The fields of membrane trafficking in general and autophagy in particular got the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2013 and 2016, respectively. This work laid the foundation for understanding these processes at a mechanistic detail and high precision. The question of how membrane structure and function is regulated is highly relevant to human health and disease.
Regulation of membrane-associated processes is a very dynamic field relevant to various disciplines, from neuroscience to cell and developmental biology. Small GTPases have emerged as important regulators of all membrane trafficking processes. These GTPases together with their various interactors regulate intracellular trafficking, organelle dynamics, proteostasis, signaling and metabolism. Mutations in these molecules result in human diseases, from inherited to complex disorders. For example, dis-regulation of small GTPase networks has been implicated in multiple diseases, including cancer and neurological disorders.
The aim of this conference is include all the small GTPase families involved in membrane processes, i.e., Arf, Arl, Rab, Ras, Rho and Rag, and explore new insights into their cellular function. The vision is to obtain an integrated view of their functions and their networks. We will discuss new emerging concepts derived from a variety of experimental systems, ranging from cells to organisms. We will explore new discoveries from studies of human diseases. Finally, because we think the field will benefit from interdisciplinary approaches, our goal is to include various emerging technologies. In addition to the traditional cell and molecular biology, the conference will include advanced light and electron microscopy, structural biology, structure-function and physico-chemical analyses, single-molecule and other biophysical techniques, and mathematical modeling.