Overview: the 2013 ASBMB annual meeting

ASBMB Today has been covering the annual meeting offerings for months. This post offers a glimpse at the scientific programming and special events — and it directs you to the more thorough reports in the magazine.

See you in Boston!

Please join us in April in Boston for the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, part of the Experimental Biology 2013 conference. A wide range of scientists — from undergraduates to established senior investigators — will explore the breadth and depth of biochemistry and molecular biology through an exciting and comprehensive program.

How Scientists Can Save the World

ASBMB’s public affairs director, Benjamin Corb, writes about maintaining a positive, persevering attitude in the face of political and financial challenges and how that will come alive at ASBMB’s public affairs symposium at Experimental Biology 2013 in April in Boston.

From the lab to the kitchen table: communicating science to a lay audience

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Public Outreach Committee makes its debut at Experimental Biology 2013 with a wide array of formal and informal session activities designed to get you fired up about taking your science out of the lab and into the streets!

Genomic replication and repair

Genome integrity is central to maintaining cellular and organismal identity and preventing the development of diseases including cancer. Although early studies focused on DNA polymerase fidelity and DNA repair mechanisms, it has become clear that many other events contribute to genome maintenance. For example, the replication fork not only replicates the DNA but also coordinates many other functions required for genome stability.

Glycans that regulate cell signaling

A large body of evidence has demonstrated that post-translational modification of proteins by individual sugars or glycans composed of many sugars modulates key properties of glycoproteins. No post-translational modification is better suited for increasing functional diversity of proteins than glycosylation. During this program, the focus will be on how the nontemplate-driven addition of sugars to key proteins plays a critical regulatory role in modulating mammalian signal transduction and how aberrant glycosylation causes a variety of developmental diseases and promotes cancer progression.

Transitions: We all go through them

No matter where you are today — student, postdoc, just starting out in your professional career or well into your chosen career path — sometime in the future, you’ll be facing the prospect of a change. This could come about because you’re moving on to the next step in your career or because you decide it’s time to change direction. With change comes transition, the experience of moving from one situation to another, which can be exhilarating or challenging — and often both at the same time.

Health disparities in breast cancer

At least five subtypes of breast cancer have been identified on the basis of their patterns of biomarker expression. Triple-negative breast cancer, or TNBC, is defined as breast epithelial cancer cells that lack the HER-2/neu receptor, the estrogen receptor and the progesterone receptor. TNBC patients have a high mortality rate, and, while breast cancer occurs in all races, the rate of TNBC is higher in black women.

Workshop: computational tools
for assigning enzymatic functions

As of July, the nonredundant TrEMBL protein database contained 23,165,610 nonredundant sequences; a conservative estimate is that one half of these proteins have unknown, uncertain or incorrect functional annotations. Without correct annotations, the unlimited potential for medicine, chemistry and industry that could be obtained from functional and mechanistic understanding of nature’s complete repertoire of enzymes and metabolic pathways cannot be realized. The Enzyme Function Initiative is devising an integrated sequence/structure based strategy for predicting and assigning functions to previously unknown enzymes discovered in genome projects to meet this challenge.

Mechanisms of signal transduction

How do cells select and translate myriad signals into specific biological responses? Understanding the full complexity of signal transduction is essential to understanding the many contexts for altered signaling, such as pathophysiological conditions related to stress or the development of cancer. Sessions within this broad theme will cover new findings in autophagy signaling, protein kinases and phosphatases, G-protein–coupled receptor signaling and mechanisms of cell-signaling specificity in cell fate.


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