Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common motor disorder. Over the past fifteen years, the discovery of disease-causing mutations in a growing number of genes has accelerated the pace of our understanding of disease mechanisms. Simultaneous discoveries in cell biology and immunological processes related to the genetic discoveries are rapidly providing insights into the processes that lead to this disease. This creates an exciting series of challenges and opportunities to be addressed by the discussion and exchange of ideas. There has, to our knowledge, never been a basic research conference devoted to PD, and this conference will bring together investigators with diverse scientific backgrounds who share an interest in cellular mechanisms that produce PD and its related disorders. The inaugural PD GRC meeting will be held June 28-July 3, 2015 at Colby Sawyer College and is intended to recur biennially. The specific content of the Conference will evolve as our understanding of PD evolves: the first conference will in particular address pathogenic steps that may underlie the disease and its accompanying neuronal death. The long-term objective will be to create a means to share ideas and data on the cause and treatment of Parkinson's disease and related disorders, and the specific areas of concentration will change with new scientific insights. This meeting, by bringing together scientists with different knowledge, opinions, and technical approaches, will serve to develop new therapies for millions of patients of PD and related disorders including Lewy body diseases and other movement disorders. The enrollment for this inaugural meeting is expected to be 178, the limit at Colby Sawyer College. The NIH is being asked to help cover the registration costs for 48 early career investigators. These investigators will be chosen from the invited speakers and those with outstanding poster abstracts. If the meeting is deemed successful by attendees, the Gordon Conference administration, and the NIH, it can be continued and expanded on a biennial basis. We have designed a highly interactive format that fosters discussion of cutting-edge unpublished results and supports meaningful dialog of controversies and needs in the field. The well-tested GRC format creates a unique opportunity for students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty to interact regardless of professional status and gain a deeper understanding of fundamental questions facing the field or PD and movement disorders and to build cross-cutting collaborations that could lead to breakthroughs. We further intend to promote participant diversity by providing attendance and participation by women, minorities, and scientists from a variety of backgrounds, including those that work at academic and commercial institutions.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common motor disorder. Despite great strides in understanding this disease, there has, to our knowledge, never been a basic research conference devoted to Parkinson's. This conference will bring together investigators with diverse scientific backgrounds who work on the cellular mechanisms that produce PD and its related disorders, with the overall intent to develop new means to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure the disease.