Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cells from across the biological kingdoms are continuously engaged in the process of decision-making. By “decision-making” we mean taking information from its surroundings (including neighboring cells), processing this data through complex signal transduction and genetic circuits, and modulating cellular phenotypes in response. Decisions implies that other choices are made from competing options and that once made, these choices have some degree of persistence even as conditions change. 

Much of our progress in understanding the circuitry underlying decision-making as well as the fitness advantages of underlying strategic logic implemented therein, has come from bacterial systems. Yet, with the renewed interest on stem cell-based research for normal tissue and malignant tumors, there is increasing interest in extending these concepts to eukaryotic and especially mammalian contexts. This workshop will focus on taking stock of our current state of knowledge of some well-studied systems, such as the sporulation pathway of B. subtillus, the general principles that have emerged from these studies and on how we might begin to apply these findings to more complex cell types. One outcome of the workshop will be a research roadmap which will assist the NSF with establishing funding priorities for this interdisciplinary field. 

The workshop itself will last two full days, June 10-11, 2013 (with an social networking session the evening of June 9th) in Northern Virginia and will feature limited presentations, mixed with extensive discussions. 

Your travel expenses including meals and lodging in Virginia will be paid for and/or reimbursed.

Please contact workshop coordinator Sara Bradley with any questions or concerns.