The 2021 Gordon Conference on Neurotrophic Mechanisms in Health and Disease will cover the latest developments in neurotrophic factors, broadly defined as factors that have critical roles in neural circuit connectivity, synaptic plasticity, and behavior. Neurotrophic factors influence essentially all aspects of nervous system development; from neurogenesis to neuronal survival and death, to axon and dendrite growth and pruning, to synaptic plasticity and myelination, and to regulation of behavior. In recent years, it has become increasingly recognized that neurotrophin signaling mechanisms have critical roles in a range of human developmental disorders, adult psychiatric disorders, and in neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, several treatments that directly exploit knowledge of neurotrophin biology are now in human clinical trials for chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and some forms of cancer including pediatric tumors.
This GRC is unique in bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers in areas spanning fundamental problems in molecular and cellular neuroscience to translating neurotrophin biology into therapies. The meeting will provide a unique venue to integrate basic research in neurotrophic factor biology with emerging technology, clinical needs and industry interests. We aim at attracting speakers, many new to the meeting, who will speak to the intersection of neurotrophin biology with neuronal cell biology, circuit formation, plasticity, chronic pain, neurodegeneration/regeneration, and cancer. The international list of invitees and presentations from scientists at different stages of their career will make the meeting highly interactive and inspiring for junior scientists. To ensure that the latest and most exciting results are presented, several talks will be selected from abstracts, specifically encouraging participation of junior researchers.
The scenic setting of the Salve Regina campus in Newport, Rhode Island provides a unique opportunity for junior investigators and trainees to interact with leading experts and foster interactions between basic and translational researchers. The organizers are committed to lowering barriers for participation – infant areas will be available on-site, and babysitting services can be arranged. A limited number of subsidies will be available to offset costs of family care (child accommodation, babysitting) for those attending with accompanying children. All conference facilities are fully wheelchair accessible.
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 August 30, 2020. Please check back for updates.
- Neurotrophic Factors in Circuit Development
- Sensory Signaling
- Neurotrophic Factors in Stress, Mood, Depression and Physiology
- Synaptic Connectivity and Plasticity
- Neurotrophic Factors in Disease and Therapy
- Neuronal Morphology, Cytoskeleton and Organelle Transport
- Neuron-Glia/Immune Cell Interactions
- Axon Degeneration and Regeneration
- Toolkits in Neurotrophic Factor Biology