Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Photosensory Receptors and Signal Transduction
Gordon Research Conference

How Light Controls Behavior of Molecules, Cells, Organisms and Ecosystems over Time Scales of Femtoseconds to Eons


March 4-9, 2018


Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco
Lucca (Barga), Italy Site Information


Katrina T. Forest

Vice Chair:
John T. Kennis

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by February 4, 2018. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

Living organisms harness light energy, activate repair pathways, and change their observable behaviors based on information contained in the spectral qualities of illuminating light. The macromolecular photosensors that underly these abilities have evolved to couple photophysical and photochemical processes that occur on femtosecond timescales to cellular changes over minutes, organismal responses over seasons and ecosystem adaptations over eons. Similarly, researchers have been able to delve deeply into photosensory signal transduction pathways by employing a remarkable array of classical and modern experimental techniques to match these phenomena. Applications of human design principles to create photosensor-based tools for imaging, control of gene expression and protein interactions, and ultimately improvements to human health have capitalized on basic research findings in the field of Photosensory Receptors.

Every oral session at this GRC will include space for talks selected from submitted abstracts to highlight recent results and junior researchers. All attendees are important contributors to poster sessions, spontaneous conversations and collaborative discussions. We value the participation in the GRC and associated GRS of researchers with diverse scientific, geographic and cultural perspectives. An important goal of this meeting is to ensure the vital engagement of well-known masters, junior researchers, and scientists from allied disciplines who together will grow and shape the field.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Photosensory Receptors and Signal Transduction" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Gordon Research Conferences

Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by November 4, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Vision Mechanisms in Microbes and Animals
    (Samer Hattar / Annegret Wilde / Adriana Briscoe)
  • Not Only Blue Light Responses by Flavin-Based Photoreceptors
    (Brian Zoltowski / Brian Chow / Tilman Kottke)
  • Opsins and Ion Channels Rely on Retinal
    (Anna Moroni / Ofer Yizhar / Massimo Olivucci)
  • Amino Acids, Vitamins and More: Sensing of UV Radiation
    (Montserrat Elias-Arnanz / Harald Janovjak)
  • Carotenoids for Directionality and Danger Sensing
    (Cheryl Kerfeld / Robert Blankenship / Ken-ichi Wakabayashi / Diana Kirilovsky)
  • Integrating Signals from Multiple Wavelengths and Environmental Cues
    (Christian Fankhauser / Devaki Bhaya / Jorge Casal / Dimitris Petroutsos)
  • Circadian Rhythms in Plants, Microbes and Animals
    (Michael Rust / Deborah Bell-Pedersen / Dawn Nagel)
  • Microbial Responses to Light
    (Beronda Montgomery / Gwyn Beattie / Donald Bryant)
  • Bilin-Based Photoperception Across the Spectrum
    (Peter Hildebrandt / Rei Narikawa / Bernhard Krautler / Maria Mroginski / Sebastian Westenhoff)
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