This R13 proposal requests core support for the eighth international FASEB conference on amyloid protein misfolding and disease. The meeting is entitled """"""""The Basic Origins and Medical Consequences of Protein Aggregation"""""""", and will be held June 12th to June 17th, 2011 in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The conference will promote personal interaction between approximately 150 participants who are involved in studies concerning protein misfolding diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and type II diabetes. Participants will include chemists, structural biologists, biochemists, cell biologists, researchers who use animal models, and clinicians who treat patients afflicted with amyloid diseases. Although all participants share a common interest in protein misfolding diseases, their diverse backgrounds would prevent many of them from gathering as a group at other meetings. Thus, the conference will provide a unique venue for an interdisciplinary exchange that appears necessary to fully capture all aspects of diseases that are caused by specific aberrant protein structures that, in turn, cause toxicity at the cellular and organ levels.
Proteins perform their biological functions by adopting, or folding, to a precise three dimensional structure. Misfolded proteins can not only lose their function, but can become toxic. This phenomenon is found in a spectrum of diseases that include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and type II diabetes. In order to devise diagnostic and treatment strategies, the proposed conference will promote exchange among scientists who study protein structural changes with those that study toxic effects, as well as physician-scientists who treat patients.