Cilia and flagella are thread-like cell organelles protruding from the cell surface into the environment. Long neglected, research on the biology of cilia has seen tremendous growth over the last two decades as their central role in cellular sensing and human disease emerged. Defective cilia cause multi-organ disorders such as Bardet-Biedl, Meckel Gruber, and Joubert syndrome. Cilia participate in several signaling pathways including vertebrate Hedgehog signaling, which is critical for embryonic development and has been implicated in certain cancers including basal cell carcinomas and medulloblastomas, the most common brain tumor in juveniles. G-protein coupled receptors have key roles in mammalian sensing and signaling and many of the receptors are located in cilia. Sensing of light and odors, for example, occurs in cilia and cilia-based receptors have been implicated in the control of appetite, behavior and vision. Thus, ciliary dysfunction contributes to common diseases such as blindness, diabetes and obesity. The purpose of this proposal is to support the participation of junior scientists studying cilia biology and cilia-related disease at the FASEB Summer Research Conferences on the Biology of Cilia and Flagella in 2019, 2021 and 2023. The FASEB conference on cilia and flagella is the premier international meeting on cilia signaling and cilia-related disease. The conference brings together cell, molecular, and developmental biologists, human geneticists, biochemists, physician scientists and biophysicists with interests ranging from the fundamental biology of cilia to the genetics and molecular mechanisms of human cilia-based diseases and their treatment options. In this proposal, we request funds to support junior scientists and investigators, who have not participated in this FASEB conference before, to attend as speakers to promote growth and innovation of the field. A Meet-the-Experts session will be held at the first day of the meeting to facilitate informal interaction between senior members of the field meet and junior scientists and newcomers. We will invite representatives from industry, foundations, teaching colleges and publishing to participate in three workshops on career development and options in and outside of academia. This international meeting is very well attended by postdocs and early stage investigators as well as established experts in the field. This mix of attendees will further the goal of the conference of generate research collaborations, identify key challenges in the field, and stimulate innovative research on the biology of cilia, cilia-related disease and therapies.
Defects in cilia and flagella lead to developmental disorders and disease ranging from congenital heart defects, bone malformations and inherited kidney disease to blindness, obesity and cancer. The goal of this proposal is to provide support for junior investigators to attend the 2019, 2021 and 2023 FASEB Science Research Conferences on the Biology of Cilia and Flagella. The meeting will promote and advance research on cilia and cilia-related disease, facilitate collaborations between basic and physician investigators, and provide training and career development for junior scientists.