FASEB Catalyst Conferences


Catalyst Conferences do just that: catalyze. These short, virtual meetings foster communities in emerging areas of biology. Organize your own or attend one.



Organizer Overview

As a Catalyst Conference organizer, you can:

  • Test potential subject areas for presentation at Science Research Conferences
  • Create a following for a field of research
  • Attract sponsors to an emerging topic
  • Build a speaker pool
  • Prepare to become an SRC organizer


Types of Catalyst Conferences

Researchers may choose between two levels:

  • Entry Level: A half-day virtual program with four to five speakers and a minimum of 100 attendees with no registration fees. Organizers are not expected to set fundraising goals.
  • Advanced Level: Two consecutive half-day virtual programs with a minimum of 125 attendees, a $25 registration fee, and a $500 fundraising goal. If the organizer raises $5,000, registration is free for all participants.

A successful Entry Level Catalyst Conference could move up to the Advanced Level. Likewise, Advanced Level conferences that meet or exceed attendance and fundraising goals will be encouraged to move to the highest level: a full-fledged Science Research Conference

Learn more about organizing a Catalyst Conference in this recorded webinar. If you have questions or are ready to get started, email us.


Upcoming Conferences 

Tumor Metabolism and Immunotherapy

Date/Time: Wed., Oct. 6, 2021, 1:00 PM–4:35 PM (ET)
Organizers: Cosimo Commisso, PhD, Director, Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer Program, Associate Professor, NCI-Designated Cancer Center, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Summary: Metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells supports immunosuppression and immune evasion. This Catalyst Conference focuses on exploring the impact of metabolic rewiring on anti-tumor immunity and examining strategies to target cancer metabolism and improving immunotherapy.
Registration: Register Here
Program: Preliminary Agenda


Mechanisms of Aortic Aneurysm Formation, Growth, and Rupture

Date/Time: Wed., Nov. 3, 2021; 11:00 AM-2:45 PM (ET)
Organizers: Morgan Salmon, PhD, University of Michigan; Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr., MD, University of Florida
Summary: This conference will bring together experts in the investigation of the mechanisms of non-genetic aortic aneurysm formation and rupture in both the thoracic and abdominal aortas. Aortic aneurysms remain an important mechanistic and clinical topic as they have high morbidity and mortality rates and no current medical treatment therapy. Additionally, mechanisms underlying causes of aortic rupture beyond increased dilation remain largely unknown and continue to be of interest in the field. Discussions will focus on the regulatory, immunomodulatory, and mechanistic functions of various factors and cell types in diverse model systems related to aortic aneurysm formation and rupture.
Registration: Register Here
Program: Preliminary Agenda


New Concepts in Drug Repositioning 

Date/Time: Wed., Nov. 10, 2021, 1:00 PM-4:35 PM (ET)
Organizers: Claudio Scuoppo, PhD, Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University
Summary: Repositioning is the discovery process of new targets and indications for drugs already developed. From its promise of a fast transition to clinical use, repositioning has evolved into a set of multi-disciplinary approaches for the systematic interrogation of complex diseases such as cancer. The focus of this conference is to explore these approaches and their potential for developing patient-tailored therapies.  
Registration: Register Here
Program: Preliminary Agenda

Matricellular Proteins

Date/Time: Wed., Nov. 17, 2021
Organizers: Douglas Hamilton, PhD., University of Western Ontario, Canada. Kurt Hankenson, DVM, PhD., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
Summary: This conference will have a focus on matricellular proteins in respiratory tract immunomodulation.
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon


Complex Disease Prediction, Prevention, Management and Beyond

Date/Time: Wed., Dec. 1 & Thu., Dec 2, 2021, 9:00 PM–12:00 AM (ET)
Organizer: Kei Hang Katie Chan, PhD, MPH, City University of Hong Kong and Brown University
Summary: Diseases-driven approaches, including but not limited to multi-omics and molecular epidemiology, have been applied to dissect the etiological and pathophysiological mechanism of many different complex diseases including metabolic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer and many other diseases. These approaches provide insight for better disease or mortality classification, stratification, prevention, and management and the studies have sparked important insights in the prediction, prevention, and management of these diseases and beyond.
Registration: Register Here
Program: Coming Soon


Immune Repertoire Decoding

Date/Time: Wed., Jan. 26, 2022
Organizers: Karsten Sauer, PhD., Vice President, Repertoire Immune Medicines
Summary: Leading experts will introduce the audience to recent advances in decoding the specific T cell clonotypes mediating or protecting from disease along with their recognized antigen epitopes in the context of human HLA haplotypes. This information promises to enable next-generation T cell clonotype or epitope targeted immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune or infectious diseases that are both more efficacious and safer than current therapies. Recent advances in single cell sequencing technologies and large-scale HLA tetramer or HLA reporter gene-based epitope library screening technologies have made decoding the "immune synapse" possible.
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon

The Nexus of Soil and Water Quality: Impacts on the Health of Humans, Animals, and Ecosystems

Date/Time:  Wed., Feb 2 and Thur., Feb 3, 2022
Organizers: Patricia L. Morris, MS, PhD, The Rockefeller University; Hannah V. Carey, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Benjamin F. Zaitchik, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, USA; Helena Chapman, MD, MPH, PhD, Booz Allen Hamilton/NASA
Summary: This Catalyst Conference focuses on the current geoscience, biological and biomedical research in soil and water quality and influences on the health of humans, ecosystems and the environment.
Registration:  Coming soon
Program: Coming Soon
Cost: $0 (a $50 value; sponsored by FASEB)


Meiotic Recombination in Plants

Date/Time: Wed., Mar. 9 and Thur., Mar. 10, 2022 
Organizer: Gaganpreet Sidhu, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center
Summary: Meiotic recombination plays a critical role in crop improvement as novel gene combinations are created during meiosis. This conference aims to bring together investigators studying meiotic recombination in plants with a special focus on the future of crop improvement.
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon


Biomechanical and Biochemical Impact of Collagens in Cancer

Date/Time: Wed., Mar. 23 and Thur., Mar. 24, 2022 
Organizers: T.S. Karin Eisinger PhD, Ann B. Young Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Assistant Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Penn Sarcoma Program
Summary: Our understanding of intratumoral collagen function is rapidly evolving. It has become clear that individual collagens can have unique pro-and anti-tumor roles in various contexts. The purpose of this catalyst conference is to bring together experts in these emerging areas to establish collaborations and formulate strategies for addressing critical questions including, but not limited to, collagen as a 1) signaling molecule 2) a physical substrate 4) a mediator of intratumoral physical forces 5) a mediator of metastasis and 6) the role of tumor-specific collagen post-translational modifications. The goal of the meeting is to encourage the development of these ideas and establish the utility of tumor collagens as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer.
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon


B-Cells in Injury and Regeneration

Date/Time: Wed., Mar. 30, 2022
Organizers: Ruxandra Sîrbulescu, PhD, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, Mark C. Poznansky, MD, PhD, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
Summary: Coming Soon
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon


Form and Function - Stem Cells in Action

Date/Time: Wed., April 27, 2022
Organizer: Kursad Turksen, Senior Scientist (Retired), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
Summary: The objective of this Catalyst Conference is to serve as a preface to the full-length Stem Cell Conference being planned for 2023. The conference will touch upon several areas of stem cell biology including formation of the embryo and lineage commitment, progression and generation of differentiated cells in diverse models, including both pluripotent cell models and tissue-specific stem cells, in health and disease. Use of state-of-the-art cellular, molecular and genetic approaches will be highlighted, along with emerging and new developments in the use of organoids in vitro to dissect stem cell behavior, as well as commitment and formation of functional tissues.
Registration: Coming Soon
Program: Coming Soon


Past Conferences


Integrative Approach for Complex Diseases Prevention and Management and Beyond

Date/Time: Wed., Dec. 16, 2020, 10:00 AM-1:05 PM ET
Organizer: Kei Hang Katie Chan, PhD, MPH, Asst. Professor, City University of Hong Kong
Summary: Diseases-driven approaches, including multi-omics and molecular epidemiology, have been applied to dissect the etiological and pathophysiological mechanism of many different complex diseases, including metabolic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well as cancers, and to provide insights for diseases or mortality classification and stratification. These studies have sparked important insights in the prevention and management of these diseases and beyond.

Meiotic Recombination in Plants

Date/Time: Wed. Jan. 20, 2021, 10:00 AM-3:30 PM ET
Organizer: Gaganpreet Sidhu, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center
Summary: Meiotic recombination plays a critical role in crop improvement as novel gene combinations are created during meiosis. This conference aims to bring together investigators studying meiotic recombination in plants with a special focus on the future of crop improvement.

Transplantation Genomics: Ethics of Research and Clinical Applications

Date/Time: Wed., Jan. 27, 2021, 1:00-5:00 PM ET
Organizer: Tamar Schiff, MD, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Summary: Advances in genetic and genomic studies have identified an increasing number of novel biomarkers of potential use in transplant-related care. These include predictors of disease course, graft survival, response to immunosuppression, and likelihood of post-transplant disease recurrence or other complications. Future clinical applications of these genomic findings raise ever-growing considerations of the significance of genetic variants, fair access to precision medicine therapeutics, participation in research, ethical approaches to data aggregation and analysis, and social determinants of health. This conference will examine the unique ethical, legal, and social issues at the intersection of translational genomics and transplant clinical care, focusing on questions of utility, equity, privacy, consent, and adherence to best practices.

Extracellular and Organismal Proteostasis in Health and Disease

Dates/Time: Feb. 3, 2021 1:00-5:00 PM (ET) and Feb. 4, 2021 1:00-4:40 PM (ET)
Organizers: Patricija van Oosten-Hawle, PhD, University of Leeds, UK, Ruth Scherz-Shouval, PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and Rebecca Taylor, PhD, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
Summary: The proteostasis network is essential for the maintenance of cellular health and viability. Research to date has largely focused on the intracellular function of this network in health and disease. Recent advances in the field are, however, highlighting an equally important role of an extracellular proteostasis network that protects protein folding in the extracellular space and maintains inter tissue signaling in organisms with relevance for immunity, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. This conference aims to unite all the pioneers of the field to take the proteostasis network to new horizons beyond the boundaries of the cell.

Dormancy in Cancer

Date/Time: Wed., Feb. 10, 2021, 11:00 AM-3:30 PM ET
Organizer: Ze'ev Ronai, PhD, Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor, Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham-Prebys, Medical Discovery Institute
Summary: Tumor dormancy is appreciated as a stage in which tumor cells stop proliferating while surviving in a quiescent state. The possible implications of tumor dormancy and tumor metastasis on one hand and stemness on the other are among the key questions we wish to address — the focus of this catalyst symposium.

In Vivo Models of Relevance to PKD Research

Sponsored by PKD Foundation
Date/Time: Wed., Mar. 31, 2021, 10:15 AM-3:30 PM ET
Organizer: Stephen C. Parnell, Ph.D., University of Kansas Medical Center (On behalf of the PKD Research Resource Consortium-RRC)
Summary: The purpose of this conference is to educate new PKD investigators about mouse models available for research, to inform the PKD research community about new mouse models being developed by the PKD Research Resource Consortium, and to solicit feedback and discussion from the PKD research community regarding the production of new animal model technologies for PKD research. 

Cholangiocarcinoma: Molecular Drivers, Microenvironment, and Precision Medicine

Date/Time: Wed., Apr. 7, 2021, 1:00-5:30 PM ET
Organizer: Alphonse E. Sirica, PhD, MS, Professor Emeritus, Pathology Department, Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a heterogeneous class of highly aggressive and fatal primary epithelial cancers arising within the biliary tract. After hepatocellular carcinoma, CCA is the second most common primary liver cancer, accounting for approximately 10-20% of all primary hepatic malignancies. Over the last 10-20 years, intrahepatic CCA has notably become the focus of increasing concern largely due to its rising incidence and high mortality rates in various parts of the world. In the U.S., the rising incidence and mortality rates from this primary hepatobiliary cancer, particularly over the past decade or so, have coincided with a rapidly growing interest among clinicians, investigators, and patient advocates seeking greater mechanistic insights and more personalized targeted molecular and immunotherapeutic approaches for managing and/or preventing this challenging hepatobiliary cancer. We will highlight timely research findings focused on key molecular drivers, the tumor reactive stroma, and immune milieu in relation to CCA development, malignant progression, morpho-molecular heterogeneity, and therapeutic resistance, together with emerging strategies for advancing novel molecular and immunotherapies for CCA.

Imaging Cells to Organisms for Basic Science and Medical Research

Date: Wed., Apr.14, 2021
Time: 9:00 AM-2:00 PM ET and 1:00-6:00 PM GMT
Organizers: Akwasi Agbleke PhD, Harvard Center for Biological Imaging, President, Sena Institute of Technology, Penyi, Ghana, Thomas Broker PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Andrew Seeber PhD, Center for Advanced Imaging at Harvard
Summary: This Catalyst conference, in collaboration with the Sena Institute of Technology African Seminar Series, will bring together academic and clinical partners across the globe. It focuses on engaging researchers from the African continent to discuss emerging technologies on biological imaging and their applications in medical research. This short conference acts as a primer for the FASEB conference “Imaging Cellular and Chromosome Dynamics Conference”, which will be hosted in Accra, Ghana in October 2022.

B Cells in Injury and Regeneration 

Date/Time: Apr. 21, 2021, 1:00-5:00 PM ET
Organizer: Ruxandra Sîrbulescu, PhD, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, Mark C. Poznansky, MD, PhD, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
Summary: This one-day symposium will bring together experts in B cell biology to discuss the potential of B cell application in the context of injury and tissue repair, as well as inflammatory disease. This topic, with both fundamental and clinical implications, has been the object of a number of studies over the past decade, and the mechanisms underlying this neglected potential of B cells are being increasingly elucidated. Discussions will focus on the regulatory, immunomodulatory, and pro-regenerative functions of B cells in diverse model systems, from brain injury and stroke to wound healing, to organ transplantation.


Catalyst Conference Policies and Code of Conduct 

Catalyst Conference Policies and Code of Conduct apply to all FASEB Catalyst Conference participants. All policies are adopted in consideration of and in the best interest of conference participants. By registering for the conference, the participant agrees to abide by all policies. Download the Policies and Code of Conduct.