Grant Abstract: Chemistry & Biology of Tetrapyroles 2008 Gordon Research Conference

Grant Number: 1R13HL093952-01
Project Title: Chemistry & Biology of Tetrapyroles 2008 Gordon Research Conference

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (Provided by applicant): This proposal specifically requests funding to support the 2008 conference on Chemistry & Biology of Tetrapyrroles. This intimate meeting, which is limited to 135 participants, is unique: there is no other meeting of the tetrapyrrole research community with a similar tradition of such broad disciplinary participation. The program will focus on new frontiers including tetrapyrroles in energy generation in plants and in solar cells, emerging roles for tetrapyrroles in cell signaling and human disease, tetrapyrrole trafficking, and novel pathways, both biological and synthetic, to elaborated tetrapyrroles. The meeting will highlight key areas of progress in the field in which the chemistry and biology inform new medical, agricultural and technological developments, with each session designed to cut across the disciplines represented among the participants. This proposal will address three specific aims: 1) to organize an interdisciplinary meeting in which each session cuts across the disciplines represented among our participants, in order that the latest chemistry and biology may be viewed in the context of the medical, agricultural or technological context in which it is relevant, 2) to encourage interaction among participants from differing disciplines in order to facilitate the best possible scientific exchange and to nourish the field of tetrapyrrole chemistry & biology through cross- fertilization, 3) to reignite interest among the medical and chemical communities in this meeting. To accomplish these goals we have selected an outstanding group of speakers and discussion leaders who represent the cutting edge of the field. Among the medical topics to be covered include: the role of heme metabolism in parasitic and bacterial infectious disease, vascular disease, and mitochondrial disease; the interplay of heme and B12 in pernicious anemia; and inborn errors of tetrapyrrole synthesis, trafficking and degradation. This meeting will explore the frontiers of understanding about how heme, the pigment that makes your blood red, vitamin B12, and other related molecules function in the human body. Important new research will be presented on how these colorful molecules are involved in diseases like malaria, anemia, stroke and porphyria.

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