Although elastin was first recognized as a morphological entity in the mid-19th century, the insolubility of this protein made it difficult to study. Substantial progress in the biochemical characterization of elastin was not made until the early 1970’s when the soluble precursor of this matrix component, tropoelastin, was identified. This discovery stimulated a resurgence of interest in elastin. In 1976, a meeting on Elastin and Elastic Tissue was held in Alta, Utah, which gathered together for the first time a large international group interested specifically in the structure and biochemistry of elastin. The success of this 1976 meeting and the rapid progress that was being made in the characterization of elastin led to the first Gordon Research Conference on Elastin in 1979. Since then, Gordon Conferences on Elastin have been held every other year, and this conference is now recognized as the major international meeting for investigators with an interest in the biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and pathology of elastin. In 1995, the conference name changed from ‘Elastin’ to ‘Elastin and Elastic Fibers’ not only to include the microfibril and microfibril associated proteins but to reflect the actual structure that is assembled from these proteins. Over the years to follow, the breadth of the field has grown even more due to identification and study of numerous additional molecules that influence the regulation, assembly and function of elastic fibers, such as the fibulins, latent TGF-beta binding proteins, emilins, proteoglycans and lysyl oxidases.
The Conference is unique in the depth of its coverage of elastin biology, spanning from detailed, high-resolution structural studies of elastin and fibrillin, to in vitro
assembly assays, to functional in vivo
research with transgenic and knockout animals, to human disease, and finally to biomaterials and therapies. The unusual biology of elastic fibers has brought together basic scientists with diverse areas of expertise, including physical chemistry, engineering, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, biochemistry and biotechnology. Furthermore, because of the involvement of elastin and elastic fiber associated proteins in numerous pathological processes, past Gordon Conferences have attracted investigators with a wide spectrum of clinical interests, including emphysema, COPD, pulmonary and vascular hypertension, atherosclerosis, aneurysms, genetic diseases, and cutaneous and eye diseases. Over the years, the content and focus of the Elastin and Elastic Fibers GRC has been constantly evolving, reflecting changing trends and ideas. Attendees of previous conferences enthusiastically agree that this meeting provides the most important forum for communication and collaboration among investigators in this field. As such, this conference has had, and will continue to have, a major role in stimulating interest and influencing the direction of research in this field.
What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.
This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Elastin, Elastic Fibers & Microfibrils" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS)
series. Although a related GRS will typically be scheduled in conjunction with its parent GRC each time it meets, that may not always be the case. Refer to the individual meetings in the Meeting History
section below for more details. For more information about the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series, click here
.What is a GRS? Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) are 2-day meetings that bring graduate students and post-docs together to discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. Each GRS immediately precedes an associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and topics addressed at the GRS relate closely to the GRC.