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Meeting Details

Antimicrobial Peptides
Gordon Research Conference

Antimicrobial Peptides in Innate Immunity - New Insights on an Ancient System


May 15-20, 2011


Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco
Lucca (Barga), Italy


Jens Schroeder & Birgitta Agerberth

Vice Chairs:
Gill Diamond & Nita H. Salzman

Meeting Description

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are host-defense molecules produced by all living organisms, including bacteria, fungi, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates as well as humans. These molecules represent effectors of the metazoan innate immune system as well as defense molecules of microbes. In multicellular organisms they act at the front line of the defense system against pathogens where they are synthesized constitutively or inducibly at epithelial surfaces, the location where the initial contact with all microbes, from symbionts to pathogens, takes place. There is now evidence that these peptides represent key components at epithelial surfaces, the barrier between the external environment and the interior milieu, where they play an important role in defining the composition of microbiota and its interaction with the host.

Although many AMPs are cationic and have affinity to the negatively charged bacterial membrane that they disrupt, resulting in bacterial killing by lysis, there is upcoming evidence that AMPs can also kill microbes in a more sophisticated fashion. In addition to its microbicidal activity, several AMPs function also as chemoattractants for cells of both the adaptive and innate immunity and are able to modulate immune responses. Thus, AMPs constitute a link between the innate and adaptive immunity.

The 2011 Gordon Conference on Antimicrobial Peptides will present the latest research on the biology and activities of AMPs with emphasis on its role in health and disease. The Conference will feature a wide range of topics, such as structure/function analysis, regulation of expression, mechanisms of action, microbial avoidance strategies, human disease associations, model systems and its possible use as therapeutics. The connection of microbial and host-derived AMPs to the natural microflora and probiotics is a recent finding that will be emphasized as well as novel AMPs of different origin.

Invited speakers represent a diverse variety of scientific disciplines, including biochemistry, microbiology, molecular genetics, animal and plant biology, structural biology, biophysics, medicine, and innate immunity in general. The Conference will bring together a collection of investigators who are at the forefront of their field, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and exchange ideas with leaders in the field. Some abstracts and poster presenters will be selected for short talks. The collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provides an avenue for scientists from different disciplines to brainstorm and promotes cross-disciplinary collaborations in the various research areas represented.


Meeting Program

4:00 pm - 8:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Check-in Desk Closed 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmYoung Investigator Award Lecture
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmTBA
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session: Antimicrobial Peptides - Novel Knowledge of an Ancient Defense System
Discussion Leaders: Jens Schröder (University of Kiel, Germany) and Birgitta Agerberth (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
8:00 pm - 8:30 pm Thomas Bosch (University of Kiel, Germany)
"AMPs as key factors for host-bacteria co-evolution"
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm Discussion
8:45 pm - 9:15 pm Robert Hancock (University of British Columbia, Canada)
"Mechanisms of innate defence regulator peptides, a new anti-infective strategy"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
9:30 pm Welcome Get-Together
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmAntimicrobial Peptides: Diversity and Phylogenetics
Discussion Leaders: Chuck Bevins (UC Davis, USA) and Katrin Pütsep (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
9:00 am - 9:20 am Mohamed A Marahiel (University of Marburg, Germany)
"How bugs make lassos: Lessons from the bacterial AMP capistruin"
9:20 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 9:55 am Matthias Leippe (University of Kiel, Germany)
"Caenopores: C. elegans AMPs instrumental in nutrition and immunity"
9:55 am - 10:10 am Discussion
10:10 am - 10:30 am Theresa L Chang (PHRI, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA)
"Defensins in HIV transmission: friends or foes?"
10:30 am - 10:45 am Discussion
10:45 am - 11:25 am Coffee Break / Group Photo
11:25 am - 11:45 am Ester Boix (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
"RNase A superfamily members involved in innate host defense"
11:45 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm TBA (Selected Poster Presentations)
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session A
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmOther Functions of AMPs and Non-AMPs with Antimicrobial Activity
Discussion Leaders: Andy Ouellette (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA) and Julia Dorin (Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland)
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm Tetsuya Higashiyama (Nagoya University, Japan)
"Pollen tube attractanting defensin-like polypeptides"
5:50 pm - 6:05 pm Discussion
6:05 pm - 6:25 pm Oliver Soehnlein (LMU Munich, Germany)
"LL-37 monocyte interaction in vascular disease"
6:25 pm - 6:40 pm Discussion
6:40 pm - 7:00 pm Artur Schmidtchen (University of Lund, Sweden)
"The multiple faces of proteins of the coagulation system"
7:00 pm - 7:10 pm Discussion
7:10 pm - 7:30 pm TBA (Selected Poster Presentation)
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmRegulation of AMP Synthesis
Discussion Leaders: Ylva Engström (University of Stockholm, Sweden) and Gudmundur H. Gudmundsson (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland)
9:00 am - 9:20 am Michael Hoch (University of Bonn, Germany)
"FOXO-dependent regulation of innate immune homeostasis"
9:20 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 9:55 am Manuela Raffatellu (UCF Irvine, USA)
"Metal withholding responses in the inflamed gut"
9:55 am - 10:10 am Discussion
10:10 am - 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 10:50 am Rubhana Raqib (ICDDR, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
"Induction of cathelicidin in fighting enteric infections"
10:50 am - 11:05 am Discussion
11:05 am - 11:25 am Jonathan Ewbank (CIML, Marseille, France)
"Regulation of antimicrobial peptide expression in C. elegans epidermis"
11:25 am - 11:40 am Discussion
11:40 am - 12:30 pm TBA (Selected Poster Presentations)
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session B
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmMicrobial Responses and Resistance to AMPs
Discussion Leaders: Hans-Georg Sahl (University of Bonn, Germany) and Andreas Peschel (University of Tuebingen, Germany)
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm Christoph Ernst (University of Tuebingen, Germany)
"Molecular basis of MprF-mediated bacterial AMP resistance"
5:50 pm - 6:05 pm Discussion
6:05 pm - 6:25 pm Konstantin Severinov (Waksman Institute Rutgers University, Piscataway, USA / Russian Academy of Sciences Institutes of Molecular Genetics and Gene Biology, Moscow, Russia)
"Bacterial resistance to microcin C"
6:25 pm - 6:35 pm Discussion
6:35 pm - 6:55 pm Tanja Schneider (University of Bonn, Germany)
"Eukaryotic AMPs as Specific Bacterial Cell Wall Inhibitors"
6:55 pm - 7:10 pm Discussion
7:10 pm - 7:30 pm TBA (Selected Poster Presentations)
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmStructural and Functional Parameters of AMP Action
Discussion Leaders: Margitta Dathe (Leibniz Institute of Molecular Pharmacology, Berlin, Germany) and Gill Diamond (UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, Newark, USA)
9:00 am - 9:20 am Guangshun Wang (Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA)
"Structure of Human Cathelicidin LL-37 and Functional Role of Its Cationic Side Chains"
9:20 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 9:55 am Yechiel Shai (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel)
"Antimicrobial versus anti LPS and LTA activities by innate immune-like peptides"
9:55 am - 10:10 am Discussion
10:10 am - 10:30 am Jon Nissen-Meyer (University of Oslo, Norway)
"Two-Peptide (Class-IIb) Bacteriocins"
10:30 am - 10:45 am Discussion
10:45 am - 11:20 am Coffee Break
11:20 am - 11:40 am Anne Ulrich (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
"Dynamic transitions of membrane-active peptides"
11:40 am - 11:55 am Discussion
11:55 am - 12:15 pm Wuyuan Lu (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA)
"Structural basis of the α-defensin functional versatility"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session C
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmAMPs in Host-Microbe and Microbe-Microbe Interactions
Discussion Leaders: Pieter Hiemstra (Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands) and Jerry P. Weiss (University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA)
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm Peter Mergaert (Institut des Sciences du Végétal - CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
"Antimicrobial peptides control nitrogen-fixing endosymbiotic bacteria in legume plants"
5:50 pm - 6:05 pm Discussion
6:05 pm - 6:25 pm Nita Salzman (Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA)
"Defensins as essential regulators of intestinal microbial ecology"
6:25 pm - 6:40 pm Discussion
6:40 pm - 7:00 pm Tadayuki Iwase (Jikei University, Tokyo, Japan)
"Staphylococcus epidermidis Esp inhibits Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and nasal colonization"
7:00 pm - 7:10 pm Discussion
7:10 pm - 7:30 pm TBA (Selected Poster Presentation)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmAMPs in Health, Disease and Beyond
Discussion Leaders: Joost Oppenheim (NCI-FCRF, Frederick, USA) and Paul McCray (University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA)
9:00 am - 9:20 am Arturo Zychlinski (Max Planck-Institute, Berlin, Germany)
"Neutrophil Extracellular Traps: a new strategy for using old weapons"
9:20 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 9:55 am Charles Esmon (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, USA)
"Extracellular histones as mediators of death in sepsis"
9:55 am - 10:10 am Discussion
10:10 am - 10:40 am Coffee Break
10:40 am - 11:00 am Vojo Deretic (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, USA)
"Generation of Neoantimicrobial Peptides in Autophagic Organelles"
11:00 am - 11:15 am Discussion
11:15 am - 11:35 am Jan Wehkamp (Robert-Bosch-Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany)
"Role of AMPs in Crohn's disease"
11:35 am - 11:50 am Discussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pm Beda Muehleisen (UC San Diego, USA)
"A mouse model of vitamin D deficiency increases susceptibility to invasive skin infections"
12:10 pm - 12:25 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session D
5:30 pm - 7:00 pmAMPs: From Bench to Application
Discussion Leaders: Mona Ståhle (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) and William M. Shafer (Emory Univ. Atlanta, USA)
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm Paul Cotter (Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ireland)
"Design of Improved Pharmabiotics"
5:50 pm - 6:00 pm Discussion
6:00 pm - 6:20 pm Hans-Henrik Kristensen (Novozymes A/S, Bagsvaerd Denmark)
"Cystine-stabilized AMPs: from Discovery to Preclinic"
6:20 pm - 6:30 pm Discussion
6:30 pm - 6:50 pm Michael Kleine (Planton GmbH, Kiel, Germany)
"Transgenic Potatoes as Bioreactors for AMPs"
6:50 pm - 7:00 pm Discussion
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmHot Corner (News from the Lab - Controversial issues - New Methods)
Participants are invited to express their opinions in less than five minutes and five slides (strictly regulated) about topics of interest. Register with the Discussion Leaders before Tuesday evening. Oral presentations of posters are not allowed.
Moderator and Discussion Leader: Michael Zasloff (Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA)
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible [in part] by 1 R13 AI 094758 - 01 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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