Grant Abstract: Vitamin E and Health

Grant Number: 1R13DK065714-01
PI Name: Mohsen Meydani
Project Title: Vitamin E and Health

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The New York Academy of Sciences is sponsoring a 2.5-day conference, titled "Vitamin E and Health." This conference has been organized by Drs. Mohsen Meydani, Frank Kelly, and Lester Packer, and will be held in Boston at Tufts University during May 22-24, 2004. Vitamin E was identified 80 years ago as an essential micronutrient for fertility in animals. Although widely acknowledged as the most important lipid soluble antioxidant, its precise role(s) in the maintenance of human health is still unclear. Indeed the use of vitamin E in a number of recent poorly designed intervention studies has only added to this uncertainty. Since the last major conference entirely devoted to vitamin E, held in 1989 under NYAS auspices, a number of new and novel functions have been identified for the family of vitamin E molecules, including the role of vitamin E in the regulation of cellular signaling and gene activity, the role of proteins, which specifically bind and guide alpha-tocopherol to (sub)cellular destinations, and the metabolism of individual tocopherols. For example, recent observations on tissue specific functions of vitamin E identified by high-density oligonucleotide microarrays could not have been predicted from the known functions of alpha-tocopherol. New information is also emerging on the role of vitamin E in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress and aging. The objectives of this interdisciplinary conference are to: review recent basic, clinical, and epidemiological findings, get a clearer appraisal of the role of vitamin E's antioxidant and cell regulatory functions, objectively evaluate intervention trials that included vitamin E, and discuss a framework for future vitamin E research. The audience, consisting of a diverse group of basic and clinical researchers, nutritionists, public health professionals and others with an interest in the nutritional modulation of diseases and aging, will learn about the latest developments in vitamin E research and related topics, and have an opportunity to interact with researchers in their own and other fields. Special steps will be taken to attract junior investigators, women, and minorities to the conference.

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