The 2021 Carotenoid Gordon Research Conference (GRC) is a multidisciplinary meeting that addresses the biology of carotenoids and their derivatives apocarotenoids, in microorganisms, plants and mammals, including humans. Carotenoids are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and some non-photosynthetic microbes. Besides their vital role in photoprotection and light-harvesting, carotenoids are precursors of established and novel apocarotenoid hormones and regulatory metabolites involved in many aspects of plant's life, including development and intra-specific communications. Unable to synthesize carotenoids, mammals, including humans, obtain these pigments through the diet and convert them into retinoids (vitamin A and its derivatives). Indeed, biofortification of staple crops with carotenoids remains a major strategy to prevent the overwhelming public health issue of vitamin A deficiency (VAD). In addition, carotenoids are used by mammals as antioxidants and for pigmentation (as in macular pigment of the human fovea). Overall, dietary carotenoids and apocarotenoids provide a plethora of health benefits to humans, modulating vision, cognitive functions, embryonic development and growth, as well as preveting onset and development of chronic diseases.
The 2021 Carotenoid GRC will address the full spectrum of carotenoid research, fostering interdisciplinarity and transfer of research methods between different experimental systems. The majority of the nine sessions are organized to include speakers from different fields of carotenoid research (microbial/plant biology and biomedical research), and at least 40% of the presentations will be early career scientists, either as short talks selected from abstracts, or part of morning "poster previews" sessions. Cross-fertilization and exchange of ideas between different areas of carotenoid research will be the emphasis of this conference that aims at expanding our understanding of the roles of carotenoid in living organisms and human health. The GRC will be preceded by the 4th edition of the GRS, entirely organized by graduate students and postdocs to present and discuss frontier carotenoid research by early career scientists.
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. The preliminary program will be available by April 10, 2020. Please check back for updates.
- Keynote Session: Carotenoids: From Plants to Humans
- Biosynthesis and Enzymology
- Vision and Pigmentation
- Apocarotenoids and Signaling
- Carotenoids and Photosynthesis
- Biofortification and Biotechnology
- Retinoids and Apocarotenoids Metabolism
- Carotenoids and Health
- Carotenoids and Microorganisms