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Epigenetic and Metabolic Regulation of Aging and Aging-Related Diseases (E1)

01-May-2016 - 05-May-2016
Santa Fe NM USA
 
Aging poses formidable scientific, medical and societal challenges. Old age is the single most important risk factor for a constellation of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and a range of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Aging is also one of the greatest fundamental mysteries in biology, and arguably its next frontier. Long thought to be inexorable, aging has in fact been shown to be malleable due to specific changes in genes or environment. This Keystone Symposia meeting will cover the most exciting questions at the forefront of the field: How can external stimuli delay aging in a long-lasting, yet reversible, manner? Does the integration of external stimuli to modulate aging differ among cells with vastly diverse functions - somatic maintenance, tissue regeneration and the "immortal" germline? Is aging a synchronous process, and how do the different cells and systems communicate? How do diseases of aging develop, and what can be done to prevent or reverse them? To address these questions, the symposium will gather investigators from completely different areas to bring an interdisciplinary approach to aging. The meeting will focus on the emerging nexus between two key aging regulators - epigenetic states of the genome and metabolic status - and will highlight innovative technologies and the newest discoveries in aging and diseases. This symposium will also address questions from different perspectives, taking advantage of model organisms with drastically divergent lifespans and aging strategies. Importantly, this meeting will particularly discuss human aging and its associated traits - frailty, susceptibility to diseases - and potential aging therapeutics.
 
Registration Deadline: 01-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1380
 
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Modern Phenotypic Drug Discovery: Defining the Path Forward (D1)

02-Apr-2016 - 09-Apr-2016
Big Sky MA USA
 
Innovation and productivity in pharmaceutical drug discovery have been below expectations. Surprisingly, more first-in-class small molecule drugs approved by the FDA (1999-2008) were identified by functional approaches reminiscent of pre-genomics pharmacology (phenotypic drug discovery) than by contemporary molecular targeted strategies. This observation, and the unexpected difficulties of target validation, have diminished the impact of the "genomics revolution" and are arguably associated with the decline in innovation and productivity of pharmaceutical research. As a result, pharmaceutical researchers have begun to reevaluate the "Molecular Mindset" which has dominated our collective drug-hunting culture, and explore modern approaches to phenotypic screening. However, there is currently no single scientific forum where scientists from pharma, biotech, academia and instrument/service providers can meet and discuss strategies/issues related to phenotypic drug discovery (PDD). In part, this is because PDD encompasses multiple therapeutic areas and involves diverse disciplines including drug discovery, chemistry, cell biology, stem cell biology, systems biology, genomics, bioengineering and informatics. This Keystone Symposia meeting uniquely provides this interdisciplinary environment and is a particularly attractive venue given the increasing role of academia in drug discovery research. The conference will be a forum for the global PDD research community in which scientists from diverse institutions and scientific disciplines can meet to share/discuss/debate topics related to advantages/disadvantages of PDD and how PDD can complement targeted approaches. Significantly, the conference will provide a much needed forum for the growing interest in PDD, and can conceivably become the cornerstone of the global scientific movement for the reintroduction of functional biology/physiology-driven pharmaceutical research.
 
Registration Deadline: 10-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1387
 
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Mitochondrial Dynamics (D2)

03-Apr-2016 - 07-Apr-2016
Steamboat Springs CO USA
 
Although the realm of mitochondrial dynamics continues to expand as discoveries mount regarding its importance in physiology and medicine, we still do not understand why it is crucial to maintain eukaryotic cell integrity, and we are only beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms and regulation involved. This topic is attracting more and more interest and an increasing number of investigators as the critical role of mitochondrial dynamics has been found very recently to impact innate immunity, cell division and chemoresistance. This Keystone Symposia meeting will thus highlight the latest advances in diverse disciplines including neurology, aging, cancer research, autophagy, membrane morphogenesis, structural biology and bioenergetics. The program groups the best senior and junior scientists in these disciplines to break down barriers between different fields of research and promote innovation. As the most important discoveries in mitochondrial dynamics lie ahead, the interactions at this meeting should play a key role in their advance.
 
Registration Deadline: 03-Feb-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1383
 
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Heart Failure: Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics (Z1)

03-Apr-2016 - 07-Apr-2016
Snowbird UT USA
 
Heart failure (HF) is a worldwide epidemic with treatments costing tens of billions of dollars every year. Despite this investment, HF therapies have limited efficacy in reducing disease progression. Recent insights in fundamental myocyte biology, HF etiologies and pathogenic mechanisms are propelling new strategies to treat and prevent HF. This meeting will explore biologic and technical advances that inform the genetic architecture, molecular pathogenesis and innovative approaches to treat HF. This comes at a time when very large human HF datasets are available and can be interrogated using advanced computational and bioinformatic approaches. Specific aims are to: 1) Consider genes, molecules, signaling pathways and biomarkers involved in systolic and diastolic HF in humans; 2) Explore disease mechanisms underlying HF in model systems; 3) Understand the role of epigenetics, miRNAs and lncRNAs in HF pathogenesis; and 4) Review translational programs in genomic, pharmacologic and cell-based therapeutics to treat HF. The outcomes of this meeting should be far-reaching for basic, translational and clinical communities. The meeting should also provide an excellent training program for junior scientists and serve as a catalyst for collaboration among research, clinical and industrial participants. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the “Cardiac Development, Regeneration and Repair” meeting that provides an outstanding opportunity for joint sessions in genetics, iPSC disease modeling, stem cell therapeutics and epigenetics.
 
Registration Deadline: 04-Feb-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1378
 
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Cardiac Development, Regeneration and Repair (Z2)

03-Apr-2016 - 07-Apr-2016
Snowbird UT USA
 
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. There is increasing evidence that developmental mechanisms regulating cardiac and vascular cell lineage differentiation and organogenesis contribute to cardiovascular disease in childhood and throughout life and could be leveraged to reduce cardiac damage and mediate repair or regeneration once damage has occurred. This meeting will emphasize shared molecular mechanisms in cardiovascular development, regeneration and disease and consider how patient-relevant pluripotent stem cell models can contribute to understanding human disease states. Discussion of new bioassays, methods of genetic modification and bioengineering in animals and stem cells will complement these sessions, with the aim of facilitating translational approaches in cardiovascular regeneration, repair and disease modeling. Specific aims are to: 1) Consider animal models for understanding cardiovascular cell lineage commitment, differentiation and proliferation; 2) Explore how this can be applied to creating new stem cell-based models that result in mature cardiovascular derivatives and assays for disease target discovery; and 3) Explore therapeutic potential for cardiovascular repair and regeneration mechanisms in clinical practice. Overall, the goal of the meeting is to bring together world-class speakers and researchers with expertise in cardiac embryology, molecular biology, stem cell biology, human genetics and tissue engineering to facilitate new scientific directions and therapeutic approaches in the management and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
 
Registration Deadline: 04-Feb-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1379
 
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Myeloid Cells (D3)

10-Apr-2016 - 14-Apr-2016
Killarney Kerry IRL
 
Myeloid cells are essential in immunity: they control the interaction of the host with the environment and are indispensable in fighting infections and in the communication with other branches of the immune system. The introduction of new technology is revealing unprecedented levels of complexity in ontogeny, specialization, regulation and modulation of adaptive immunity by these cells. This Keystone Symposia meeting will cover topical questions in myeloid cell biology, including new concepts like the origin of myelocytes, trained immunity, and epigenetic and genetic regulation of their function. It will cover myeloid cells of both bone marrow and fetal origin with an emphasis on how macrophages interact with other myeloid cells including granulocytes. There will also be an emphasis on clinical approaches including medical intervention. New approaches to understand the diversity and specificity of myeloid responses will be also included. The symposium will include different fields central to contemporary immunology both at the genetic and cellular level, including the instruction of the adaptive immune response by innate immunity in health and disease. It should therefore be of interest to both basic and clinical scientists working in cell biology, immunology and infectious disease.
 
Registration Deadline: 10-Feb-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1404
 
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Gut Microbiota, Metabolic Disorders and Beyond (D4)

17-Apr-2016 - 21-Apr-2016
Newport RI USA
 
The hologenome theory of evolution proposes that natural selection acts not on the individual organism but rather on the "holobiont", which consists of the organism together with microbiome (its genes and metabolites). When a holobiont is challenged by dramatic changes, such as altered diet or reduced physical activity, it employs adaptive mechanisms in the form of reshuffling its microbiome (resident microbial communities), but the underlying mechanisms of this molecular crosstalk remain to be determined. Effective study of the holobiont requires a systems biology approach: remove one component of the holobiont to study it in reductionist style and other parts also altered will be overlooked. Decades of reductionist research aimed at understanding the mechanisms responsible for the current dramatic epidemic of man-made metabolic diseases have not considered the holobiont perspective and have consequently missed the adaptation strategies of the microbiome but have set the stage to explore the inchoate holobiont perspective. Application of a systems biology approach to decipher molecular mechanisms underlying man-made metabolic diseases presents a unique opportunity to develop novel therapies that sustain health in a personalized manner. This meeting will discuss how the gut microbiome and its metabolites influence major molecular and physiological mechanisms responsible for man-made metabolic diseases. It will therefore incorporate investigators from diverse areas such as medicine, immunology, neurobiology, endocrinology, physiology, psychiatry, systems biology and microbiology. In addition, the nutritional, surgical and pharmacological aspects of innovative therapeutic strategies will be discussed in dialogue with scientists from pharmaceutical/nutritional companies. The gut microbiome is a neuroendocrine and antigenic organ whose rediscovery is necessary for our understanding of man-made metabolic diseases in the context of the holobiont.
 
Registration Deadline: 17-Feb-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1417
 
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New Therapeutics for Diabetes and Obesity (G1)

17-Apr-2016 - 20-Apr-2016
La Jolla CA USA
 
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a global pandemic with approximately 350 million patients worldwide, driven largely by increasing prevalence of obesity. Multiple options exist for treatment of the primary disease and the array of associated cardiovascular disorders. Nonetheless, the majority of patients do not reach recommended glycemic goals, and there is an urgent need for more efficacious, cost-effective and safe therapies. The regulatory hurdle for new drugs is sizable and challenged by the specific requirement for cardiovascular mortality study. Given the magnitude of the challenges, highly collaborative efforts involving academia, biotech, pharma, regulatory agencies, patient advocacy groups and other key stakeholders are required to identify and advance new therapies that are substantially differentiated from current disease management. The major goals of this meeting are to: 1) Define the distance between current therapy relative to what is most needed to address successfully the near-term challenges of the disease and the wave of later-stage disease-specific complications; 2) Communicate the most important scientific advances in metabolic diseases with the intimate details that often escape peer-review publication and are seminal to drug R&D; and 3) Create opportunities for candid discussion among key stakeholders (academia, biotech, industry, regulatory, venture community, etc.) to identify new business processes, along with new science to streamline the successful conversion of ideas to medicines. Is it anticipated that the perspectives and science presented at this meeting, together with multiple platforms for discussion and interaction, will facilitate the identification of collaborations and opportunities for the discovery of transformative treatment of diabetes and related disorders. The meeting will be uniquely led by experienced drug-hunters with world-class academic credentials to help foster the translation of basic science to breakthrough therapeutics. We anticipate that this meeting will be of interest to a broad and diverse group of individuals interested in drug discovery and cost-effective development with an emphasis on quality, speed and value.
 
Registration Deadline: 31-Jan-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1418
 
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Positive-Strand RNA Viruses (N1)

01-May-2016 - 05-May-2016
Austin TX USA
 
Positive-stranded RNA viruses are significant and emerging human pathogens worldwide. Virus-host interactions and innate responses by the host are intensively studied areas, which promise novel, broad-range and durable antiviral approaches. Topics covered by the meeting include basic advances in research on viral replication structures, virus entry and virus evolution; virus-host interactions, discussed from the virus view on changing the host (including systems biology) and host responses and defense mechanisms; and emerging therapeutics. It is anticipated that rapidly emerging new concepts on virus-host interactions will help the participants to test various host factors for a large number of positive-strand RNA viruses to expand the arsenal of antiviral approaches. This meeting will bring together experts on positive-stranded RNA viruses that will facilitate the rapid progress and dissemination of new concepts in the complex field of virus-host interactions. Also, speakers who are expert with other groups of viruses will be invited to facilitate cross-talk with other areas in virology. Among the speakers will be interdisciplinary scientists who would not normally meet with this group of researchers. Virology, cell biology, genetics, evolution, macromolecular structures/assembly, systems biology and imaging will all be brought together.
 
Registration Deadline: 06-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1415
 
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B Cells at the Intersection of Innate and Adaptive Immunity (E3)

02-May-2016 - 02-Jun-2016
Stockholm Stockholm Sweden
 
In the last few years, the role of B cells in the innate immune response and effector functions beyond antibody production has started to be appreciated. This meeting puts emphasis on newly discovered roles of B cells and discusses novel concepts in B cell biology that will open new venues to design B cell-directed treatments. It will thus highlight the function of B cells as general responders and regulators of inflammation and contrast this to their function and latest discoveries of their role as antibody producers.
 
Registration Deadline: 02-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1397
 
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Nucleic Acid Sensing Pathways: Innate Immunity, Immunobiology and Therapeutics (E2)

08-May-2016 - 12-May-2016
Dresden Sachsen DE
 
Human cells possess intricate nucleic acid recognition processes for monitoring cellular stress and pathogen infection, which trigger the production and release of interferons and cytokines to alert neighboring cells including cells of the immune system. Various classes of nucleic acid sensors, each specific to detecting modified or unmodified, structured or unstructured DNA or RNA, have been identified and are characterized by distinct subcellular localization and also cell-type-specific expression patterns. These sensors include various nucleotidyl transferases producing second messenger small ribonucleic nucleic acid molecules as well as membrane-bound receptors ultimately leading to phosphorylation of transcription factors driving cytokine and interferon expression. This meeting focuses on cytoplasmic DNA and RNA sensors and the function of their linear and circular oligonucleotide second messenger cGAMP and 2’,5’-oligoadenylate produced upon activation. Substantial progress has been made in identification of the structures of these sensors, their nucleic acid ligands and second messenger molecules, as well as the underlying molecular pathways leading to transcriptional activation. Animal models inactivating various pathways of innate immunity have been developed. This progress has enabled targeted development of antagonists and agonists of cytokine and interferon production for therapeutic targeting of inflammatory diseases and vaccine adjuvant development, respectively. An international group of academic and industry scientists and clinicians with expertise in biochemistry and structural biology, nucleic acid chemistry, immunology, human genetics, virology, rheumatology and vaccine development will converge at this meeting to discuss the latest developments in this field.
 
Registration Deadline: 08-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1399
 
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New Approaches to Vaccines for Human and Veterinary Tropical Diseases (M1)

22-May-2016 - 26-May-2016
Cape Town Western Cape South Africa
 
Human and livestock vaccines can contribute to improved human welfare and income generation by maintaining human health and meeting the demand for meat, milk and fish in developing countries. All of these factors contribute to the growing importance of improving food safety, availability and nutritional security. An important component of this Keystone Symposia meeting will be to stimulate crosstalk between the human and veterinary vaccine communities by highlighting cross-cutting technical advances and new science and knowledge from laboratory and field research. The meeting will also provide a rare opportunity for scientists from the Northern and Southern hemispheres to interact and pool resources and knowledge in the common fight against tropical diseases.
 
Registration Deadline: 22-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1410
 
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State of the Brain (R1)

22-May-2016 - 26-May-2016
Alpbach Tirol Austria
 
Recent years have seen rapid advances in our understanding of brain biology, driven in part by the development of novel technologies for studying neural networks. Consequently, major national research programs in the EU and US have been launched that will bring together teams of neuroscientists and engineers with the aim of achieving a major advance in understanding brain function and dysfunction. The challenge is to map the circuits of the brain, measure the fluctuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity flowing within those circuits and understand how they give rise to cognitive and behavioral capabilities. This Keystone Symposia conference brings together investigators from around the world to share their discoveries and to plan future projects in this exciting new era for brain research.
 
Registration Deadline: 22-Mar-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1425
 
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Understanding the Function of Human Genome Variation (K1)

31-May-2016 - 04-Jun-2016
Uppsala Uppsala Sweden
 
One of the most complex problems in medical and evolutionary genomics is interpreting the function of the millions of variants the genome contains, most being rare and private to each individual or with consequences constrained to specific cells or tissues. The functional consequences of variation in coding regions are well established, but the majority of genetic variation resides in the noncoding portion of the human genome. In fact, >85% of genome-wide association signals fall outside coding regions, suggesting a large contribution from variants not well understood both to complex disease and to variation selected for different types of adaptation. The goal of this meeting is to bring together experts that may address important questions such as the function of noncoding variation, the connection between selection and disease, the diverse action of variants in different physiological and pathological scenarios, who develop and apply novel tools to connect genotype and phenotype both in disease and in an evolutionary context. By combining the diverse knowledge of many aspects of genomic analysis, we hope to bring out critical discussion and novel approaches to understanding human genome variation of crucial importance for the individualized genome analysis that precision medicine proposes. We are now entering the age of precision medicine with the capacity to analyze the genome of every subject, evaluating the functional consequences of variability and its interaction with the environment at different time-points in life. This is a new scenario for human biology and genetics in which fields need the convergence of different communities of scientists to address human complex disease, genome biology and evolutionary genomics in to a broader discussion on genome function. Our goal here is to bring together a very cross-disciplinary set of speakers that can address all aspects of genome variability and function, and thus to open everyone's eyes to the interplay between selection and disease, as well as the likely importance of pleiotropic consequences of genetic variability based on genome function and evolution.
 
Registration Deadline: 31-May-2016
http://www.keystonesymposia.org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting.Program&meetingid=1393
 
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