It has only recently been appreciated that the immune and skeletal systems have major interactions. It is now well documented that osteoclasts, which are important cellular mediators of skeletal homeostasis, are derived from hematopoietic precursors that also give rise to immune cells. In addition, numerous cytokines that were first shown to regulate immune cell function have also been demonstrated to regulate bone cells and influence skeletal health. Conversely, products of bone cells appear critical for the engraftment of marrow in bone and the normal development of the hematopoietic and immune systems. In the past scientists involved in immune and bone cell investigations have rarely interacted in a significant way as these disciplines have developed independently and, for the most part, remain separate. The goal of the proposed meeting is to allow these scientists to interact so that new collaboration can develop and more rapid progress in understanding the relationships between the immune system and the skeletal system can be achieved. The fundamental hypothesis of the organizers is that progress in the field of osteoimmunology will be delayed unless better communication is established between bone biologists and immunologists. We believe that a primary way to enhance collaborations between scientists in these previously separate disciplines is to bring the members of both fields together at a conference in which all participants can interact freely and share ideas. The Third International Conference on Osteoimmunology: Interactions of the Immune and Skeletal Systems will be held on June 20th- 25th, 2010 at the Nomikos Conference Center Fira, Santorini, Greece. Inclusion of Women and Minorities The organizers will invite additional speakers to give short talks based on reviews of the submitted abstracts. Students and individuals from groups and countries that are underrepresented in science will be given special consideration both for participation and for presentations. These will include women and underrepresented minorities. One woman (Dr. Alberta Zallone) is a member of the organizing committee;seven women are among the 19 invited speakers. We anticipate 150 participants at this meeting.
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