Cell division (mitosis) is the culmination of the cell cycle, and even seemingly minute deficiencies in the molecular mechanisms that control mitosis profoundly affect the fate of the daughter cells and ultimately, the fate of the entire organism. A range of pathologies, including genomic instability, cancer, and birth defects arise from improper formation of the mitotic apparatus (spindle). Thus, research on mitosis is an important emphasis of the NIH mission to improve public health. A large number of scientists focus their investigations on various aspects of the mitotic apparatus. In fact, research in the field of mitoss amalgamates molecular cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, computational biology, systems biology and functional genomics. To foster exchange of the information and ideas, as well as to encourage new interdisciplinary collaborations, we seek funds to partially defray the cost of the 4th FASEB-sponsored meeting on Mitosis: Spindle Assembly and Function. This international meeting, organized by professors Erich Nigg of the Biozentrum, University of Basel (Basel, Switzerland) and Rebecca Heald of the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA, USA), will bring together approximately 150 researchers from the various sub-disciplines within the field of mitosis. The meeting will feature a keynote address by Dr. Tim Mitchison of the Harvard University (Boston, MA), a long-standing leader in the field. Podium presentations will feature invited internationally-renowned experts, as well as younger scientists whose work will be selected from the submitted abstracts. Nine platform sections covering all major aspects of mitosis will be held: 1. Microtubule Dynamics and Movements in Mitosis; 2. Systems Biology of Mitosis; 3. Meiosis and Mitosis in Development; 4. Kinetochore Assembly and Function; 5. The Mitotic Spindle Checkpoint; 6. Centrosomes and Spindle Poles; 7. Mitosis Early Career Symposium; 8. Chromosome segregation; 9. Chromosome Segregation and Aneuploidy. To complement the platform sessions, time will be allocated for two poster sessions, each 2 hours long. This meeting, held every three years as part of the FASEB-sponsored series, is the only regular international conference that focuses entirely on mitosis.
The faithful segregation of genetic material by the mitotic spindle during cell division is essential for the health and survival of any organism. Because defects in the process can contribute to genomic instability, birth defects, and cancer, the study of mitosis is relevant to human health and the mission of the NIH. The conference aims to bring together researchers engaged in the study of all aspects of mitosis to foster collaborations and enhance our understanding of this important biological process.