 per student/postdoc). Additional money is requested to partially support the trainee workshop that is held the day prior to the meeting. The ASNTR and the Education and Training Committee include and encourage participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in all its activities.
This application seeks funding for travel awards for graduate students and postdocs to attend the upcoming 20th anniversary meeting of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair. This meeting will promote the interaction between young and senior scientists, as well as clinicians to jointly discover and develop new treatments for neurological disorders. Commonly at this meeting novel collaborations emerge out of these discussions. This interactive approach between basic scientists and clinicians cultivates a culture of translational research for neurological disorders.