We propose a continuation of the biannual Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators (SCZI), held in Asilomar, USA. These meetings allow zebrafish principal investigators to discuss current research and promote coordinated advancement of research using fish as a model system. The meeting will accommodate up to 200 principal investigators. The proposed 2019 meeting will be the 8th international conference; continuation of the series will follow with the 9th and 10th meetings to be organized in January of 2021 and 2023. Previous meetings have consistently been highly rated by participants; all survey respondents from the 2017 meeting plan to attend or might attend the 2019 conference. The zebrafish is one of the premier model organisms for the genetic analysis of vertebrate development. Moreover, the zebrafish has quickly been established as an outstanding system in which to model human diseases. Recent advances in forward and reverse genetics, imaging techniques, transgenesis, and chemical screening have been widely disseminated throughout an active, collaborative community. The proposed meeting will continue to foster the development of resources, establishment of collaborations and development of interdisciplinary interactions. One third of past participants have been new investigators. In addition to having the opportunity to learn about new findings and establish collaborations, new investigators will have the opportunity to attend discussion sessions on topics such as grant writing or balancing lab and life that are led by senior investigators. Past meetings have had a solid record of inclusion of women and minority participants. This grant will provide financial assistance for 30 participants selected from the submitted abstracts. These 30 recipients of financial support will be chosen based on the impact and originality of their abstracts as well as on the basis of gender, race, career stage and need.
The zebrafish has become well established as a scientific model system for studying vertebrate development, and increasingly as a model to study human disease and disorders, including alcohol and drug abuse, cancer, infectious disease and neurodegeneration. The Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators (SCZI) is aimed at bringing principal investigators from all scientific disciplines together to exchange ideas, form collaborations, foster resource development, and draw strategic plans for the optimal use of the zebrafish model in basic and biomedical research. This proposal seeks support for three future SCZI conferences in a successful biennial series to allow principal investigators to strategically discuss current research, approaches, and challenges, and to promote coordinated advancement of research using the fish model system.
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