Carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) are key players in the biosphere to facilitate utilization and synthesis of diverse polysaccharides. Compositional and structural complexities of polysaccharides in nature have evolved myriads of highly specialized CAZyme activities that classify into 341 families. In recent years the 'omics revolution has dramatically expanded the number of new CAZyme families and revealed new activities. Moreover, advances in enzyme engineering motivated by in vitro or in silico techniques has further expanded our basic understanding of CAZyme activity and revealed the potential for further innovation. The 2021 Gordon Research Conference “Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes for Glycan Conversions”, originally entitled "Cellulosomes, cellulases and other carbohydrate modifying enzymes", will showcase leading-edge research on CAZymes, their partnering CBMs and auxillary activity (AA) enzymes, that have industrial, nutritional, health or environmental impact. This conference welcomes returning and new members of the growing community of biochemists, molecular biologists, structural biologists, ecologists, computational biologists, microbiologists and engineers that study different aspects of CAZyme biology and applications. The interplay between fundamental research and its industrial exploitation is a particularly important aspect of the meeting. The collegial atmosphere of this conference provides an excellent environment for scientists from different disciplines to interact, thereby promoting cross-disciplinary collaborations. Moreover, the meeting and the associated GRS will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work and exchange ideas in a relaxed setting. To incorporate the most recent advances and to provide speaking opportunities to young researchers, a number of oral presentations at this GRC will be selected from the submitted abstracts. This conference strives to maintain an atmosphere where diversity is highly valued in both scientific thought and the composition of its membership. The Power Hour, introduced during the 2019 meeting, will continue in 2021 as a forum to discuss equality and inclusivity within STEM fields.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. Please check back regularly for updates to this information.
- Keynote Session: Foundational Contributions to Cellulase Research
- Molecular Mechanisms of Complex Carbohydrate Degradation
- Visualizing CAZyme-Substrate Interactions
- Bacterial CAZymes Targeting Human Host Glycans
- CAZymes Prospecting and Discovery
- Plant Cell Wall Construction and Deconstruction
- Novel Glycan Synthesis
- CAZyme-Based Biotherapeutic Design
- CAZyme-Assisted Biomaterial Production