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Experimental Biology 2008 Today's Research: Tomorrow's Health, April 5-9

More than 13,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego April 5-9.

The theme of the annual meeting, now in its 18th year, is Todays Research: Tomorrows Health. Thousands of lectures, symposia, research presentations and exhibits have been selected because of their potential to shape future and current clinical advances. Scientists and clinicians from dozens of different disciplines, from laboratory to translational to clinical research, from throughout the U.S. and the world, come together at Experimental Biology to discuss the newest scientific concepts and share the latest research findings with colleagues looking at similar biomedical problems through the lens of different disciplines.

The seven sponsoring societies for Experimental Biology 2008 are: American Association of Anatomists (AAA), The American Association of Immunologists (AAI), The American Physiological Society (APS), American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), American Society for Nutrition (ASN), and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). Experimental Biology includes the annual meetings of all sponsoring societies.

Forty U.S. and international guest societies further broaden the scope of the meeting, adding scientists from fields such as biomedical engineering, behavioral pharmacology, veterinary pathology and immunology, biological and environmental repositories, and informatics, and from organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association.

The diversity of topics can be seen in this small sampling from the programs of sponsoring societies and their guests (all open to registered media):

Association of American Anatomists presentations range from an award lecture on links between essential self-presentations range from an award lecture on links between essential self-renewal in embryonic and adult stem cells and cancer cell proliferation to a living anatomy workshop with hands-on yoga/Pilates sessions designed to provide fitness professionals with the anatomical knowledge needed to properly train clients. Several sessions focus on advances in imaging, including demonstration of a new method of in vivo imaging of the cell motions and interactions that build embryos and discussion of vivo imaging to trace cell lineage. Three dimensional motion capture systems have revolutionized video gaming and animated movie creation, and an AAA symposium demonstrates the technologys promise for individuals with walking abnormalities. A symposium on anatomical illustration--the earliest method of in vivo imaging--is followed by an exhibit on anatomical art. Other sessions involve treatment of smell disorders and the role of mitochondria in estrogen-induced neuroprotection against Alzheimers.

The American Association of Immunologists sessions open with a presidential address by Dr. Olja Finn on how immunologic weapons acquired early in life win battles with cancer late in life. Dr. Finn also chairs a symposium on taking care of immunology around the world, with speakers from the leading immunology societies in Canada, China, Great Britain, Holland and Serbia. Other symposia focus on the genetics of autoimmunity; microenvironmental influence on immune function; regulation of immune responses to viruses, TB and other pathogens; and the question of whether immunology can cure cancer. NIH or guest-sponsored symposium during the AAI sessions include how aging affects immunity; reports on the use of targeted immunologic therapeutics for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, infectious disease and other medical problems; and an interdisciplinary discussion of a fascinating immunological quandary: why don't we generate broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1?

The American Physiological Society program includes 16 societal or distinguished lectures and an InFocus session on physiology and global health, physiology as the basis of ecosystem health, and physiology and lifestyle. Divided among eight tracks, other sessions include: common themes in diverse genetic disorders; hormones and angiogenesis; new insights into the urine concentrating mechanism; mechanisms of metabolic depression; gut hormones in the regulation of body weight and metabolism; energy balance, cancer, and diabetes; skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and dysfunction with age; therapeutic promise for cardiovascular disease; genomic and proteomics in colon cancer; mechanism and novel treatments for IBS and chronic constipation; and the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in clinical disorders. Additional symposia include the antiquity of exercise, exercise physiology and the exercise prescription for health; neuronal plasticity in health and disease; and reverse engineering toward the goal of vessel regeneration.

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program highlights cutting edge research in ASBMB-related fields, drawing attention to the expanding field of RNA biology and how single molecule-, chemistry- and systems-drive approaches are changing the ways that biological problems are studied and solved. Other symposia topics include DNA replication, repair, and recombination response; aspects of RNA-mediated gene expression and regulation; the emerging non-coding RNA world; molecular structure and dynamics; new understanding of metabolic control mechanisms in cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration; signal transduction and post-translational modifications in cancer, microbial pathogenesis and progeria; therapeutic targeting of signaling pathways in human diseases; new strategies for imaging protein localization and dynamics; enzymes as drug targets; energetics (laws governing the physical or mechanical) and design; chemical probes for identifying new therapeutics; and challenges and successes in target-based drug discovery.

The program of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and its guest societies includes a keynote lecture by Dr. Carlo Croce on the role of micro RNA genes in cancer, the Rous-Whipple Award lecture by Dr. Michael Gimbrone on vascular endothelium in the post-genomic era, and other lectures on trafficking signals to prevent neurodegeneration; the spectrum of CNS inflammatory demyelinating diseases, classification of brain tumors, and the pathogenesis of Chagas disease. The ASIP Presidential symposium features therapeutics and non-linear systems pathobiology. Other major symposia include bench to bedside immunology; regenerative biology of hepatic cells; epigenetics of cancer; new technologies to identify disease-associated genetic variants; role of membrane rafts in human disease; the immune system in vascular diseases; leukocyte-endothelial interactions; new frontiers in pulmonary fibrosis; diseases of epithelial transport; regulation of epithelial and endothelial junctions.

The American Society for Nutrition presents the latest findings on topics such as the biological role of biotin; dietary factors, epithelial cells and the immune system in carcinogenesis; the role of nutrition in maternal and child mental health; successful aging through diet and physical activity; nutrition and cancer survival; nutrient-gene interactions; early life nutrition and disease later in life; nutritional control of immunity in health and chronic disease; and food addiction (fact or fiction?). Individual sessions cover vitamins and minerals from A (carotenoids) to Z (zinc). This year ASN has two always-lively controversy sessions: one on carbohydrate restriction as treatment for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the other on the mega-6/omega-3 ratio in nutrition policy and risk assessment. Other widely discussed issues include the world is fat, understanding patterns of the nutrition transition, and nutrition profiling, global policies and perspectives.

The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics celebrates its centennial year at this years Experimental Biology. Formed in 1908 by 18 leading pharmacologists, ASPET has grown to over 5,000 members. Sixteen members have won Nobel Prizes, and a special Centennial Nobel Laureate symposium will feature three of them: Drs. Ferid Muran, Al Gilman, and Louis Ignarro. Other Centennial symposia include: past, present, and future drug discovery paradigms; the cocaine challenge for pharmacotherapeutics; neuroplasticity in addiction; pharmacology and the obesity epidemic; new experimental approaches to the treatment of schizophrenia and behavioral pharmacology to discover novel targets in psychiatric disorders; implications for the treatment of bladder disease in integrative urogenital pharmacology; promise of pharmacogenetics as a diagnostic tool; and implications of pharmacogenomics for health disparities. A symposium on the emerging science of drug safety includes talks on drug safety in the outpatient setting, identification of drug-induced disease, the European experience with active surveillance methods to identify drug safety problems, and development of informatics to support post-marketing drug surveillance in the U.S.

In addition to these scientific sessions, participating societies also offer numerous programs related to career development, challenges and opportunities of minority and women scientists, scientific writing and publishing. Many programs offer special guidance to graduate students and young investigators.

Experimental Biology itself sponsors sessions on teaching, learning and testing in the biological and biomedical sciences and computers in research and teaching. The Experimental Biology 2008 and FASEB MARC Genomics Symposium and Poster Session is on the genetic and therapeutic implications of health disparities in obesity. The National Institutes of Health joins with Experimental Biology and FASEB to offer sessions on grant writing. The FASEB Career Resources Center, arranged by Experimental Biology 2008, will feature a virtual career fair (before, during and after the meeting), on-site interview facilities, and various career development seminars and workshops. Exhibits of the latest research-related technologies, products and services will be open April 6-8.


Contact: Sylvia Wrobel
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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