Research in developmental biology has contributed significantly to our understanding of congenital diseases, stem cell biology, oncology and regenerative medicine. Elucidating the cellular and molecular control of developmental processes will help us decipher the causes of birth defects and ultimately lead to new techniques for diagnosis and treatment. The 2014 Santa Cruz Developmental Biology meeting will bring together experts working on fundamental developmental mechanisms with those translating those findings to disease in order to stimulate the flow of ideas along this spectrum and accelerate progress in both basic science and medicine.
The goal of this application is to obtain funds to support the Santa Cruz Developmental Biology Conference which will be held on the Santa Cruz Campus August 20-23, 2014. This bi-annual meeting has been held at the University of California, Santa Cruz, campus since 1992, and it is a major forum for bringing together a diverse spectrum of scientists to present and discuss recent advances in developmental biology. This meeting is unique in being a small (140-180 participants) conference, with an international reputation, and abstracts to attend the meeting will be accepted by all Developmental Biologists starting in February 2014. As detailed in our application, we have planned for considerable participation by graduate students and postdocs by including short talks, posters, and two workshops aimed at career issues. The meeting format is single platform sessions, with two non-overlapping abstract sessions so every participant is engaged in the same topic and activity for the duration of the meeting. The Santa Cruz campus offers a beautiful setting for this meeting, and the housing, meal, and session arrangements encourage significant participant interactions. The session topics will include, Translational Developmental Biology, Cell Polarity, Development and Disease, Regeneration and Stem Cells, Morphogenesis and Signaling, Evolution and Development and Neurogenesis and Patterning. Within each session, a range of model organisms used by contemporary Developmental Biologists to address major questions have been chosen. In conclusion, this is a grass roots meeting created de novo every two years by biologists for biologists, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to plan the meeting entitled 'Frontiers of development: basic meets translational' for 2014.