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Conference Program
 
Photosensory Receptors & Signal Transduction
From Biophysics and Physiology to Optogenetics and Clinical Applications
April 6-11, 2014
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort
Lucca (Barga), Italy
Chair:
Keith Moffat

Vice Chair:
John Christie

Related Meeting Information
The Photosensory Receptors & Signal Transduction Gordon Research Conference was held in conjunction with the Photosensory Receptors & Signal Transduction Gordon Research Seminar. Please refer to the Photosensory Receptors & Signal Transduction GRS web page for more information.

Researchers will present and discuss the fundamental topics of photobiology: How detection of light by molecular photoreceptors leads to structural changes in the photoreceptors themselves; how these changes propagate through signaling networks and across boundaries between cells to effect physiological changes at the cellular level; and ultimately, how the behavior of an organism is modified. Although photobiology largely originated in the plant sciences and is still vigorously represented there, it now embraces other experimental organisms such as bacteria, fungi, birds and humans. The field spans disciplines from biophysics and molecular biology through cellular and organismal physiology, and has very recently come to include clinical medicine. A highly applied component has recently emerged in which light is used as an active tool to modify the behavior of an organism, an approach known as “optogenetics”. Thus, the fast-moving field of optogenetics spans the range from molecular to clinical with practitioners developing, for example, molecular methods aimed at modifying the transmission of nerve impulses and the restoration of vision.

Scientists studying disparate organisms speak different scientific languages, apply quite distinct experimental approaches to explore different levels of problems, and usually meet in separate conferences that tend to focus on one discipline, organism or mode of attack. Here, a major goal of this GRC is to unite the disciplines in vigorous discussion with each other. Each session will contain fewer, somewhat longer talks and will be led by a Discussion Leader whose explicit role is to present a brief overview of the topic and to stimulate discussion by participants.

The closely-associated GRS will allow students, postdocs and junior researchers to present their recent work in this field, lay the scientific groundwork for fields they may be less familiar with, and offer explicit mentoring led by senior scientists in informal, round-table discussions aimed at broad aspects of career development.


Contributors

SUNDAY
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 - 7:45 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:45 pm - 9:30 pmOpsin-Based Photoreceptor Systems
7:45 pm - 7:55 pmDiscussion Leader: John Spudich (University of Texas - Houston, USA)
"Introduction"
7:55 pm - 8:35 pmKeynote Lecture: Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK)
"Another Look at the Bacteriorhodopsin Mechanism"
8:35 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:20 pmOsamu Nureki (University of Tokyo, Japan)
"Molecular Basis of Channelrhodopsin and Its Variant Design"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmRed Light Sensing: Phytochrome Structure and Function
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Katrina Forest (University of Wisconsin, USA)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:40 amEberhard Schaefer (University of Freiburg, Germany)
"Phytochromes: Light Quality and Light Quantity Sensors"
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:20 amJorge Casal (IFEVA, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
"Light Perception and Signal Transduction Under Dynamic Plant Shade"
10:20 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amWolfgang Gaertner (Max Planck Institute, Muhlheim, Germany)
"Bilin- and/or Heme-Binding GAF Domains: Novel Tools for Biotechnological Applications"
11:30 am - 11:40 amDiscussion
11:40 am - 12:10 pmNathan Rockwell (University of California, Davis, USA)
"Beyond Red and Far-Red: Spectral Tuning in Phytochromes and Cyanobacteriochromes"
12:10 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:30 pmFree Time
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pm - 8:00 pmBlue Light Sensing Mediated by LOV and BLUF Domains
6:00 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Aba Losi (University of Parma, Italy)
"Introduction"
6:10 pm - 6:40 pmKenichiro Shimazaki (Kyushu University, Japan)
"A Primary Step for Phototropin Signaling in Stomatal Guard Cells"
6:40 pm - 6:50 pmDiscussion
6:50 pm - 7:15 pmShinji Masuda (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
"Phototaxis Control in Cyanobacteria by the BLUF Protein PixD"
7:15 pm - 7:25 pmDiscussion
7:25 pm - 7:50 pmPeter Freddolino (Columbia University, USA)
"Paths of Information Flow in LOV Domains: Recent Insights from Molecular Simulations"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmPerception and Signaling by UV/Blue Light
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Margaret Ahmad (University Pierre et Marie Curie, France)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:40 amWolfgang Wiltschko (University of Frankfurt, Germany)
"Avian Magnetoreception: Behavioral Tests in View of the Cryptochrome Cycle"
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:20 amPeter Hore (University of Oxford)
"Are Cryptochromes Fit for Purpose as Magnetic Compass Sensors?"
10:20 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:10 amRobert Bittl (Free University of Berlin, Germany)
"Signaling in Cryptochrome Without the Trp Triad"
11:10 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:40 amEva Wolf (Johannes-Gutenberg-Universitat, Mainz, Germany)
"Structure-Function Analysis of Cryptochromes"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmGareth Jenkins (University of Glasgow, UK)
"Photoreception and Signaling by the UV-B Photoreceptor UVR8"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:30 pmFree Time
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pm - 8:00 pmPhotoregulation for Biosystem Design
6:00 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Arthur Grossman (Carnegie Institute, Stanford, USA)
"Introduction"
6:10 pm - 6:40 pmSankalpi Warnasooriya (Danforth Center, St. Louis, USA)
"Shade Avoidance Response in an Emerging Model System for the Grasses"
6:40 pm - 6:50 pmDiscussion
6:50 pm - 7:15 pmRyan Gill (University of Colorado, USA)
"Genome Engineering Technologies and Strategies"
7:15 pm - 7:25 pmDiscussion
7:25 pm - 7:50 pmKris Niyogi (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Light Sensing for Regulation of Photosynthesis"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmIntegration of Light Signaling
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Carlos Ballare (IFEVA, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:40 amJon Hughes (Justus Liebigs University, Giessen, Germany)
"How do Phytochromes Work? Concepts from Prokaryote and Plant Models"
9:40 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:20 amChristian Fankhauser (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
"Integration of Photosensory Information to Control Phototropism"
10:20 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amFredy Barneche (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, FR)
"Massive and Rapid Chromatin State Variations Influence Arabidopsis Transcriptional Responses to Changing Light Conditions"
11:30 am - 11:40 amDiscussion
11:40 am - 12:10 pmTakato Imaizumi (University of Washington, USA)
"How Plants Know When to Flower: The Interplay Between Light and the Circadian Clock"
12:10 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:30 pmFree Time
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pm - 8:00 pmThe Optogenetic Toolkit
6:00 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Gero Miesenboeck (University of Oxford, UK)
"Introduction"
6:10 pm - 6:35 pmMichael Lin (Stanford University, USA)
"Fluorescent Proteins as Engineered Autocatalytic Photosensory Receptors"
6:35 pm - 6:45 pmDiscussion
6:45 pm - 7:10 pmOrion Weiner (University of California San Francisco, USA)
"New Tools for Unlocking Cellular Decision-Making"
7:10 pm - 7:20 pmDiscussion
7:20 pm - 7:50 pmDavid Schaffer (University of California Berkeley, USA)
"Engineering Optogenetic Systems to Investigate Signaling Pathways that Regulate Cell and Stem Cell Behavior"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 amBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
9:00 am - 12:30 pmBreakthroughs in Photobiology
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Richard Vierstra (University of Wisconsin)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:25 amE. Sethe Burgie (University of Wisconsin, USA)
"Structure, Photodynamics and Signaling Properties of Phytochrome B from Arabidopsis thaliana"
9:25 am - 9:30 amDiscussion
9:30 am - 9:45 amFerenc Nagy (University of Edinburgh, UK)
"Phosphorylation Negatively Regulates Signaling by the Photoreceptors phyB, phyD and phyE"
9:45 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:05 amAndreas Moeglich (Humboldt University, Germany)
"Engineering of a Red-Light Activated Human cAMP/cGMP-Specific Phosphodesterase"
10:05 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:25 amAndreas Winkler (Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany)
"Allosteric Light-Regulation of Complex BLUF Proteins"
10:25 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:15 amCarl Bauer (Indiana University, USA)
"The Role of B12 as a Chromophore to Regulate Photosynthesis Gene Expression in Response to Light in Purple Photosynthetic Bacteria"
11:15 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:35 amChandra Tucker (University of Colorado, USA)
"New Cryptochrome Tools to Elucidate Cellular Function"
11:35 am - 11:40 amDiscussion
11:40 am - 11:55 amJonas Wietek (Humboldt University, Germany)
"Conversion of a Channel Rhodopsin into a Light Gated Chloride Channel"
11:55 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmVeena Venkatachalam (Harvard University, USA)
"Flash Memory: Photochemical Imprinting of Neuronal Action Potentials onto a Microbial Rhodopsin"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:30 pmFree Time
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pm - 8:00 pmClinical Applications of Optogenetics
6:00 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Zhuo-hua Pan (Wayne State University, USA)
"Introduction"
6:10 pm - 6:40 pmBin Lin (University of Hong Kong, China)
"Restoring Visual Function for Retinitis Pigmentosa: Creating Artificial Photoreceptors in Retinal Neurons"
6:40 pm - 6:50 pmDiscussion
6:50 pm - 7:15 pmHiromu Yawo (Tohoku University, Japan)
"Rat-Based Systems for Basic and Clinical Optogenetics"
7:15 pm - 7:25 pmDiscussion
7:25 pm - 7:50 pmViviana Gradinaru (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Directed Evolution and Structure-Guided Protein Recombination Meets Optogenetics to Develop Light-Based Sensors and Actuators"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1 R13 EY 024166 - 01 from National Eye Institute. 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 by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

 
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