APS Comparative-Evolutionary Physiology Conference showcases relevance of animal diversity

BETHESDA, MD – The American Physiological Society's fourth quadrennial intersociety conference, "Comparative Physiology 2006: Integrating Diversity," takes place October 8-11 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Featuring 20 major symposia, five plenary lectures and two two-day poster sessions, "this fourth comprehensive APS meeting is recognized as the best regularly scheduled international meeting covering comparative and evolutionary physiology," David L. Goldstein, chair and professor of biological sciences, Wright State University in Ohio, said.

The meeting's two big themes, Goldstein said, "are looking at the evolution of the myriad specific wonderful ways that animals work, and then drawing out those general principles that may apply to humans and biomedicine." The impact of modern physiological approaches including genomics and proteomics will be discussed in various contexts.

The packed four days present an incredibly broad range of topics, animals and physiological approaches. The symposia include: "Muscles as springs: Molecules to movement"; "Fuel selection during exercise: Mechanisms, ecological and evolutionary implications"; "Bio-medical applications of suspended animation (hibernation)"; "Comparative nutritional physiology/ecology"; "Comparative biology of aging in long-lived animals" + 15 more.

General information, including travel awards and CME: http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/vabeach/index.htm

Speakers, symposia topics: http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/vabeach/poster.pdf

Detailed schedule: http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/vabeach/week.pdf

Five plenary topics reflect the diversity of topics over four packed days

  • Tyrone Hayes, UC-Berkeley: Steroidal regulation of amphibian developmental physiology and behavior
  • Carlos Martinez, UWyoming: Ecological physiology of nectar-feeding birds
  • Theunis Piersma, UGroningen: Physiology of long-distance avian migration
  • David Jones, UBritish Columbia: Necrophysiology
  • Terrie Williams, UC-Santa Cruz: Survival physiology: A reassessment of why big, fierce animals are rare.

Eight guest societies boost international breadth of presentations, outlook

  • Australian & New Zealand Society for Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology
  • Canadian Society of Zoologists
  • European Society for Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry
  • German Society of Zoologists
  • Society for Experimental Biology
  • Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
  • Japanese Society for Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry
  • South American Society for Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry

Awards for pre-doctoral, post-doc and minority student first-authors

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The American Physiological Society sponsors travel awards to help graduate and post-doctoral students attend all its meeting. And APS, in conjunction with NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), makes available minority travel awards for advanced undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. To be considered, applicants must be the first-author of abstracts to be presented at the meeting.

The Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section of APS also sponsors the Scholander Award, presented during the final conference banquet and before the Scholander lecture.

Per Fredrik Scholander was well known for his field and experimental physiology studies on animals and plants, especially those living in extreme ecological conditions. One of his major breakthroughs was that he anticipated and discovered that hemoglobin facilitated diffusion of oxygen and suggested that myoglobin may function in a similar capacity in muscles.

Born and educated (M.D., Ph.D.) in Norway, Scholander established and served as director of the Physiological Research Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California from 1963 to 1972.

Award deadlines vary; check websites, above. Abstract deadline is June 1.

Editor's note: Members of the working press wishing to attend all or part of the APS Comparative-Evolutionary meeting October 8-11 in Virginia Beach are encouraged to contact APS as soon as possible. In addition to the detailed program, two large poster sessions each will be on display for two days. For further information please contact: Mayer Resnick: 301.634.7209, (cell) 301.332.4402 or mresnick@the-aps.org.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied bioscience. The Bethesda, Maryland-based society has more than 10,500 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals containing almost 4,000 articles annually.

APS provides a wide range of research, educational and career support and programming to further the contributions of physiology to understanding the mechanisms of diseased and healthy states. In 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).


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