More than 13,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, April 18 -April 22.
Experimental Biology's mission is to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping future and current clinical advances and to give scientists and clinicians an unparalleled opportunity to hear from colleagues working on similar biomedical problems using different disciplines.
With six sponsoring societies and another 20 U.S. and international guest societies, the annual meeting brings together scientists from throughout the United States and the world, representing dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research. The meeting also offers a wide spectrum of professional development sessions.
Sponsoring societies for Experimental Biology 2009 are: American Association of Anatomists (AAA), 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 2009 includes the annual meetings of these six societies.
The presence of 20 participating societies further broadens the scope of the meeting, adding additional expertise in such areas as vascular biology, biomedical engineering, behavioral pharmacology, veterinary pathology, matrix biology, biological and environmental repositories, cardiovascular and pulmonary pathology, and nutrition, physical activity and metabolism.
The five-day meeting includes thousands of lectures, symposia, research presentations and exhibits. The diversity of topics can be seen in this sampling from the programs of sponsoring societies and their guest societies:
- The American Association of Anatomists offers a series of programs on how our own cells can be used to restore tissues or cells lost to trauma, disease or the wear and tear of aging. Keynote speaker John Gearhart, director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania, describes how scientists now instruct cells to behave and function in ways appropriate to specific tissues needing repair. A mini-meeting focuses on the biology, bioengineering, and potential therapeutic applications of stem and progenitor cells. Scientific symposia include one on junk anatomy: the story behind "useless" parts. Teaching innovations in anatomy are covered in various sessions, including one on the use of Hollywood movies to instruct students, faculty and the general public about a variety of brain and other diseases and issues regarding scientific ethics.
- The American Physiological Society program includes 15 distinguished lectures covering topics such as biomedical ethics, environmental and exercise physiology, neural control and autonomic regulation, and the physiology of the kidney, cardiovascular system, respiration, liver and gastrointestinal system, central nervous system and other areas. Symposia topics include aging, reactive oxygen species and regulation of arteriogenesis; impact of intestinal microbiota (the microbial flora harbored by healthy individuals) on whole body physiology and pathophysiology; control of breathing in chronic diseases; environmental factors in heart disease; adrenal corticosteroid effects in the CNS on long-term control of blood pressure; cardiovascular and metabolic actions of leptin and their consequences in obesity; genetics of the adaptation to exercise; metabolic defects in diabetes, obesity and heart failure; novel mechanisms in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases; and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.
- The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program includes 14 thematic meetings and symposia on topics that reflect ASBMB's focus on the chemistry of life, such as: DNA replication, repair and recombination; RNA; gene regulation; chromatin regulation; protein synthesis and turnover; protein folding, aggregation and chaperones; enzymology; membrane proteins, dynamics and organelle biogenesis; drug discovery and design; metabolism and disease mechanisms; receptor signaling, lipid signaling and metabolism. Three Nobel Laureates will be part of the program. Other sessions include the role of basic scientists in addressing global health issues; genome integrity and cancer biology; clinical and pharmacogenomics aspects of HIV and AIDS; polypharmacology and drug repurposing; metabolic signaling in senescence and aging; elongation and termination; trafficking mechanisms and pathogen subversion; mechanisms for lipid storage and transport; development and advancement of minority scientists; eight award lectures; and a special symposium highlighting the Golden Anniversary of the Journal of Lipid Research.
- The American Society for Nutrition dedicates its Presidential Symposium to the emerging field of epigenetics, the study of changes in phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Do dietary changes in one's parents influence health and disease in generations to come? Other sessions focus on recent breakthroughs in understanding wasting and chronic disease; diet, nutrition, exercise and cancer; fruit, vegetables and herbals in cancer prevention; nutritional experiences in early life as determinants of adult metabolic phenotype; nutritional control of immunity in health and chronic disease; nutrition-gene interactions; and the use of consumer insights to guide scientific research. The ever-popular ASN public information session centers on the question of whether saturated fats or carbohydrates are more atherogenic, while a PIC/ILSI session focuses on managing conflicts of interest in funding food science and nutrition research.
- The American Society for Investigative Pathology program will, once again, include a talk by a Nobel Laureate pathologist. Dr. Oliver Smithies received the Nobel Prize, along with Mario Capecchi, for the introduction of specific gene modifications in mice embryonic stem cells leading to creation of "knockout mice." Symposia topics include the biology of aging, cancer stem cells, the epigenetic pathogenesis of cancer, advances in the pathobiology of angiogenesis, circulating tumor cells, autophagy (digestion of cells by enzymes originating within those same cells) in cardiac disease and atherosclerosis, interdisciplinary approaches to liver disease, novel implications of micro RNA in disease and therapy, and what scientists can learn about human disease in various canine genomic models. ASIP award lectures include liver regeneration and new approaches to the pathology and genetics of neurodegeneration.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics offers a distinguished lecture on changes in the brain during chronic exposure to nicotine and also a symposium on the mechanisms of nicotine addition (including a presentation on genome-wide association scans and candidate genes). Other symposia include the implications for Alzheimer's, dementias and other cognitive disorders of advances in Down syndrome neuroscience research; emerging approaches to treatment of Alzheimer's disease; clinical possibilities in the renaissance in marine pharmacology; and metabolomics (the emerging science of measurement and analysis of metabolites, such as sugars and fats) in the search for biomarkers for human diseases. One symposium on alteration of epigenetic homeostasis through exposure to environmental agents includes an overview on epigenetics, the new genetics of disease susceptibility, and specific presentations on the agents chromium, Pax6, nickel, and benzo(a)pyrene.
And more. Each of the above societies also presents numerous educational sessions, open to all meeting participants, such as setting goals to define your career and life purpose, career transition, achieving work-life balance, dos and don'ts of publishing, networking, opportunities for women and minorities, mentoring strategies, and other topics. In keeping with the cross-disciplinary nature of Experimental Biology, EB itself sponsors a session on the use of computers in research and teaching and a special symposium, with speakers from academia, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, on how life science education can better reflect science as practiced in the 21st century.
The Experimental Biology 2009 Public Affairs Session, co-sponsored by ASPET, ASBMB and APS, focuses on "The Evolution of Creationism." Speakers include leading writers, a judge and science education leaders on the front lines in this continuing challenge to science.
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