Public Release: 

Protein folding in the cell

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Bethesda, MD - Proper cell function requires proper protein folding. Misfolding of specific proteins, caused either by mutation or environmental stress, underlies many human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's disease. Protein folding has been studied for decades in the test tube, and while this approach continues to aid our understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical forces that govern folding, there has been a concomitant and growing appreciation that the cellular environment presents unique challenges - as well as unique support systems - that cannot be easily captured in test tube folding experiments. Understanding how proteins fold and misfold, and defining the mechanism of action of the cellular protein quality control machinery, are major goals in the quest to understand how to keep cells healthy, and how to correct diseased cells.

This SRC is devoted to bridging the gap between understanding how proteins fold and the consequences for the cell should they misfold. The conference serves as a highly successful model for an interdisciplinary gathering that is rapidly pushing forward a frontier of scientific research, that is developing a scientific workforce trained at interfaces between classical disciplines, and that is leading to the development of new insights and therapeutic strategies to abrogate human diseases related to protein misfolding. The overall goals of the conference are to: (1) Facilitate new collaborations amongst scientists in diverse disciplines who study protein folding; (2) Stimulate new scientific directions by exposing investigators to emerging concepts and technologies; (3) Develop new approaches to identify and treat diseases arising from defects in protein conformation; and (4) Enhance opportunities for women, members of underrepresented minorities, and younger scientists to succeed and contribute to the field.

FASEB has announced a total of 36 Science Research Conferences (SRC) in 2016. Registration opens January 7, 2016. For more information about an SRC, view preliminary programs, or find a listing of all our 2016 SRCs, please visit


Since 1982, FASEB SRC has offered a continuing series of inter-disciplinary exchanges that are recognized as a valuable complement to the highly successful society meetings. Divided into small groups, scientists from around the world meet intimately and without distractions to explore new approaches to those research areas undergoing rapid scientific changes. In efforts to expand the SRC series, potential organizers are encouraged to contact SRC staff at Proposal guidelines can be found at

FASEB is composed of 30 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

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