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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 1R13DK081216-01
PI Name: SMITH
Project Title: 14th Biennial FASEB Summer Research Conference on Retinoids

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application requests partial support for the 14th Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Summer Research Conference on Retinoids to be held at the Omni New Haven at Yale Hotel in New Haven, CT from June 15-20, 2008. This bi-annual research conference has been very well attended (ranging from 125 to 200 attendees over the past 24 years) and remains the sole major national and international conference that addresses the full spectrum of retinoid biology. Knowledge of the importance of retinoids to a diverse group of biologically and medically important processes has increased very rapidly over the last two decades. Nevertheless, there is much that still needs to be learned regarding retinoid actions in both normal human physiology and pathophysiology. To meet this need for information, there is a great deal of ongoing research activity focused on the retinoids (the NIH CRISP database indicates that there are currently 191 funded NIH grants involving retinoid biology). The 2008 conference will consist of a plenary lecture, platform presentations and poster sessions that will allow for the exchange of new research findings amongst scientific attendees. The main topics to be addressed at the conference include: (1) retinoid metabolism and homeostasis; (2) structure and regulation of retinoid receptors; (3) enzymatic control of retinoic acid action; (4) retinoids in vision; (5) retinoids in cancer; (6) physiological actions of retinoids; (7) retinoids in development; (8) retinoid regulation of cell growth and differentiation; and (9) retinoid regulation of stem cell plasticity and differentiation. The overall goal of the proposed conference on retinoids is to bring together a group of investigators (including senior scientists, mid-career scientists, junior scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students) who work in diverse disciplines (as biochemists, molecular biologists, nutritional scientists, cancer researchers, developmental biologists, vision researchers, cell biologists, immunologists, chemists, and clinicians) to present and discuss their newest research findings that share a common focus on the retinoids. This conference will provide a forum for the critical review of recent research and for the development of new research ideas and collaborations. This will stimulate new investigations that in time will provide needed insight into the essential actions of retinoids in preventing disease and maintaining good health. Retinoids, the active forms of vitamin A, have wide ranging effects on many aspects of human health including vision, embryonic development, immunity, and the differentiation of diverse cell types; they are important therapeutics for cancer and skin disorders, and may play a role in diabetes/obesity risk and certain ocular diseases. This bi-annual research conference provides the sole major national and international forum that addresses the full spectrum of retinoid biology. Its goal is to stimulate scientific exchange and new investigations that will provide needed insights into retinoid roles in disease prevention and treatment.

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