FASEB SRC on Mitochondrial Assembly &Dynamics in Health, Disease &Aging


Principal Investigator: Antoni Barrientos
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposal seeks funds to support the 2011 FASEB Research Conference on Mitochondrial Assembly and Dynamics in Health, Disease and Aging. The principal objective is to inaugurate the third FASEB conference on this rapidly expanding area of mitochondrial biology. The meeting will bring together scientists, ranging from established investigators to graduate students, to promote the exchange of scientific ideas among scientists interested in diverse aspects of mitochondrial biology and mitochondrial dysfunction in human disease, with a view to encouraging collaborative approaches and cross-field stimulation. The conference will facilitate discussion of basic and biomedical science as well as for translational research opportunities. Funds are requested to support trainees and junior faculty who would benefit from attendance at this conference. The timing of this conference is significant, as interest in mitochondrial biology and dysfunction has surged. Seminal advances have occurred in recent years on physiological processes within the organelle such as the dynamics of morphology, mitophagy, protein import into sub-compartments, structure of respiratory complex I, and inter-organelle communication. Insight has been gleaned from patients with cardiomyopathy, hepatopathy, and neurodegenerative disease on assembly and regulation. The biochemical defect in most patients results from a defect in assembly and this can lead to a myriad of clinical phenotypes ranging from ataxia, seizures, blindness, myoclonus, dystonia, deafness, and diabetes. Mitochondrial diseases that will be discussed include rare inherited diseases such as Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), Leigh's Syndrome, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, and Friedreich's ataxia. In addition, the role of mitochondria in general neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and during the aging process will be discussed in sessions highlighting mitochondrial dynamics and turnover. An understanding of the structure, assembly and function of the mitochondrion is thus a highly significant topic. Sessions will deal with the structure and dynamics of the mitochondrion, the organization of respiratory chain components, transcriptional and translational regulatory circuits controlling mitochondrial biogenesis and function, mitochondrial DNA maintenance, mitochondrial-nuclear and mitochondrial-cytoplasm cross talk, mitochondrial protein sorting, assembly of individual respiratory complexes and cofactor biogenesis. The novelty of this conference lies in the unique focus on mitochondrial biogenesis and the link to mitochondrial disease as well as to common neurodegenerative diseases and the aging process. No other meeting has attempted this. The 2011 FASEB conference is designed to promote the exchange of scientific ideas among scientists interested in diverse aspects of mitochondrial respiration and biogenesis of the respiratory complexes. Interest in mitochondrial biology has surged in recent years, so the topic and timing of this conference are significant in highlighting advances made in mitochondrial dynamics and morphology and ties in well with the NIH Road Map. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The FASEB Conference on Mitochondrial Assembly and Dynamics in Health, Disease and Aging is relevant to public health because the link between mitochondrial diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and the aging process and defects in mitochondrial assembly will be discussed in detail. As an outcome of this meeting, experts in the field of mitochondrial biology will learn more about the molecular basis of mitochondrial diseases such as myopathies and neuropathies and discuss new approaches for improving diagnostics and therapeutics. Experts will also learn about involvement of mitochondrial function/dysfunction in common age-related neurodegenerative disorders and the aging process.
Funding Period: 2011-07-01 - 2012-06-30
more information: NIH RePORT