This is a request to support the 2019 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Cartilage Biology and Pathology, which will be held in Hotel Galvez, Galveston, TX, US from March 17-22, 2019. The GRC will be the ninth in a series of highly successful biennial conferences, and it will be preceded for the third associated GRS, a pre-meeting exclusively dedicated to and organized by trainees. The GRC and GRS will cover broad basic and translational research topics ?from development and disease to regenerative medicine and therapies?. The GRC on Cartilage Biology and Pathology owes its success to three major principles. First, it is the only conference that brings together basic-science researchers, clinicians-scientists and biomedical engineers, and covers a broad spectrum of cartilage biology, cartilage pathology and scientific disciplines relevant to cartilage research. Second, and exemplifying the GRC tradition, the conference emphasizes forward thinking, unpublished cutting-edge findings, state-of-the-art technologies and open discussions. It alternates formal presentations with poster sessions and informal discussions, and limits attendance to 200 participants. It is a forum that promotes collegial interactions and the establishment of productive collaborations. Third, it is open to researchers at all career stages and encourages mentoring, networking, and collaborations among aspirant, young and senior investigators. This last principle was further emphasized in 2015 and 2017 with the addition of a GRS, both of which were highly successful. The overwhelming majority of participants voted to hold another GRS, in conjunction with the 2019 GRC. The GRC/GRS on Cartilage Biology and Pathology are justified not only because cartilage is the earliest skeletal tissue that supports skeletal development from embryos to adulthoods, but also because cartilage is an essential skeletal component of a functional skeletal system. Malformation and degeneration diseases of cartilage affect the lifespan and life qualities of a large human proportion. Moreover, cartilage diseases remain largely incurable, largely due to limited understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the diseases as well as lack of effective therapeutic development. Therefore, the GRC will highlight recent advances and challenges in understanding cartilage biology and diseases. Eminent scientists and talented young investigators will report and discuss their most recent exciting findings according to this theme and will provide insights into the remaining challenges towards understanding the various aspects of cartilage biology, disease, and translational approaches. We expect the 2019 GRC/GRS on Cartilage Biology and Pathology to empower researchers across disciplines to make milestone progresses towards understanding cartilage biology, improving human health by fighting all types of cartilage diseases, and thus fulfill the missions of the National Institutes of Health.
This application seeks partial support for the ninth Gordon Research Conference on Cartilage Biology and Pathology, a premier international forum for excellence in cartilage research, and for its third associated Gordon Research Seminar run by trainees and for trainees. The central theme of the 2019 conference is to promote both basic and translational cartilage research in broad areas ?from development and disease to regenerative medicine and therapies? which will be achieved by catalyzing opportunities to discuss research breakthroughs, integrate the most recent scientific, clinical and technological advances, exchange novel ideas/approaches, and foster mentoring and multi-disciplinary collaborations in a most collegial atmosphere. The ultimate goal is to help fulfill the mission of the National Institutes of Health to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cartilage diseases, from birth defects to adult-onset, aging-associated degenerations, and thereby help people live better lives.