GREENAMYRE, J TIMOTHY
GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCES
2017 Parkinsons Disease Gordon Research Conference and Seminar
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting one million Americans alive today. Research into the mechanisms underlying PD has been a major focus over the last 20 years; driven by genetic discoveries, work in functional and translation domains is providing insights into the processes underlying disease etiology. To maximize the potential of this work, which originates from a variety of disciplines, it is essential that a diverse group of investigators have a forum for exchange and vigorous discussion of ideas and data; furthermore it is essential that this occurs in an environment of inclusion. We will bring together investigators with diverse scientific backgrounds who share an interest in understanding the basis of PD and its related disorders, and in pursuing translational research to effect etiologic-based therapies. This meeting will pair a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and a Gordon Research Conference (GRC); these meetings will be held consecutively from June 24-June 30, 2017 at Sunday River, Maine. This will be the second PD GRC and the first PD GRS. We intend to hold these meeting biennially. The GRS is intended to enable young researchers to share in the GRC experience and will occur the weekend immediately prior to the GRC. Graduate students, post-docs, and other junior scientists will come together to discuss their current research and build informal networks with their peers that may lead to a lifetime of collaboration and scientific achievement. The specific content of the GRS and GRC has evolved this year, not only to reflect our dynamic understanding of PD, but also to cover topics we were unable to address in the 2015 meeting. This meeting will address topics stretching from genetics, through mechanistic understanding, to translational potential. This meeting, by bringing together scientists with different knowledge, opinions, and technical approaches, will serve to develop new therapies for millions of patients with PD and related disorders including Lewy body diseases and other movement disorders. The enrollment for this meeting is expected to be 200, the limit at Sunday River. The NIH is being asked to help cover the registration costs for 17 early career investigators. These investigators will be chosen from the invited speakers and those with outstanding poster abstracts. The 2017 GRC and GRS are centered on a format that emphasizes discourse and unpublished results. The GRC format creates a unique opportunity for students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty. We expect that the inclusion of a GRS immediately prior to the GRC will facilitate the active participation of junior researchers. At our meetings we will prioritize participant diversity by active inclusion of women, minorities, and scientists from a variety of backgrounds, including those that work at academic and commercial institutions.