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FASEB SRC announces conference: Matricellular Proteins in Development, Health, and Disease

Bethesda, MD The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) announces the opening of registration for the Science Research Conference (SRC): Matricellular Proteins in Development, Health, and Disease.

Interactions between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) are the basis for multi-cellular life and essential for cell and tissue organization in all metazoan organisms. Structural ECM components such as collagens, fibronectin, and laminins, are secreted by cells and assembled extracellularly into organized sheets (basement membranes) or three-dimensional fibrils and networks (connective tissue matrix). ECM also contains less abundant, but highly regulated, components that play important roles in controlling cell behavior and matrix remodeling. Because of their distinctive localizations and functional attributes in the ECM, these proteins have been termed matricellular proteins and include members of the thrombospondin, CCN, tenascin, osteopontin, periostin, fibulin, and SPARC families.

The purpose of this conference is to focus on these matricellular proteins and to examine their structure-function relationships and their impact on signaling networks that play key roles in disease, homeostasis, repair, and development. The conference format includes lectures and poster sessions and short talks selected from submitted abstracts and late breaking work. The program covers both mechanistic scientific perspectives (Sessions 1-3) and disease specific emphases (Sessions 4-9). Mechanistic sessions will discuss novel regulatory mechanisms of the matricellular proteins and their receptors (Session 1) and the complex roles of matricellular proteins in regulation of multiple growth factors in disease (Session 3), which is an important function of these proteins in homeostasis and disease.

For the first time, we will have a session to highlight mammalian and non-mammalian model systems (Session 2). The long-standing disease focus areas of the field in cardiovascular disease (Session 6), carcinogenesis/angiogenesis (Session 7), and in musculoskeletal development and disease (Session 9) are well represented on the program. In addition, there will be three sessions focusing on emerging areas of intense activity and significant progress in the matricellular field over the past two-three years: inflammation and immunity (Session 4), diabetes and obesity (Session 5), and neurobiology (synapse formation, neuropathic pain) (Session 8).

Inclusion of women, minorities, and young scientists has been emphasized in developing the program. Invited speakers represent leaders in the basic sciences, clinical investigators who are defining the roles of matricellular proteins in the etiology of inherited disorders and several major diseases of adults, and investigators developing novel therapeutics to treat these diseases. The overall objectives of this meeting are to foster new knowledge in the field of matricellular proteins that will lead to development of therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases, facilitate the development of new multidisciplinary collaborations and research directions, and encourage the development of young scientists in this field.

FASEB SRC has announced a total of 34 SRCs in 2013. To register for an SRC, view preliminary programs, or find a listing of all our 2013 SRCs, please visit


Contact: Robin Crawford
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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