Research on the biology of the cilium has seen explosive growth as its essential roles in cell signaling and human disease are now well recognized. Sensory cilia act as cellular "antennas" that transduce key developmental and physiological signals while motile cilia play an essential role in development and organ function. Ciliary diseases or “ciliopathies,” include the most common life-threatening inherited disease of humans, Polycystic Kidney Disease, as well as retinitis pigmentosa, obesity, and mental retardation; all components of the human syndromic pathologies Nephronophthisis, Bardet-Biedl, Meckel Gruber, and Joubert syndromes. Cilia regulate hedgehog signaling which is essential for development and has been implicated in PKD as well as basal cell carcinomas and other cancers. Ciliated neurons generate our senses of smell and vision and recent work highlights intriguing roles for cilia as regulators of G-protein coupled receptor signaling in CNS neurons that control appetite and other behavioral responses. The cilium has also been shown to be a secretory organelle, releasing exosomes involved in signaling and extracellular communication. Despite advances in our understanding of cilia biology, important questions remain about how cilia are assembled, how they function, and how ciliary signal transduction impacts so many developmental events.
This SRC provides an intellectual nexus for a broad range of cilia investigators including human geneticists, cell, molecular, and developmental biologists, biochemists, and physician scientists. Cutting-edge research presentations provide a current view of technological advances in ciliary imaging, signal transduction, structural biology, and human disease. The meeting also showcases innovative applications of model organisms, such as Drosophila, C. elegans, and zebrafish for fundamental discovery and high-throughput screening approaches that impact therapeutic assay development.
Oral presentations will be selected from submitted abstracts, and the talks, poster presentations, professional development workshops, and free time for recreation will provide students and postdoctoral fellows opportunities to exchange ideas and generate new collaborations.