We are seeking partial support for FASEB Summer Research Conferences entitled """"""""Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: Biology and Cancer"""""""", to be held June 27 - July 2 2010 and again in June 2012. Such a conference is timely because of exciting recent developments in receptor cross talk, therapeutic advances, and deeper understanding of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases (RTKs) in the brain and development. The planned conferences follow a series of five FASEB conferences on RTKs that were held between 1999 and 2007. RTKs are important in many aspects of animal cell biology, including development, neuroscience and cancer. Previous conferences had an emphasis on RTKs of the Met and ErbB families, and the conferences had seen a dwindling attendance over the years. We have taken several steps to revitalize the meetings. First, while retaining an emphasis on RTKs and cancer, we have widened the scope of the meeting to include other RTKs, other signaling mechanisms, new advances in therapeutic interventions and developmental and neuronal systems in which RTKs play a major role. This broader scope is expected to attract participants with more diverse interests than previously. Second, we have rescheduled the meetings to even numbered years. The previous timing generated conflicts with two other conferences, one sponsored by FASEB and one by Cold Spring Harbor, which addressed similar topics to the RTK conference. These changes, combined with improved advertising and outreach, and an exciting slate of speakers, will boost attendance and ensure the success of the new meetings. FASEB Conferences are small (100-150 participants) meetings held in intimate settings that maximize interactions between senior and junior scientists from academia and industry. In addition to invited speakers, we will intersperse the plenary sessions with short talks selected from the abstracts. 22 of the 33 invited speakers have not presented at this conference ever or in the last 5 years. They include a healthy mix of established and newly-independent investigators, male and female, national and international, addressing basic and applied issues in RTK Biology and Cancer. Refreshments will be provided at the poster sessions to encourage full participation. Financial support is requested to offset travel costs for invited speakers and to fund the travel costs and conference fees for 4 graduate student or postdoctoral level conferees. With this support, we anticipate that the conference will succeed in its goal of promoting scientific exchange and stimulating new research in this important area.
This grant requests funding to partly support conferences focused on the roles of RTKs in normal biology and cancer. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are molecules on the cell surface that receive signals from the outside and transmit them to the inside of the cell. They share an enzymatic activity that allows them to phosphorylate cell proteins on tyrosine when their extracellular regions are stimulated. There are many different RTKs in animal cells, and the particular RTKs that are expressed by a cell are important for the normal functions of that cell and the organization of tissues during development. In the nervous system, RTKs respond to signals that guide neuronal connections and ensure their survival. During embryonic development, RTKs help coordinate tissue and organ development by regulating cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. RTKs are frequently abnormal in cancer cells. RTKs are also important drug targets for cancer chemotherapy. The conferences will be open to scientists at all stages of their careers, and funding is sought to offset the travel costs of invited speakers and also of 4 student or postdoctoral participants.