Highlighted sessions of ASBMB's 2007 Annual Meeting

April 23, 2007

BETHESDA - The 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) will feature the latest news about cell biology, signaling pathways, and genome dynamics, with 156 presentations in over 50 sessions. The meeting will also include award lectures and sessions on educational and professional development, minority affairs studies, and the interplay between the biomedical sciences and public policy. The meeting will take place at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C., from April 28 to May 2.

The ASBMB meeting will be part of a multi-society meeting called Experimental Biology 2007 (EB 2007), which also includes the annual meetings of the American Association of Anatomists, the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Investigative Pathology, the American Society for Nutrition, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Members of the media need to register during the meeting at the EB 2007 Press Room, located in the Convention Center East Registration Level 1.

More information about the meeting, including a list of all sessions, is available at http://www.asbmb.org/asbmb/site.nsf/main/meetings?opendocument

Brief descriptions of highlighted sessions follow. The times indicated below may vary depending on the time taken by preceding presentations.


Topic: Treatment for Depression
Session: Science at Undergraduate Institutions
Time/Location: 4:35 p.m.-5:05 p.m., Room 209C
Title: "Tricyclic Antidepressants, but not the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Fluoxetine, Bind to S1S2 Domain of AMPA Receptors"
Summary: LISA NANCY GENTILE, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Richmond, Va., will discuss how antidepressants work at the cellular level.

Receptor Tyrosine Kinases and Cancer
Session: Cytokine and Growth Factor Signaling
Time/Location: 5:20 p.m.-5:50 p.m., Room 202A
Title: "Cell Signaling by Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: From Bench to Bedside"
Summary: JOSEPH SCHLESSINGER, William H. Prusoff Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., will present the latest research on a family of cell-surface receptors called receptor tyrosine kinases and their role in causing cancers, developmental abnormalities, severe bone disorders, and immune diseases. Schlessinger will show how this research has led to new drugs that block the actions of several tyrosine kinases. He will also describe a new approach for the development of cancer drugs.


Topic: Protein Biosynthesis
Session: Molecular Mechanisms of Protein Biosynthesis
Time/Location: 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Room 209A
Title: "Insights from Global Studies of Eukaryotic Translation"
Summary: DANIEL HERSCHLAG, Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University, Calif., will describe how, by using the yeast genome, he and colleagues revealed new details of how proteins are made in yeast.

Topic: Sickle Cell Anemia
Session: Genetic Diseases in Minority Populations - Sickle Cell Anemia
Time/Location: 10:55 a.m.-11:35 a.m., Room 209C
Title: "Iron Overload and Sickle Cell Anemia: Monitoring and Treatment"
Summary: Sickle cell anemia, a disease in which the red blood cells change shape, thus depriving tissues of oxygen and causing heart disease and stroke, affects about 70,000 people in the United States, most of them of African descent. JANE HANKINS, Faculty Assistant Member at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn., will discuss iron overload resulting from repeated blood transfusions in sickle cell anemia and how to best monitor and treat this complication.

Topic: Enzyme Dynamics
Session: The Role of Dynamics in Enzyme Catalysis
Time/Location: 11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m., Room 207B
Title: "Single Molecule Studies of Enzyme Dynamics and Mechanisms"
Summary: GORDON G. HAMMES, Distinguished Service Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University, Durham, N.C., will discuss the potential of a recent technique called single molecule fluorescence microscopy, which provides fresh insight into how enzymes work. Unlike other techniques that look at the average behavior of many millions of molecules, single molecule fluorescence microscopy studies single molecules, thus revealing information that may be lost in the averaging process.

Topic: National Institutes of Health's Funding Policy
Session: Public Affairs Advisory Committee-Sponsored Symposium
Time/Location: 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Ballroom C
Title: "NIH at the Crossroads: How Diminished Funds Will Impact Biomedical Research and What Scientists Can Do About It"
Summary: ELIAS ZERHOUNI, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will provide details on the current state of the NIH enterprise and offer projections based on the Fiscal Year 2008 budget. Hon. JOHN PORTER, former Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and Labor, will provide a legislative overview of the Fiscal Year 2008 outlook for the NIH and will discuss how scientists could become politically active and make suggestions for what needs to be done to make an impact on the NIH budget.

Topic: Mitochondrial Decay and Neurodegeneration
Session: Mitochondrial Dynamics
Time/Location: 3:35 p.m.-4:05 p.m., Room 207A
Title: "Mitochondrial Dynamics and Neurodegeneration"
Summary: DAVID C. CHAN, Principal Investigator at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, will describe how the dysfunction of mitochondria in neurons can lead to a neurodegenerative disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. In particular, he will show the role of mitochondrial proteins called microfusins in this disease.

Topic: Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Session: Antibiotics for the 21st Century
Time/Location: 5:15 p.m.-5:50 p.m., Room 202A
Title: "The Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance"
Summary: Bacteria have developed resistance to most of the currently used antibiotics. FLOYD ROMESBERG, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., will present research efforts that seek to inhibit the bacterial mutations that allow bacteria to become drug-resistant. This work could lead to a new way of preventing the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Topic: Neurodegenerative Diseases
Session: Conformational Transitions and Protein Aggregation
Time/Location: 5:20 p.m.-5:50 p.m., Room 207B
Title: "Understanding and Ameliorating Age-Onset Neurodegenerative Diseases"
Summary: JEFFERY KELLY, Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry at Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., will discuss how misfolding and/or misassembly of intracellular proteins causes neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, whereas extracellular misfolding and/or misassembly appears to cause diseases known as amyloidoses, which includes Alzheimer's and rare familial disorders. Kelly will also show how our current understanding of these disorders can lead to new therapeutic strategies.


Topic: HIV and Hepatitis C
Session: Infectious Diseases in Minority Populations - Hepatitis C
Time/Location: 11:10 a.m.-11:45 a.m., Room 209C
Title: "HIV and HCV Infection among Minority Drug Injectors"
Summary: Injection drug users are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV), potentially increasing infection rates in minority communities. ANTONIO ESTRADA, Director of Mexican American Studies and Research Center and Professor of Public Health in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona, Tucson, will discuss the institutional, financial, and social obstacles to reduce HIV and HCV infection in minority communities.

Topic: Living Longer by Eating Less
Session: Aging and Metabolism
Time/Location: 4:20 p.m.-4:50 p.m., Room 207A
Title: "Calorie Reduction and Life Span Extension: A Genetic Pathway in the Fly"
Summary: Previous studies have shown that worms, fruit flies, and mice that are forced to eat less than their average daily diet can expand their life span significantly. STEPHEN L. HELFAND, Professor of Genetics and Developmental Biology at Brown University, Providence, R.I., will present new data in fruit flies showing that this life span extension may have a genetic origin, meaning that only animals with the right genes may be able to live longer by eating less.


Topic: Integrins and Cancer
Session: Extracellular Matrix at the Organism Scale
Time/Location: 10 a.m.-10:40 a.m., Room 202B
Title: "The Role of the Alpha-2 Beta-1 Integrin in the Tumor Microenvironment"
Summary: MARY M. ZUTTER, Professor of Pathology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn., will discuss the role of a cell membrane receptor called alpha-2 beta-1 integrin in regulating the growth of cancer cells.

Topic: Tuberculosis
Session: Infectious Diseases in Minority Populations - Tuberculosis
Time/Location: 10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Room 209C
Title: "The Role of Resuscitation-Promoting Factors in the Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis"
Summary: One-third of the world's population is infected with a dormant form of Mycobacterium tuberculosis - the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. These bacteria can lay dormant inside people and may not become active until decades later. BAVESH KANA, a researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, will present new research that could explain how the bacteria awake from this dormant state to cause disease.

Topic: Proteomics and Human Health
Session: Proteomics of Cell Systems
Time/Location: 2:20 p.m.-2:50 p.m., Room 202B
Title: "Proteomics for Elucidating Protein Function, Regulatory Networks, and Improving Human Health"
Summary: Although the sequencing of entire genomes has provided significant information, current and future challenges will be to identify the functions of the proteins made by these genes. MICHAEL SNYDER, Associate Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., will describe novel techniques he and his colleagues have developed to determine protein function in yeast and humans.

Topic: Cell Membrane Proteins
Session: Specific Protein-Lipid Interactions
Time/Location: 3:05 p.m.-3:35 p.m., Room 201
Title: "Translocon-Assisted Folding of Membrane Proteins: New Insights into Lipid-Protein Interactions"
Summary: STEPHEN WHITE, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California at Irvine, will provide new details about how proteins are put together on a cell's membrane with a help of a tunnel-like protein complex called translocon.

Topic: RNA Editing
Session: RNA Modification: Mechanism and Function
Time/Location: 4 p.m.-4:35 p.m., Room 209A
Title: "Fine Tuning of Behavior by RNA Editing"
Summary: Before being used to produce proteins, messenger RNA is "recoded" or "edited" by an enzyme called Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA (ADAR). ROBERT REENAN, Professor of Biology at Brown University, Providence, R.I., will show that the presence of edited proteins is necessary for normal adult brain function and that the lack of edited proteins originating from a single gene results in subtle defects in complex behaviors.

Topic: Unlinking DNA
Session: Chromosome Segregation and Aneuploidy
Time/Location: 4:05 p.m.-4:35 p.m., Room 206
Title: "RanBP2/Nup358 Is Required for Topoisomerase II/alpha-Mediated DNA Decatenation, Proper Chromosome Segregation and Tumor Suppression"
Summary: Topoisomerases are proteins that unlink DNA in chromosomes when a cell divides. JAN M. VAN DEURSEN, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., will discuss topoisomerase II/alpha's role in cell division and show that a protein involved in transporting proteins between the nucleus and the cell's cytoplasm is also helping topoisomerase II/alpha.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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