Stress Proteins in Growth, Development & Disease
All organisms are exposed to stressful conditions including environmentally imposed stresses such as elevated temperatures and irradiation, physiological stress such as rapid cellular proliferation, oxidative stress due to metabolic reactions, or pathophysiological stresses such as pharmacological agents, infection and inflammation. These stressful conditions lead to protein misfolding, aggregation, cellular dysfunction and cell death. Recent studies strongly suggest that the ability to sense and respond to stress signals, through the activation of signal transduction pathways, transcription factors and gene products that function in protein homeostasis is critical for normal growth, development and in the protection against diseases that include cancer, cardiovascular disease and protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and prion-based disease. Furthermore, studies in model systems have established a strong correlation between longevity and the
ability to mount robust stress responses. The meeting highlights cutting-edge advances in the field, including the mounting appreciation of the importance of autophagy pathways to remodel cells under stress conditions and the increasing emphasis on using modeling approaches to understand stress regulation at a systems level.
The first two meetings of this conference were entitled “Stress Induced Gene Expression”. The Chairs of the 2005 conference, after consultation with previous Chairs and attendees of the previous meetings, changed the name of this GRC series to its current name to reflect a broadened scope for the meeting that, while still embracing stress sensing, signaling and stress-responsive gene expression, also encompasses the roles of stress gene products with respect to growth, development and disease. This broader spectrum is particularly appropriate in light of the discoveries on the critical contributions of stress responsive transcription factors in aging (for example, Heat Shock Factor DAF-16 in C. elegans), the pro- and anti-apoptotic roles of stress proteins (such as Hsp70 and others), the critical roles emerging for protein chaperones in cardiovascular disease and in diseases primarily of the aged (such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and other polyglutamine diseases), and the roles of stress proteins in the suppression or exacerbation of transmissible diseases of protein conformation (such as the prion-based diseases of Mad Cow, Creutzfeld-Jacob and others). It is vital that we understand how stress signals are sensed and interpreted, how these signals activate gene expression, and the roles and mechanisms of action of stress gene products in longevity, infection, protein folding, and stress resistance.
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 "Stress Proteins in Growth, Development & Disease" 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.