This conference centers on the development and application of animal models to study human disease. Specifically, this meeting has focused on emerging systems in which to study developmental mechanisms and tools to approach biomedical and clinical research. Many aquatic animals have many advantages and attributes that make them superior choices compared to mammalian models to investigate complex scientific questions. As such, the current arsenal of aquatic animal models has played important roles in advancing our understanding of the origins of human disease and have contributed to the study of drug targets and tests associated with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. The Aquatic Models of Human Disease Conference (AQMHD) is the only conference that brings together discussion of common and emerging multiple models used to investigate the full range of human disease. These unique aquatic models represent a wide-range of innovative studies, methods and technologies that improve the conceptual understanding of the complexity of human disease. The Marine Biological Laboratory will host the 10th conference in this series in October 2020, bringing together researchers from the U.S. and around the world to engage in a program designed by recognized leaders in the field to provide state-of-the-art information on advances in the use of aquatic animals in biomedical research. This is an important opportunity to host this aquatic model conference at the oldest marine laboratory in the United States. The dissemination of information, formal and informal engagement in discussion, and collaborative exchange of ideas will be achieved through a series of platform presentations, workshops, and poster sessions. New investigators, women, investigators with disabilities and under-represented minorities will be actively recruited to participate in this meeting through mechanisms such as travel awards. A strong effort is made to include more junior faculty representation. In addition, we have made efforts to increase participation and interactions at the poster sessions by organizing lightning talks prior to each poster session. Proceedings from this meeting will be published in special issues of Journal of Experimental Zoology B: Molecular Developmental Evolution as well as a comprehensive review of the state of aquatic animal models and their use in human disease research to be sent to Developmental Models and Mechanisms. An important outcome of these meeting, and this year in particular, is to provide new investigators with ideas, background, and mentoring required to improve the quality of grant applications submitted to multiple NIH institutes, and to promote the building of novel tools for development of therapies and an understanding of disease etiology.

Public Health Relevance

Aquatic animals are key experimental platforms for biomedical research as models of human disease. This conference will bring together scientists, postdocs and graduate students from the US and around the world to explore the recent developments in technology, study design and data analysis and the latest applications of aquatic animals in the study of human diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZOD1)
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Contreras, Miguel A
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Boston Children's Hospital
United States
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