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2012 ASCB Annual Meeting

Scientific Program

Cell Biology and
Medicine Thread
Cell Biology and the
Physical Sciences Thread
Physical Science Indicator = Physical Sciences Thread Medicine Indicator = Medicine Thread

Saturday, December 15

Physical Science Indicator Interdisciplinary Session: Open Problems in Biology Requiring the Physical Sciences
12:30 pm–5:00 pm
Room 105
Organizers: Daniel Fletcher, University of California, Berkeley; Rob Phillips, California Institute of Technology; and Julie Theriot, Stanford University School of Medicine

There is a long and wonderful tradition of discovery that links biology and the physical sciences. The first law of thermodynamics was discovered by a German doctor as a result of his observations on the color of blood. The musings of mathematicians on games of chance gave rise to many of the most important ideas on probability that are the mainstay of modern biology. The recent explosion of measurement technologies and quantitative datasets that go with them have provided new opportunities for physical approaches to biological problems. This session focuses on those opportunities, combining overarching perspectives on the convergence of the two fields with specific, targeted discussions of foundational physical concepts that are relevant to biology.

Introduction: Thoughts on the biology/physics interface by 2012 ASCB President Ron Vale, University of California, San Francisco/HHMI

Keynote address: Personal view of the relationship between biology and its more quantitative partner sciences by Jonathon Howard, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany

Six short talks capturing the importance of specific physical concepts to biology:

    Force: Alexander Dunn, Stanford University

    Geometry: Patricia Bassereau, Institut Curie, Paris, France

    Entropy: Jané Kondev, Brandeis University

    Information: Philip Nelson, University of Pennsylvania

    Fluctuations: Dan Fletcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley

    Diffusion: Julie Theriot, Stanford University School of Medicine

Closing remarks: Perspective on the continuing relationship between biology and physical sciences by 2014 ASCB President Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz.

Special Interest Subgroups
12:30 pm-5:00 pm

Click here for a complete listing that includes session organizer, descriptions, and speaking schedule (More information).

Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator A. A Physical and Mechanical Perspective to Understanding the Emergence and Progression of Cancer
Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator B. Aneuploidy: Causes and Consequences
Medicine Indicator C. Axonal Transport: Mechanisms of Regulating Cargo Transport in Neuronal Development, Maintenance, and Disease
D. Beyond Border Control: Nuclear Pores, the Nuclear Envelope and the Rest of the Cell
Physical Science Indicator E. Building the Cell
Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator F. Connexins, Innexins and Pannexins: Roles for Gap Junctions and Intercellular Channels in Cell Signaling
Physical Science Indicator G. Counting Molecules in Cells: Insights into Structures and Mechanisms
Physical Science Indicator H. Cytoskeletal Dynamics and their Role in Cellular Form and Function
I. Endocytosis and Signal Transduction
Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator J. Entry, Exit, and Movement of Proteins Within the Cilium: The Transition Zone (TZ) and Cilary Tip
K. Evolutionary Cell Biology
Medicine Indicator L. Exosome and Microvesicles
Physical Science Indicator M. Frontiers in Cytokinesis
Medicine Indicator N. Muscle Cytoskeletal Protein Assembly in Normal and Diseased Muscles
Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator O. The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Metastatic Disease
Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator Keynote Symposium

6:00 pm
How the Physical Sciences Are Changing Cell Biology and Biomedical Sciences
Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy

The Science and Culture Behind Successful Cancer Therapeutic Development
Arthur D. Levinson, Chair, Genentech, Inc. and Apple, Inc.

Sunday, December 16

Physical Science Indicator Medicine Indicator Symposium 1: Cell Fate Decisions

8:00 am-9:30 am
Chair: Juergen Knoblich, Institute of Molecular Biology, Vienna, Austria

Medicine Indicator Lgr5 Stem Cells in self-renewal and cancer.

Hans Clevers, Hubrecht Institute, The Netherlands

Physical Science Indicator Gene Regulatory Networks Governing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Development and Identity.

Tariq Enver, University College London Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom

Medicine Indicator Induction of pluripotency by defined factors.

Shinya Yamanaka, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Japan

Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator Science Discussion Tables

9:30 am-10:30 am
Whether you're a student, postdoc, or PI, ASCB will again offer special networking opportunities with senior scientists and peers. View all topics

Medicine Indicator Frontier Symposium 1: Cell Biology and Medicine

10:30 am-12:00 pm
Chair and Speaker: Susan Lindquist, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology/HHMI
Speakers: Anne O'Garra, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK; and  Joseph Schlessinger, Yale University School of Medicine

Our understanding of the beauty and complexity of biology at the cellular level has been transformed in the past decade. With this transformation, cell biologists have themselves been transformed, and inspired to translate this new knowledge into cures for some of the most intractable diseases. This Symposium will illustrate three very different approaches to three very different types of disease. These diseases are also at very different stages in the long progression from basic science to translational medicine.

Susan Lindquist will describe the many ways in which the problem of getting proteins properly folded within the complex environment of living cells influences the course of infectious disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration. She will then focus on her efforts to use simple cells to gain a foothold against the complex cellular devastations of neurodegenerative diseases, where protein folding lies at the very heart of the matter.

Anne O’Garra will discuss how a team of basic researchers, computational scientists, and clinicians are tackling the problem of latent tuberculosis (TB) infections. TB is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Deciphering the transcriptional signatures that distinguish patients with latent verus active TB infections provides new understandings of the disease as well as a wide range of diagnostic and prognostic tools.

Joseph Schlessinger will discuss recent advances in understanding a class of proteins known as the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), powerful regulators of cell signaling whose dysfunction causes many human diseases. Discovering how RTKs function to transmit signals across cell membranes has provided the conceptual foundation for targeted cancer therapies, including two successful U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved cancer drugs. All three speakers will speak with a view to future prospects in these fields.

Medicine Indicator Panel Discussion: Sense and Reproducibility: The Problem of Translating Academic Discovery to Drug Discovery

12:30 pm-1:30 pm

Ira Mellman, Genentech/University of California, San Francisco (Chair); C. Glenn Begley, Amgen/Tetralogic; and Elizabeth Iorns, Science Exchange

Over the past several years, there has been an increasing awareness within the scientific community that a surprisingly high fraction of the work published in peer-reviewed journals has proved difficult to reproduce, especially when put to the test by biotech and pharmaceutical companies interested in using these observations to initiate drug discovery projects. All scientists should be deeply concerned by this situation. If true, it has serious implications both for scientific progress and for the credibility of the scientific community in society at large. Some journals, such as the Journal of Cell Biology, now routinely screen accepted manuscripts for potential data integrity issues. Although these efforts have contributed to ensuring the integrity of published data, the reproducibility problem may reflect more fundamental issues of experimental design and data management rather than willful or inadvertent manipulation. The panel will discuss the nature and possible extent of the problem, its implications for science and its applications, and what steps should be considered to resolve the problem.

Poster Session

12:30 pm-3:30 pm
Odd-Numbered Poster Presentations: 12:30pm-2:00 pm
Even-Numbered Poster Presentations: 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Medicine Indicator Drug Development for Cell Biologists: How to Discover Medicines

2:30 pm-3:30 pm
Chaired by James Sabry, Genentech, Inc.

Medicine Indicator Pre-Minisymposium Tutorials

3:00 pm-4:00 pm

Science Discussion Tables

3:30 pm-4:15 pm
Whether you're a student, postdoc, or PI, ASCB will again offer special networking opportunities with senior scientists and peers. View all topics

Eight Concurrent Minisymposia and/or Working Groups
4:30 pm-6:35 pm    (More information)

Medicine Indicator
  • Cancer Cell Biology
  • Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator
  • Cell Mechanics and Intermediate Filaments
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Cell Migration and Motility
  • Integrated Research and Teaching and Its Benefits to Faculty and Students
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Molecular Motors
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Regulation/Organization of the Genome
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Signal Transduction/Signaling Networks
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotency
  • Monday, December 17

    Medicine Indicator Symposium 2: New Model Systems for Cell Biology

    8:00 am-9:30 am

    Medicine Indicator Probing mechanisms of axonal and neuronal vesicle trafficking using human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Lawrence S.B. Goldstein (Chair), University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine

    Choanoflagellate colony development as a simple model for animal multicellularity.
    Nicole King, University of California, Berkeley

    Developing a model system to study regeneration.
    Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute/HHMI

    Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator Science Discussion Tables

    9:30 am-10:30 am
    Whether you're a student, postdoc, or PI, ASCB will again offer special networking opportunities with senior scientists and peers. View all topics

    Physical Science Indicator Frontier Symposium 2: Applying Physics, Engineering, Computation to Cell Biology

    10:30 am-12:00 Noon
    Chair and Speaker: Rob Phillips, California Institute of Technology
    Speakers: William Bialek, Princeton University; and Margaret Gardel, University of Chicago

    Scientists and engineers from a host of disciplines other than cell biology itself are being enticed by the startling pace of exciting discoveries in the life sciences. In contexts ranging from cell motility to gene regulation to vision, these discoveries are often couched in the language of systematic quantitative relationships revealed by precision measurements coming from a constellation of technological advances. One of the hallmarks of the approach to be highlighted in this Symposium is a volley back and forth between models and experiments in a way that can lead to surprising results, which could not even be seen in the absence of this quantitative interplay. This Symposium will provide three distinct visions of how outstanding questions in cell biology can be tackled using what Darwin once referred to as the “extra sense” that  comes with describing a problem in mathematical terms.  

    Poster Session
    12:30 pm-3:30 pm
    Odd-Numbered Poster Presentations: 12:30pm-2:00 pm
    Even-Numbered Poster Presentations: 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

    Physical Science Indicator Pre-Minisymposium Tutorial

    3:00 pm-4:00 pm

    Eight Concurrent Minisymposia and/or Working Groups
    4:30 pm-6:35 pm  (More information)

  • Autophagy, Self Renewal, and Cell Death
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Cell Biology of Neurodegeneration
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Cell Division
  • Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator
  • Cell-Cell and Cell-Matrix Interactions
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Intracellular Sorting and Trafficking
  • Microtubule Organization and Dynamics
  • Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator
  • Physical and Computational Tools for Cell Biology
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Working Group: Visualizing Biological Models and Information
  • Tuesday, December 18

    Medicine Indicator Symposium 3: Prokaryotic Communities

    8:00 am-9:30 am

    Medicine Indicator

    Manipulating quorum sensing to control bacterial pathogenicity.

    Bonnie Bassler (Chair), Princeton University/HHMI
    Medicine Indicator Immune defense of the intestinal epithelial surface.

    Lora Hooper, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas/HHMI

    Exploring the cell biology of 2-methyl hopanoids, an ancient class of microbial lipids.

    Dianne K. Newman, California Institute of Technology/HHMI

    Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator Science Discussion Tables
    9:30 am-10:30 am
    Whether you're a student, postdoc, or PI, ASCB will again offer special networking opportunities with senior scientists and peers. View all topics

    Frontier Symposium 3: Synthetic Biology
    10:30 am-12:00 Noon
    Chair: Wendall Lim, University of California, San Francisco/HHMI
    Speakers: Jay D. Keasling, University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Laurie Zoloth, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

    In the postgenomic era, the focus of biology is shifting away from identifying and assembling a molecular parts list toward understanding how these parts fit together to accomplish complex phenotypic behaviors. Synthetic biology—the forward engineering of biological systems from genetically encoded molecular components—has the potential to play a major role in reshaping cell biology at many levels. First, building or systematically modifying cellular systems offers a powerful new paradigm for exploring the fundamental mechanism and design logic of systems that execute complex biological behaviors, including cellular decision making and spatial self-organization. Synthetic biology as a research tool is in some ways philosophically connected to biochemical reconstitution in that it allows one to systematically ask what is minimally sufficient to achieve a function, although now we can ask such questions within the complex environment of the cell. Second, the purposeful engineering of cells offers the incredible potential to build cells that address complex societal needs, including organisms that can efficiently and cheaply produce biofuels, chemicals, food, and materials, or cellular robots that can execute sophisticated self-programmed therapeutic actions. These new avenues may dramatically increase and shift the research and employment landscape for cellular and molecular scientists in the coming decades. But the growth of synthetic biology also raises many important new and interesting cultural, ethical, and legal issues concerning whether and under what constraints should scientists manipulate, create, and alter living systems. The emergence of synthetic biology also raises general questions about how we define biological science and its goals. 

    Poster Session
    12:30 pm-3:30 pm
    Odd-Numbered Poster Presentations: 12:30pm-2:00 pm
    Even-Numbered Poster Presentations: 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

    Pre-Minisymposium Tutorial
    3:00 pm-4:00 pm

    Science Discussion Tables
    3:30 pm-4:15 pm

    Whether you're a student, postdoc, or PI, ASCB will again offer special networking opportunities with senior scientists and peers. View all topics

    Eight Concurrent Minisymposia and/or Working Groups
    4:30 pm-6:35 pm (More information)

    Medicine Indicator
  • Cell Biology of Regeneration
  • Cell Biology of the Neuron
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Cell Polarity
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Cellular Stress, Protein Folding, and Disease
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Micro- and Coding RNA
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Organelle Structure and Vesicle Formation
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Working Group: New Technologies in Proteomics
  • Wednesday, December 19

    Eight Concurrent Minisymposia and/or Working Groups
    8:30 am-10:35 am (More information)

    Physical Science Indicator
  • Actin Organization and Dynamics
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Cell Growth and Cell Cycle Control
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Development and Morphogenesis
  • Medicine Indicator Physical Science Indicator
  • Membrane Organization and Lipid Dynamics
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Nuclear Structure and Function
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Prokaryotic Cell Biology
  • Physical Science Indicator
  • Working Group: New Technologies in Imaging
  • Medicine Indicator
  • Working Group: New Technologies in Molecular Biology/Genetics
  • Symposium 4: Chromatin Dynamics
    11:00 am-12:15 pm
    Repressing and tethering chromosomes via molecular machines. Barbara Meyer (Chair), University of California, Berkeley/HHMI
    How do cells establish and maintain sister chromatid cohesion? Kim Nasmyth, University of Oxford, UK

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