The award will provide support for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to attend the 2021 Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on RNA Editing (July 31-Aug 1, 2021 in Ventura Beach, CA). The GRS will be held just prior to the associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC; Aug 1-6, 2021). These two meetings bring together young and established scientists from multiple disciplines who are addressing a broad range of questions about nucleic acid modifications, from mechanisms and functions to development of bioengineering tools. The GRS in particular enables a diverse group of early career scientists to discuss current research through seminars and poster sessions, exchange new ideas, technologies and resources informally, and develop their professional network. Hence this conference will facilitate training and professional development of the next generation of scientists, including underrepresented minorities, in the field of nucleotide editing. The GRS program includes a panel discussion on career choices with accomplished scientists in different professions. The GRS also serves as a career development experience for the co-chairs and organizers who are PhD students.
Modifications of nucleosides found in RNA and DNA have been known for many years; however, the advent of novel and sensitive analytical techniques for their detection, and new appreciation of their broad impact on fundamental biological processes, have led to a renaissance in the field. The GRS and GRC serve as a vital link for investigators around the world to share their latest, often unpublished discoveries, discuss pioneering ideas and launch new collaborations. Topics at the forefront of the field will be covered, including the evolution, structure/dynamics and mechanisms of editing and modification systems, new tools for identification of nucleic acid modifications, and engineering new nucleic acid modification systems, among others.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.