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Glial Biology Gordon Research Conference

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Multi-year funding is requested to partially support a new Gordon Research Conference entitled "Glial Biology: Functional Interactions Among Glia & Neurons". The first of these biennial conferences is Feb. 23-28, 2003 in Ventura CA. It will focus on complex issues at the frontier of glial biology involving neuron and glib interactions, with strong emphasis on cell-cell communication. Major conference themes include glial control of neuronal functions, neuronal control of glial activities, formation and functions of glia-neuron and glia-glia networks, neuron-glia & glia-glia interactions related to neurotransmission, trophic interactions and disease processes, and modeling of spatio-temporal processes. There are three primary conference objectives. (1) Initiation of a continuing interactive dialogue between scientists in different fields of glial biology, glia-neuron, and glia-glia interactions by providing a long-term forum for presentation and discussion of cutting-edge work in selected fields to a diverse group of leading researchers. (2) Suggest new integrative approaches to solve timely problems in brain function and disease, identify controversial issues that need new approaches to be resolved and foster collaborative projects in multi-disciplinary research. (3) Bring to the attention of the neuroscience community the importance of the glial cells and their interactions with other cell types in normal brain functions and disease and in modeling interactions of these cell types in functional systems of neuronal activity. The proposed program (9 oral & 4 poster sessions) has 27 invited speakers from the international community within the sub-disciplines of glial biology. To ensure vigorous discussion participants are limited to 135, with representation of senior and junior investigators, gender, minorities, and geographic area. The conference site has disability access. Federal funds are essential to support conference/travel costs for 42 invited participants (including awards for 14 meritorious junior researchers): NIH funds are requested to support 16 participants in each of 3 biannual conferences. "Glia & other non neural cells" is one of seven priority cross-cutting topics central to the NINDS strategic research questions for neuroscience in the new millennium. This Glial Biology Conference provides an international forum for emerging, innovative research related to glia functions and cell-cell interactions in health and disease.

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