12–17 June 2011 Gordon Research Conference: Mycotoxins & Phycotoxins
Waterville, ME, USA
Fungi, algae and cyanobacteria are capable of producing an expansive array of toxic secondary metabolites that adversely affect the health of humans and animals. Mycotoxins and phycotoxins are found in food, water and air. The frequency and intensity of their occurrence is often impacted by environmental change and human activity. Given the ecological and societal importance of this field, numerous disciplines (e.g., analytical chemistry, toxicology, ecology, plant pathology, epidemiology, genomics/proteomics, meteorology, economics and risk assessment/hazard management) within the public and private sectors have been involved in addressing the myriad problems associated with the occurrence of these natural toxins. The 15th Gordon Research Conference on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins offers a unique international forum for academic, governmental and industrial scientists to exchange ideas, identify new research opportunities and initiate cross-disciplinary collaborations. Contemporary themes will be explored to facilitate the discussion of the “what, how, who, when, and why” of natural toxin events.
Themes will include:
1) novel toxins and toxicities,
2) molecular mechanisms of toxicity and detoxification,
3) public health effects/disease epidemiology,
4) societal and economic impacts,
5) genetic and environmental control of toxigenesis,
6) physiological and ecological roles of toxins,
7) detection and predictive modeling and
8) risk assessment and abatement.
A primary goal of this unique gathering is to create a critical mass and atmosphere for creative thinking necessary to advance knowledge of the complex environmental and societal problems presented by naturally occurring toxigenic microbes and their toxins. Special consideration will be given to strategies to improve interactions of junior and senior scientists during the conference. In keeping with the ethos of Gordon Research Conferences, while information will be disseminated by speaker presentations, vigorous discussion will be the key focus. Designated discussion leaders, recognized for their skills in each particular area, will guide the audience-based discussions. Poster sessions will provide an opportunity for lively and informal discussion, in counterpoint to the more formal oral sessions. In addition, the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) will convene immediately preceding the GRC (11-12 June 2011). Organized and conducted by graduate students and postdocs, the GRS will provide an opportunity for junior scientists to present their work in a formal, oral format, in front of their peers. These students will participate in the subsequent Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins GRC providing an unmatched opportunity to promote interactions between future researchers and established ones.