Neuronal cell biology has emerged as one of the most exciting and rapidly moving fields in contemporary biology. This field is experiencing a revolution in both imaging technology and reporters for the analysis of cellular structure and physiology. There is an unprecedented ability to interrogate the intricate design and function of individual neurons and neural circuitry. The "Cell Biology of the Neuron" Gordon Research Conference will be held on June 22-27, 2014 at Waterville Valley Resort, NH. A stated goal of this meeting is to bring together leading scientists to present the most recent advances in this rapidly moving field. Relevance to human neurological disease will be addressed throughout the program, including presentations by prominent cell biologists working at the academic-industry interface, tackling the challenge of translating cell biological advances into therapeutics. The conference format is based on 25-minute talks with 15 minutes of discussion following each talk. Topics will focus on synapse formation, synaptic transmission, neural plasticity, membrane trafficking, neural regeneration, and degenerative disease. Specific areas of disease relevance include talks on neural degeneration, regeneration, ALS, prion-disease, Parkinson's, and diseases that can be traced to early neurodevelopmental errors including schizophrenia and autism-spectrum disorders. Speakers were selected as world leaders in their respective areas. Eleven out of the 29 invited speakers, including a plenary lecturer, are women. Nine of the speakers are from outside the US including Europe and Asia. Six speakers are early career scientists and we have reserved 8 short talks for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or junior faculty to be selected from the abstracts submitted to the meeting. Most participants will present posters, ensuring maximal participation and discussion among meeting participants. This also ensures that the conference will provide ample opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work. Members of under-represented minority groups are especially encouraged to attend. The collegial atmosphere of this conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provides an avenue for scientists from different disciplines to brainstorm and promotes cross-disciplinary collaborations in the various research areas represented. The conference should be of great interest to the missions of the National Institutes of Health including NINDS.
This proposal requests funds to support the Cell Biology of the Neuron Gordon Research Conference, which will be held June 22-27, 2014. The underlying cause of most neurological and neurodegenerative diseases can be traced to genetic and environmental perturbations that disrupt fundamental cell biological processes. This meeting will further the goals of the NIH and specifically NINDS by bringing together leaders in neuronal cell biology, technology development, as well as disease and therapeutic development to discuss the most pressing challenges and most important recent advances in neuronal cell biology.