Gordon Research Conferences
Conference Details

Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information



Initial Year





Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

The Gordon Research Conference on Carotenoids was organized in 1992 by Norman I. Krinsky, (Tufts University) and was co-chaired by James Olson (Iowa State). This conference was held at the Oxnard, CA site. It was an exciting beginning for researchers who, by any definition, are diverse in their training, approaches to science, and national origins but unquestionably share a passion for some of nature’s most colorful molecules. The attendance list of the first conference reads as a who’s who in carotenoid science. The same can be said for each of the subsequent meetings which have been held at three year intervals. The attendance of the Carotenoids Conferences has included the unlikely grouping of epidemiologists with synthetic chemists, nutritionists with analytical chemists, biologists with femptosecond spectroscopists, all focused on the influence that forty carbons have in regulating the biochemical events associated with photosynthesis, cancers, vision, immune functions, conversion of solar energy, and animal coloration. From these triennial events this diverse grouping of scientists has developed a remarkable ethos of cooperation and interdisciplinary collaboration that has catalyzed and invigorated the research conducted in this field.

Typically our conferences have devoted four of the eight sessions to the role of carotenoids in human health. This includes their epidemiology, their association in the reduction of the risk of cancers, protection of the skin from damage by solar radiation, their accumulation and function in the retina and tissues of the human eye, and the ability of carotenoids and their metabolites to induce gene expression just to list some of the topics. At each meeting one full session is devoted to the role of carotenoids in photosynthesis, their excited state photophysics, and the role they play in the photosynthetic proteins. The importance of synthetic methods for the preparation of carotenoids has been an important session topic, as has the natural sources of carotenoids. At each conference we have marveled to hear about the diverse functions that carotenoids play in the natural world. The advances in molecular biology are evident in our conference sessions that have, during each subsequent meeting, defined the biochemical apparatus for carotenoids synthesis and how carotenoid biosynthesis is regulated. The importance of carotenoids as a source of vitamin A cannot be forgotten and over the years we have listened to the debates about the bioavailability of ß-carotene, its cleavage mechanisms and their efficiency; we have heard about the consequences of deficiency of carotenoids in the diet of children in the under-developed countries around the world. We have also seen the development of genetically modified crops, like golden rice, in which carotenoid synthesis is over-expressed.

Poster sessions and informal gatherings are also of great importance at this conference. At the last conference our attendees presented nearly 100 posters on recent work covering all aspects of carotenoid science. Carotenoid scientists have built a strong cross-disciplinary community that encourages and promotes the study of carotenoids, their properties and functions.

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.

Related Conference

This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Carotenoids" 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.

Meeting History

YearMeeting NameDatesConference SiteChair(s)
2018 Carotenoids Jun 17-22 Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River Giovanni Giuliano
2016 Carotenoids
Carotenoid Biosynthesis, Functions, and Application to Human Health
May 22-27 Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Johannes Von Lintig
2013 Carotenoids Jan 6-11 Ventura Beach Marriott Eleanore T. Wurtzel
Xiang-Dong Wang
2010 Carotenoids Jan 17-22 Ventura Beach Marriott Susan T. Mayne
2007 Carotenoids Jan 7-12 Ventura Beach Marriott John T. Landrum
2004 Carotenoids Jan 4-9 Ventura Beach Marriott Harry A. Frank
2001 Carotenoids Jan 14-19 Ventura Beach Marriott Helmut Sies
1998 Carotenoids Jan 25-30 Ventura Beach Marriott John W. Erdman
1995 Carotenoids Feb 5-10 Ventura Beach Marriott James A. Olson
1992 Carotenoids, Chemistry & Biology of Mar 9-13 Casa Sirena Hotel Norman I. Krinsky
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