Gordon Research Conferences
Conference Details

Cell-Cell Fusion
Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information



Initial Year





Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

How and why do certain cells fuse their plasma membranes to form hybrid, multinucleated, or even giant cells? Cell-cell fusion occurs only under special circumstances during the life cycle of any organism. Yet cell fusion is seen in virtually all phyla of eukaryotes. In humans, cell fusions are critical to formation of the new embryo, placenta, muscle and bone, eye, and immune cells. However, we have little understanding of the mechanisms that allow such cells to undergo this profound developmental and cell-biological change, a transition that instantly alters their form, function, and fate.

The Cell-Cell Fusion GRC is a forum where multiple disciplines converge to attack this common problem from their various points of expertise: model biological systems where cell fusion occurs and models of the interactions of lipids and proteins that can lead to membrane bilayer merger. One major goal is to find where these systems share common features - molecules and higher-order structures - and where systems truly diverge, invoking unique approaches to the same ultimate task. Another is to comprehend the functional impact of fusion on the syncytial or hybrid cells that are formed: how polyploid, multinucleate or giant cells benefit survival of the organism. The ultimate goal is to find applications where the control of cell fusion will benefit human health, through controlled fertility, better healing, enhanced immunity, augmented food production, or other means.

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Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.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 was related to the "Cell-Cell Fusion" 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)
2011 Cell-Cell Fusion
In Sex, Life, Development and Disease
Aug 7-12 University of New England Benjamin Podbilewicz
2009 Cell-Cell Fusion
From Natural History to Molecular Physics and Medical Applications
Jul 19-24 Colby-Sawyer College William A. Mohler
2007 Cell-Cell Fusion Jul 1-6 Colby-Sawyer College Agnès Vignery
Diana G. Myles
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