EB and IUPS - Where cures of tomorrow can be seen in the science of today


More than 16,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for the Experimental Biology 2005 meeting in San Diego, Saturday, April 2, through Wednesday, April 6. The annual meeting, now in its 14th year, is world renowned for its emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to scientific and medical problems. It is designed to bring together scientists from dozens of different disciplines, from laboratory to translational to clinical research, from throughout the United States and across the world. In literally thousands of presentations, symposia, workshops, and poster sessions, they share information across the boundaries of their own fields and present the newest scientific concepts and discoveries shaping medical advances for today and the future.

The 2005 meeting will have the most scientists and presentations - and will be the most international in scope - since the sponsoring societies first began holding their meetings at the same time in recognition of the interdisciplinary approaches underlying so many of today's scientific and medical advances.

In large part, the expansion is due to the decision of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) to hold its 35th Congress - a meeting held every five years - in conjunction with Experimental Biology meeting. Throughout the 20th century, the IUPS Congress has served as an international forum to disseminate new knowledge and forge and renew relationships among physiologists from distant lands. The IUPS meeting begins Thursday, March 31, and ends Tuesday, April 5. In addition, a number of IUPS satellite symposia will be held within a 150-mile radius of San Diego immediately before or after the larger meeting.

IUPS's theme this year, "From Genomes to Functions," fits well with Experimental Biology's focus, during recent years, on how advances in genetics, especially the translation of the human genome, can lead to better understanding of healthy states as well as why and how many diseases develop and how they can be better diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

Sponsoring societies of Experimental Biology 2005 are: American Association of Anatomists; The American Association of Immunologists; The American Physiological Society, together with the International Union of Physiological Sciences; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; American Society for Investigative Pathology; American Society for Nutritional Sciences; and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Thirty-three guest societies, many of them international, broaden the scope of the meeting with specific interests such as veterinary immunology and pathology; clinical nutrition; transplantation; tropical medicine and hygiene; behavioral pharmacology; biomedical engineering; interferon and cytokine research; neuroimmunology, mucosal, and natural immunity, to name a few.

Throughout the week, scientists - and reporters covering the meeting - will be able to choose among scientific presentations listed in telephone-book sized programs, searchable computer disks, and the "fast-breaking" announcements made during the meeting itself. For many, it's a rare chance to so easily slip out of the boundaries of their own specialty and listen to scientists who address some of the same problems - the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease or cancer, for example - but who are armed with the viewpoint and tools of entirely different disciplines.

The diversity of topics can be seen in this small sampling from the sponsoring societies:

The Association of American Anatomists (AAA) offers "CSI San Diego," providing information on how real-life anatomy applications to forensics differ from popular images seen on network programs. The AAA keynote speech describes new gene-therapy based strategies to cure for sickle cell disease. One AAA symposia focuses on recent advances concerning how the biological clock, or circadian rhythms, is affected by genetic errors or the vulnerability of the body's clock mechanism if exposed to alcohol during brain development. Other topics include the environmental factors implicated in seven to ten percent of birth defects, stem cells in the adult epidermis, the evolution of neurobiological specializations (such as the brain) in mammals, and new approaches to regeneration of tissue.

The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) opens with a Presidential address on the intricacies of the generation of an immune response in combating influenza. Three days end with plenary sessions presented by luminaries in the field. During the day, AAI symposia include cutting edge research topics that impact on today's health, such as the genetics of autoimmunity; immunity to persistent infections; the connection between infection and autoimmunity; the biology of how the immune response "remembers" and how this is affected by aging; and the yet unsolved mysteries of "immunologically privileged sites." Other sessions focus on immunotherapy, vaccines, genetic regulation of the immune system, and tumor associated pathobiology and immunosuppression. Yet other sessions focus on the immune system's role in the development, prevention, or treatment of specific diseases and disorders such as parasitic and fungal infections, asthma and allergic reactions, cancer, and transplantation.

The American Physiological Society (APS) has combined its program with that of the 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS). Many of the presentations in its 15 tracks focus on physiology's role in translating genomic discoveries into clinical applications. One of 20 distinguished lectures discusses the biomedical implications of designer babies and human clones. Symposia cover topics such as the genetic maps of blood pressure control; computational biology of cardiac arrhythmias; discovery of the genes for polycystic kidney disease; gene regulation for survival at low temperature; physiology of diving and extreme physiology at depth and the rescue mechanisms of the heart; regenerative capacity of the heart; the molecular basis of epithelial disease; and long-term plasticity and spinal cord injury.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) symposia reflect the society's mission to promote understanding of the molecular nature of life processes, with presentations on protein-protein interactions, including molecular motors in neurodegenerative diseases; DNA replication and repair; signaling pathways; structural insights into lipid metabolism and its control; behavior of mitochondria; genome wide transcription regulatory strategies in development and disease; radical enzymes, and directed evolution of enzyme function; proteases in infectious diseases, neoplasia and angiogenesis; protein inhibitors in drug design; and gene and protein networks and medicine. Eight award lectures by leading experts include topics such as orphan nuclear receptors, lipid-protein interactions, and enzymes in the biosynthesis and tailoring of peptide natural products.

American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) sessions cover diverse aspects of nutrition, such as dietary bioactive compounds and metabolism; carbohydrate and alcohol metabolism; nutrient-gene interactions; lactation; nutritional and behavioral factors in obesity; new information related to individual vitamins and minerals; and nutritional epidemiology with a focus on diet and health outcomes. Symposia address individualized nutrition as a tool to prevent and treat chronic disease; nutrition and aging, including interventions for metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis; nutritional needs for the development, maintenance, and use of the immune system; nutritional modulation of inflammation and infection; the effect of nutrients on the central nervous system; and diet, immunity, and cancer and cancer prevention.

American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) this year inaugurates a keynote lecture series. The first lecture will be given by Inder Verma, a Salk Institute scientist who is considered one of the world's leading authorities on the development of viruses for gene therapy vectors. Symposia, distinguished lectures, and workshops include topics such as the differentiation of stem cells; mechanisms of neuronal cell death; innate immunity at the epithelial barrier; environmental toxicology; new developments in inflammation; the pathobiology of neoplasia as a gateway to improved prognosis; the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease; experimental and therapeutic control of gene expression; mechanisms signal transduction in liver; and new technologies in investigative pathology.

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) has numerous presentations on new and developing therapies. Symposia topics include cardiac electrophysiology's implications for drug development; drug-induced malignant ventricular tachycardia; the increasingly recognized role of neuroinflammation in neuropathic pain and how to modulate it; clinical experience in epigenetic reprogramming of cancer cells; new pharmacological targets for Alzheimer's; pharmacogenetics, perception and reality; C-reactive protein as a possible therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease; genetic susceptibility to estrogen carcinogenesis; and long term effects on adolescents' developing brains of nicotine, stimulants and other drugs. Other sessions focus on the effect of social structure and influences on drug actions and discuss how pharmacologists and other scientists can talk about drugs in high schools.

In addition to the programs of the individual societies, open to all participants in the meeting, Experimental Biology itself sponsors a number of sessions on topics of interest.

  • The EB 2005/FASEB MARC Genomics Symposium and Poster Session covers health disparities in cardiovascular disease: genetic and therapeutic applications. Moderators are the current president of the American Heart Association and the heart research program at the National Institutes of Health's National Heart. Lung, and Blood Institute.
  • A workshop for scientists covers safeguarding institutions' human research programs.
  • Teaching poster sessions include computers in research and teaching and teaching, learning and testing in the biological and biomedical sciences. In addition, each society offers programs on attracting and preparing the next generation of scientists, with special attention to women and minorities.
  • Many of that next generation of current graduate and postdoctoral students will take advantage of an extensive career resources and placement service, while young faculty attend workshops on grant writing and the working dynamics of peer review.
  • An exhibit of state of the art research equipment and the latest publications will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 3 and 4 and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 5.

Experimental Biology 2005 will be held at the San Diego Convention Center. Go to: http://www.faseb.org/meetings/eb2005 for more information and for updates to the program as the meeting grows closer.

Information for journalists
Experimental Biology 2005 and IUPS 2005 are open to media representing print, electronic, online, general interest, trade, and medical publishing companies.

To register as press, a journalist must present media identification or a business card issued by a news organization.

To register as press for both Experimental Biology IUPS, email Sarah Goodwin at [email protected]. A pressroom will be available, with daily media briefings by scientists presenting at the meeting. Press kits will be issued along with programs and abstract books upon registration. Journalists also will receive information about additional press opportunities related to the IUPS Congress. For IUPS information, contact Mayer Resnick at [email protected]. All meeting press releases contain embargoed information, with embargo listing at time of pressroom presentation or scientific session, whichever comes first.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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