The 2014 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation will be the sixth in a biennial series that began in 2004. This year's meeting will be held July 13-18 at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and will be accompanied by a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on July 12-13. This GRC and GRS provide outstanding forums to present and discuss new findings about the mediation and regulation of RNA metabolism in normal and diseased states, and how such processes can be targeted and/or harnessed to treat human disease. Elucidating the basic mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation is essential to fully understand the organization, evolution and function of present-day genomes, as well as the involvement of RNA metabolic dysfunction in numerous genetic and acquired disorders. Such fundamental knowledge underpins development of novel therapeutics based on or targeting specific post-transcriptional processes. Areas of emphasis at this year's meeting will include RNA evolution, RNA processing, editing and nucleotide modification, RNA-protein (RNP) complex assembly and dynamics, intra- and extra-cellular RNP transport, mRNA translation and decay, the functions of long and short non-coding RNAs, RNA toxicity, the contributions of abnormal RNA metabolism to congenital and neurodegenerative diseases, and novel therapeutic avenues arising from our ever-increasing understanding of post-transcriptional mechanisms. A key goal of the 2014 meeting is to increase interaction between academic and industrial scientists for their mutual benefit and to facilitate development of novel therapeutics. With this in mind, a significant proportion of this year's speakers come from companies working in this rapidly evolving therapeutic space. The GRC will convene approximately 45 speakers representing key areas of post-transcriptional gene regulation and therapeutic development, with a total of 160-200 participants from both academia and industry. Several short talks will be chosen from abstract submissions. Late afternoon poster sessions will enable all participants to contribute to and learn about the above-mentioned topics. Four top posters will be acknowledged: two graduate students'and two post-docs'. All participants will also interact at meal times and during free early afternoon and late evening periods. While the quality of science will be cutting-edge, the atmosphere is aimed at being relaxed and interactive. For early stage investigators, there will also be a two- day GRS immediately prior to the GRC;the GRS will provide an opportunity for these young scientists to both hone their speaking skills and to become comfortable participating in a high level scientific conference. For graduate students and postdocs interested in pursuing a career in industry, the GRS will include a panel discussion with industry leaders and early stage industry researchers.
As the only biopolymer capable of catalyzing chemical reactions, adopting complex 3-dimensional structures, and carrying genetic information, RNA is the central molecule around which all life on earth has evolved. Problems with RNA metabolism and regulation cause numerous human diseases, and emerging therapeutic approaches increasingly employ RNA as a therapeutic agent and/or therapeutic target. This meeting will provide a forum for discussion of cutting edge developments in RNA research, with particular emphasis on normal and abnormal regulation of RNA-based (i.e., post-transcriptional) processes, while increasing interaction between academic and industrial scientists to facilitate the translation of basic discoveries into novel therapeutics.