National Academies news: Conference on genomics revolution set for November 2005

04/25/05

WASHINGTON The National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE announced today it will begin accepting applications from researchers for "The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Science and Health," a conference to be held Nov. 10-13, 2005, in Irvine, Calif. Applications must be submitted by June 2 and those selected to attend the conference will receive an invitation in late July. The FUTURES INITIATIVE will pay all travel expenses, including lodging and meals, for invited researchers.

Each year the National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE hosts a conference to bring together more than 100 of the nation's best and brightest researchers from academia, industry, and government laboratories to ask questions about -- and to discover interdisciplinary connections between --important areas of cutting-edge research. This year's conference will focus on new research possibilities in the field of genomics. This topic was selected because advances in the fields of biotechnology and genomics over the last decade offer a wide range of opportunities for collaboration among scientific disciplines.

To help overcome differences in terminology used by researchers in various fields, the conference will include "tutorials" given by genomics experts. Each expert will provide an overview of his or her field in language that other researchers -- scientists, engineers or medical researchers -- not familiar with the discipline can understand. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their latest research at the conference.

The centerpiece of the conference will be break-out sessions in which researchers from different fields can collaborate and develop research plans to address new questions in genomics. Representatives from public and private funding organizations, government, industry, and the science media will also participate in the focus groups.

Funded by a $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE is a 15-year effort to catalyze interdisciplinary inquiry and to enhance communication among researchers, funding agencies, universities, and the general public -- with the object of stimulating interdisciplinary research at the most exciting frontiers. The FUTURES INITIATIVE builds on three pillars of vital and sustained research: interdisciplinary encounters that counterbalance specialization and isolation; the identification and exploration of new research topics; and communication that bridges languages, cultures, habits of thought, and institutions. Toward these goals, the multifaceted FUTURES INITIATIVE incorporates three core activities each year: FUTURES conferences, FUTURES grants, and National Academies Communication Awards.

To encourage further interdisciplinary research on genomics, the National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE will award seed grants on a competitive basis to researchers who attend the conference.

Researcher can apply online, or gather information on procedures and requirements, at WWW.NATIONALACADEMIES.ORG/KECK or by contacting Marty Perreault at 949-387-5783.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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