This is a new proposal requesting partial support for an international symposium entitled "The New Directions in Biology and Disease of Skeletal Muscle," to be held June 29-July 2, 2014 in Chicago IL at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. The "New Directions" meeting began in 2004, and since 2004 this meeting has been held every other year. The meeting has rotated venues to permit accessibility, and prior meeting sites included San Diego (2004), Dallas (2006), Ottawa, Ontario (2010) and New Orleans (2008 and 2012). Over the decade that this meeting has been held, the neuromuscular disease field has seen remarkable success in moving basic science discovery into the reality of clinical trials in patients with rare disorders including the muscular dystrophies and spinal muscular atrophy. The "New Directions" meeting differs from other topically related meetings because of its focus on bringing together industry and academic attendees with focus on evaluating laboratory based observations and assessing or testing suitability for therapy in the preclinical and clinical settig. This meeting was developed in response to the MD Care Act and the recognition that devising and testing therapy for rare neuromuscular disorders requires organization and coordinated efforts among all stakeholders. In addition to the focus on identifying and testing therapeutic pathways, the "New Directions" meeting places a high emphasis on inclusion of trainees and young investigators, as it is recognized that the challenges of these medical problems will require a diverse and prolonged effort to realize cures for these devastating disorders.
This proposal seeks partial support for an international symposium on The New Directions in Biology and Disease of Skeletal Muscle, to be held June 29-July 2, 2014 in Chicago IL at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. This meeting is highly unique in its focus on muscle diseases and therapy development. The meeting brings together academic and private sector researchers, clinicians, and advocacy groups to identify new targets for therapy to treat the muscle degenerative diseases including the muscular dystrophies and myopathies.