This SRC focuses on molecular mechanisms underlying fundamental aspects of immune cell biology. The immune system is crucial for human health, and its successful manipulation for clinical purposes will depend on a deep and sophisticated understanding of its native modes of regulation. Over the past twenty years, the immune system has also become an increasingly important model system for understanding information processing by signaling pathways, signal-dependent transcriptional regulation, control of genomic integrity and DNA repair, and principles of development from stem cells. Much leading work in these general areas comes from studies of the immune system. Furthermore, results from deep analysis of the regulation of lymphocyte development from hematopoietic stem cells link this field to a broad range of hematopoietic, oncological, and developmental mechanisms for which the lymphocyte vantage point can be very illuminating. This conference is distinctive in its focus on the molecular biology underlying immune responses, including genome-wide insights into regulatory function and dysfunction. The conference also stands out by bringing together research on B, T, NK, and innate system immune cells so that shared and contrasting mechanisms can be illuminated, both in the mature effector cells and in their developing precursors.
This SRC will include a keynote talk by Dan Litmann, a leader in the field, and formal sessions on (1) Early lymphocyte progenitors, (2) Mechanisms that underpin lymphocyte development, (3) Transcriptional regulation of lymphocyte differentiation, (4) Antigen receptor assembly, (5) Molecular and physical mechanisms that promote lymphocyte cell fate, (6) B cell activation and neoplasia, (7) The regulation of the immune responses, 8) Innate immunity and (9) Molecular pathways in innate immunity. These sessions are each anchored by 4 invited speakers with 3 shorter talks chosen from abstracts. The meeting will also include two poster sessions and two workshops consisting of short presentations chosen from submitted abstracts. By highlighting common and contrasting uses of similar mechanisms, the meeting will reveal unexpected synergies between areas of molecular immunology that are traditionally considered distinct. Such discoveries are enhanced by the program’s emphasis on mixing national and international experts with young scientists, including postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, among the presenters in an open atmosphere of scientific exchange. Finally, a large number of oral presentations will be selected from the abstracts.