Experimental Biology 2004 - Translating the Genome


More than 12,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for the Experimental Biology 2004 meeting in Washington, D.C. April 17-21. This annual meeting brings together scientists from dozens of scientific disciplines, in the United States and across the world, to present the newest scientific concepts and the discoveries shaping medical advances today and for the future.

The six sponsoring societies for Experimental Biology 2004 are: American Association of Anatomists, The American Association of Immunologists, The American Physiological Society, American Society for Investigative Pathology, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Further broadening the scope of the meeting are 26 guest societies the highest number of guest participants in Experimental Biology's 13 year history which add to the meeting these societies' special interests such as veterinary immunology, clinical nutrition, transplantation, tropical medicine, behavioral pharmacology, biomedical engineering, vascular biology, psychoneuroimmunology, and natural immunity, to name a few.

Experimental Biology 2004 continues to use "Translating the Genome" as the theme of its meeting. The theme refers to the extraordinary advances being made by scientists in these societies to translate the map of all human genes into new approaches to understanding, treating, and preventing diseases.

Translation also is a metaphor for the meeting itself. Recognized worldwide for its interdisciplinary approach, the annual Experimental Biology is designed to make it easy for scientists to step outside the boundaries of their own fields and share information with scientists armed with the viewpoint and tools of entirely different disciplines. Basic scientists who spend their days in the laboratory and clinical researchers who work with patients are able to share information and insights into a specific disease process that enthralls them both, but from such different perspectives.

For five days, scientists and reporters covering the meeting can choose among thousands of scientific presentations in reports of individual research findings, poster sessions, lectures by some of the world's most recognized scientists, and symposia. The diversity of topics can be seen in this small sampling from the sponsoring societies:

    The Association of American Anatomists (AAA) offers symposia and sessions on human embryonic stem cells, neuroinflammation and the regulation of pain, the remarkable role of the microenvironment in the pathogenesis and development of disease, tissue biology and regenerative medicine, and control mechanisms of male reproduction. Two workshops on imaging focus on its use for "data mining" and new approaches to whole body imaging of gene expression. AAA keynote speaker Dr. Ting-Kai Li, Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, speaks on "Old Problems, New Approaches in Alcohol Research."

    The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) offers major symposia on topics including autoimmunity (when tolerance goes awry) and immunotherapy. Hundreds of presentations focus on topics such as transplantation immunology, protective muscosal immune responses, mechanisms of tumor rejection, genetics of autoimmunity, immunotherapy of cancer, how the immune system is regulated, vaccine development and optimization, and determinants of protective immunity in clinical infection. Special guest Dr. George H. Atkinson, Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, will speak on "International Scientific Collaboration in an Era of Heightened Security," including the effect of our nation's new travel policies to U.S. scientific meetings and on the employment of foreign scientists, including the foreign post-doctoral fellows who are crucial to much of the important research conducted in many U.S. laboratories.

    The American Physiological Society (APS) programs include breathing and walking following spinal injury; therapeutic implications of stem and progenitor cells; maternal-fetal dialogue; stress, mood, autonomic function and disease; biological implications of nanotechnology; and aspects of exercise physiology. A historical lecture commemorates the centennial of Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov's 1904 Nobel Prize. Among the APS's 14 distinguished lecturers are Peter Agre, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes, and Paul Greengard, 2000 Nobel winner for discovering how dopamine and other transmitters exert action on the nervous system. A special session honors the late Arthur C. Guyton, a legendary figure in cardiovascular physiology.

    American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) offers sessions on topics including lung injury and repair, free radicals in disease pathogenesis, immune mechanisms of CNS disease, aging and determinants of longevity, bioterrorism, harmful and protective innate immune responses, controversies in stem cell research, and strategies for manipulating angiogenesis. ASIP also has especially encouraged submission of individual research papers in the areas of inflammation and vascular pathobiology, gene expression signatures of cancer, and other subjects related to translating new molecular pathology understanding into medical advances.

    The American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) includes 13 minisymposia built around research presentations on aging and chronic disease, diet and cancer, dietary bioactive components, nutrient-gene interactions, vitamins and minerals, and other topics. Symposia and research forums focus on vitamin D insufficiency; the nutrient disease relationship; the role of ghrelin in energy balance; modifying the food environment through energy density, cost, portion size; and human milk research on novel strategies and antimicrobials for controlling emerging infectious diseases in infants and adults. Several sessions look at bioethics and the interface between science and policy.

    The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) offers programs on the pharmacology of ADHD in 2004, mechanisms of adverse drug reactions, frontiers in anticoagulant pharmacology, and several sessions on specific targets for new drugs, such as dopamine receptor blockage for atypical antipsychotic agents. One ASPET public affairs workshop has FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and NIH Institute Directors looking at the scientific and regulatory challenges involving dietary supplements and botanical products. Symposia focus on neuroprotective effects of natural products; eating disorder pharmacology; and emerging concepts and compounds in obesity therapeutics, specifically in obesity pharmacotherapy.

In other Experimental Biology 2004 events:

  • A session called "Will You Still Fund Me Tomorrow?" examines the deficit, biodefense, and the NIH Roadmap. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Allen Spiegel, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, NIH, are part of a panel discussion addressing how a radically changing environment will impact those scientists receiving NIH funding in coming years; how the NIH's Roadmap initiatives will complement or compete with investigator-initiated research; and how various institutes and centers will implement and plan for future Roadmap projects.

  • Scientists can stay current on the rules designed to protect research subjects, with half day workshops on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ("IACUC 101") and on Human Research Protection programs, with a special emphasis on the roles of Institutional Review Boards.

  • Special poster sessions will focus on new methods and materials for teaching, including computers, models and simulations.

  • Scientists and postdoctoral and graduate students can attend workshops on preparing research grants (workshops chaired by Dr. Anthony M. Coelho, Jr., Review Policy Officer at the National Institutes of Health) and on the NIH peer review process.

  • Many young scientists will take advantage of the career resources center and placement service and many of the society specific mixers for students.

  • A special genomics symposium and poster session on Health Disparities in Diabetes: Genetics and Therapeutic Applications" has been organized by the FASEB MARC Program Advisory Board and sponsored by the FASEB Career Resources and MARC Program Office. Moderator and keynote speaker is Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. At least 20 posters from students and postdoctoral fellows involved in research related to the genetic basis of diabetes and its treatment in diverse populations will be displayed during the symposium and the reception/mixer to follow.

  • An exhibit of state of the art research equipment and the latest publications will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.

Experimental Biology 2004 will be held at the new Washington, D.C. Convention Center. Go to http://www.faseb.org/meetings/eb2004 for more information.

To register as press, email Sarah Goodwin at [email protected]. To register as press, a journalist must present media identification or a business card issued by a news organization.

A pressroom will be available in the East Registration Area of the Convention Center. Media briefings will be held Saturday through Tuesday, by scientists presenting at the meeting. Press kits will be issued along with programs and abstract books upon registration. All EB releases have embargoed information, pertaining to time of pressroom presentation or scientific session, whichever comes first. EB 2004 is open to media representing print, electronic, online, general interest, trade, and medical publishing companies.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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