A mile-high view

ASCB annual meeting in Denver will take in high-level views as well as drill deep into cell biology

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DENVER—There's an elevated sense of anticipation for theAmerican Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) as it prepares to hold its annualmeeting in December. Hopes are high—as high as the city hosting the event—andthe society hopes to go above and beyond with this year's program.
OK, now that the requisite puns and wordplay are done, let'sget to what the ASCB is actually doing in Denver—a.k.a. the "Mile-HighCity"—and why it's important for those who deal in the world of cell biology.
"As we set our sights high for the next 50 years, it'sappropriate that we meet here in Denver, the Mile-High City," says ASCBPresident Dr. Sandra L. Schmid. "Unlike small conferences, the annual ASCBmeeting showcases both the depth and breadth of cell biology. The cell is thefundamental unit of life. To highlight this, symposia speakers will present acontinuum of research approaches and problems."
The Sunday symposia are "Molecular Mechanisms," presented byJennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, Judith Frydman ofStanford University and Thomas Surrey of the Cancer Research UK London ResearchInstitute, and "Function of Multi-Molecular Machines" by Raymond Deshaies ofthe California Institute of Technology (Caltech), David Drubin of UC Berkeleyand Melissa Moore of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Monday's symposia are "Cellular Networks and InformationProcessing" by Michael Elowitz of Caltech, Christine Jacobs-Wagner of YaleUniversity and Chris Marshall of the Institute of Cancer Research in London,and "Self-Organization of Cellular Structures" by Gaudenz Danuser of Harvard MedicalSchool, Benjamin Glick of the University of Chicago and Francois Nedelec of theEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.
On Tuesday will be "Complex Cellular Functions: LinkingNetworks and Structures" by Kristin Baldwin of the Scripps Research Institute,William Bement of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and W. James Nelson ofStanford, and "Mechanism of Multicellular Functions" by
Darren Gilmour of EMBL, Arthur Lander of the University ofCalifornia, Irvine and Jennifer A. Zallen of the Sloan-Kettering Institute. 
There will be only one symposium on Wednesday, which is"Design Principles of Cells and Tissues" by Linda Griffith of the MassachusettsInstitute of Technology and Wallace Marshall of the University of California,San Francisco.
There are also nearly 30 mini-symposia currently scheduled,which, Schmid says, "will dig deeper into individual areas of cell biology andwill allow young and active scientists to present their latest findings." (Fora full lineup of the mini-symposia, see listing below.)
The ASCB is also offering three working groups, which aredescribed as "town halls for big questions." They are "Using Large Data Sets asTools to Understand Cell Biology" by Lani Wu of the University of Texas SouthwesternMedical Center and Wolfgang Huber of EMBL; "Learning from Heterogeneity andStochastic Cell Behavior" by Johan Paulsson of Harvard Medical School and LucasPelkmans of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) inSwitzerland; and "Imaging Cellular Structure Across Scales" by John Briggs ofEMBL and Melike Lakadamyali of the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) inSpain.
Aside from the educational activities and exhibitions, thereis much to see and do in Denver and Colorado in general (a few of which we'llcover in other articles in this section). The ASCB cites the city's "historic,walkable downtown, great restaurants, frugal fare … and 300 days of sunshineannually" as well as the "nearby magnificent mountains" that will beckon visitors.In addition, Schmid points out, "there'll be snow on the mountains, so plan oncoming early or staying late."
The ASCB annual meeting will be held at the ColoradoConvention Center in downtown Denver Dec. 3 to 7. For more information, visitthe website for the ASCB annual meeting at www.ascb.org/meetings/.
(For some ideas of what to do and sights to see in Denver, click here.)

The following 29 mini-symposia will examine more specificareas of cell biology not covered in depth by the full symposia:
Actin Dynamics
Marie-France Carlier and Rong Li 
Bioengineering andMechanobiology
Adam J. Engler and Celeste Nelson
Cancer Cell Biology
Franziska Michor, and Michael Yaffe
Cell Biology ofMicro-Organisms and the Evolution of the Eukaryotic Cell
Sean Crosson and Joel B. Dacks
Cell Biology of RNA
Xavier Darzacq and Leemor Joshua-Tor
Cell Cycle Dynamicsand Checkpoints
Frederick Cross and Silke Hauf
Cell Migration
Diane Barber and Alex Mogilner
Cell Polarity
Thomas Lecuit and Lesilee Rose
Cell-Cell andCell-Matrix Interactions
Josephine Adams and Kris DeMali
Cell-PathogenInteractions (Viruses and Bacteria)
Nihal Altan-Bonnet and Olivia Steele-Mortimer
Cellular Functions ofUbiquitin and Ub-related Proteins
Claudio Joazeiro and Frauke Melchior
Cellular Mechanism ofDisease and Aging
Craig Blackstone and Coleen Murphy
Chemical Biology:Probes and Therapeutics
Lisa Belmont and Alice Ting
Chromosome Structureand Epigenetics
Sue Biggins and Job Dekker
Cilia and Centrosomes
Ingrid Hoffmann and Meng-Fu Bryan Tsou 
Collective CellBehavior and Morphogenesis in DevelopmentRyoichiro Kageyama and Denise Montell
Innovations in CellBiology Graduate Education
Caroline Kane and Susan Wick
Intracellular Sortingand Trafficking
Federica Brandizzi and Rainer Pepperkok
Meiosis and Oogenesis
Laurinda A. Jaffe and Marie Verlhac
Membrane Fission andFusion
Marko Kaksonen and Alex Merz
Tarun Kapoor and Béla Novák
Modeling andSimulation of Cellular Functions
Hana El-Samad and Ewa Paluch
Motors andMicrotubule Dynamics
Jonathon (Joe) Howard and Patricia Wadsworth
Nuclear Organizationand Control of Gene Expression
Orna Cohen-Fix and Yaron Shav-Tal
Organelle Biogenesisand Autophagy
Anne Simonsen and Gia Voeltz
Signal TransductionNetworks
Philippe Bastiaens and Wendell Lim
Stem Cells andPluripotency
Fernando Camargo and Leanne Jones
Synthetic CellBiology
Pamela Silver and Ron Weiss
The Nuclear Periphery
Brian Burke and Valérie Doye
(For some ideas of what to do and sights to see in Denver, click here.) 

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