This FASEB conference will be held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on July 24-29, 2011. The 2011 Conference on Genetic Recombination and Chromosome Rearrangements will be the fourteenth in a series of highly successful bi-annual conferences devoted to these topics. Genetic recombination plays a key role in molding genome structure in all living organisms and is required to maintain genome integrity. The global objective of the conference is to bring together workers at the forefront of all aspects of genetic recombination to present new results and to promote discussion between researchers using different techniques and experimental systems. In the program for the 2011 conference, every effort is being made to balance organismal systems, homologous/specialized recombination, and mechanistic/biological studies. The organizers have recruited eight leaders in the field to chair the sessions; the session chairs, in consultation with the organizers, have invited outstanding speakers representing diverse approaches and experimental systems. This conference aims to join approximately 200 investigators studying many diverse aspects of genetic recombination, in a range of biological systems and with different experimental approaches. Presentations will introduce new and unpublished work on timely questions in the field and will include discussion from all participants.

Broader Impacts Every effort has been made to include female and junior investigators as invited speakers; in addition, several slots will be allocated to talks selected from abstracts with the expectation these will be given to junior investigators. Four of eight session chairs are women and about 30% of speakers on the preliminary program are women.

Project Report

The 2011 FASEB Summer Research Conference on Genetic Recombination and Chromosome Rearrangements will be the fourteenth in a series of highly successful bi-annual conferences devoted to these topics and will be held in Steamboat, Colorado, from July 24-29, 2011. The Steamboat Grand Resort site has been used since the 1995 meeting and has been chosen as the site for the 2011 conference by the participants of the 2007 meeting because it can accommodate up to 190 participants and is easily accessible for most participants. The 2011 FASEB Summer Conference on Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements will continue the tradition of gathering workers who are at the forefront of all aspects of genetic recombination. The program for the 2011 conference is being made to balance organismal systems, homologous/specialized recombination, and mechanistic/biological studies. This inclusive approach distinguishes the FASEB meeting from the more specialized conferences such as the Gordon Conferences, which is devoted to one or two sub-fields, and from the broader conferences such as the Keystone Conferences on Replication, Repair and Recombination, which gives important aspects of recombination only token exposure. The FASEB conference is the only meeting with in depth treatment of genomic rearrangements. By emphasizing truly exceptional research, the FASEB conference provides unique opportunities for the exchange of information and technology that can be appreciated and exploited across the recombination field. The FASEB conference is a popular one; the meeting has been filled to capacity almost every year since its inception. The only other meeting that focuses exclusively on recombination is the bi-annual EMBO Workshop on Recombination, which alternates yearly with the FASEB meeting and was last held in May 2008. The EMBO workshop is a smaller meeting than the FASEB meeting (about 150 participants) and was most recently held at the Il Ciocco conference center near Pisa, Italy. The FASEB conference is a popular one, both for those established and those new to the field. Of the first 44 people invited to the conference, only three have declined to participate. We continue the tradition of the FASEB conferences in inviting new speakers, especially young investigators, who have not previously participated in the conference. Approximately 1/5 of the invited speakers have not previously participated, and of the platform presentations to be invited from abstracts we anticipate inviting two or three more new investigators. There are at least two kinds of scientific gatherings that merit consideration. One involves the mixing of different components in new combinations, bringing together sometimes disparate fields and investigators that otherwise rarely interact. The other is a recurring meeting with a history and purpose. The present application is for the support of the latter type of meeting. The FASEB meeting on genetic recombination and genome rearrangements has occurred every other year since 1985, with 2011 being the 14th assembly in the series. In the intervening years, a complementary meeting in the field is held in Europe, sponsored by EMBO. Together, the two meetings offer an annual opportunity for workers in the field to assess its progress. A recurring meeting such as this serves both to define a field and to stimulate major advances. For many participants, this is the one "must attend" meeting to be held in a given year. With its blend of long-standing and new attendees, the meeting offers a unique collective memory that provides context to everything that is discussed. Overly simplistic models for complicated processes are not tolerated; small anomalies, subtleties, and ambiguities are noticed. Things that do not fit trigger searches that can lead to major discoveries. Those major discoveries are celebrated and remembered. Traditionally, the meeting features a number of talks from major laboratories that are longtime contributors to the field. However, there is an equally important tradition of speakers who contribute less frequently, offering fertilization from overlapping fields and unusual systems. New laboratories with new ideas are always included. Studies in bacteria inform research on archaean and eukaryotic systems, and vice versa. The meeting brings together workers from structural biology, physical biochemistry, enzymology, genetics, and cell biology, all interested in the same basic problems. The result is real synergy. Few come away from this meeting without an array of new ideas for their own research programs. Previously, this meeting has documented the progress of research in genetic recombination. With the topic beginning many decades ago as a poorly understood genetic phenomenon, participants have witnessed the development of highly productive models and the reduction of key processes into increasingly well-understood biochemical systems. Recombination is now seen as the key to successful meiosis and to the repair of stalled replication forks. Genetic instabilities underlying syndromes causing cancer predisposition, serious nervous disorders, many birth defects, and immune deficiencies are dissected at these meetings. The reactions discussed hold the key to future efforts to manipulate genomes, with all of its implications.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)
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Arcady Mushegian
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Federation of Amer Societies for Exper Biology
United States
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