Molecular Pharmacology focuses on the mechanisms of drug action at a molecular level. The use of drugs as clinical diagnostic and therapeutic agents and in studying mechanisms in physiology and disease makes molecular pharmacology a very dynamic discipline in experimental biology and medicine. Molecular pharmacology is an interface discipline that integrates approaches from fields that include molecular, cellular and structural biology, genomics, chemistry and systems biology. Research in molecular pharmacology seeks to elucidate fundamental aspects of drug action and provide new pharmacological tools and therapies. In addition, progress in clinical medicine has raised new questions regarding the molecular basis of drug action. The placement of molecular pharmacology at the interface of experimental biology and translational research makes it an exciting area of discovery that seeks to provide answers to questions of relevance to clinical medicine. These ideas underlie this application for NIH support for the 2011 Molecular Pharmacology Gordon Research Conference (GRC), which seeks to integrate basic and translational research and to highlight recent advances regarding molecular mechanisms and pathophysiological aspects of drug receptors in cell systems and animal models. Topics at this GRC will be in areas that include signaling and drug action in cancer, infection, cardiovascular and endocrine disorders as well as evolving information regarding critical molecular aspects that contribute to behavior, drugs of addiction and the regulation of multiple organ systems.
Beyond its role in updating information within the field, the Molecular Pharmacology GRC contributes to the training and creative development of the next generation of scientists who will drive the field forward. The intimate, informal atmosphere of the conference gives trainees (e.g., graduate students and post-doctoral fellows) an opportunity to experience the excitement of cutting-edge research and to interact with senior scientists.