Public Release: 

Trace elements in biology and medicine

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Bethesda, MD - Metalloproteins represent ~30% of the proteins encoded in the human genome that provide essential, non-redundant functions. Deficiency in one of these proteins is commonly associated with a clinically-manifested pathology. Metals such as Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn and Se are essential to the virulence of human (and plant) microbial pathogens. Delineation of physiologic homeostasis in humans and in the flora and fauna upon which we rely requires understanding of the mechanisms underlying metal absorption and trafficking. Interest in metals in biology and medicine has intensified in recent years given the role that metals such as Fe and Cu play in neurodegenerative disorders and in the virulence of human pathogens. The intent of this meeting is to bring together the investigators and their trainees who are working at the fore-front of trace metals in biology and medicine using techniques ranging from floxed mice to micro-X-ray fluorescence imaging.

The SRC will open with a session on "Metals in Human Disease" highlighting a keynote address from Ray Burk (Vanderbilt University), "Selenium Trafficking at the Blood-Brain Barrier and Neurodegeneration." Examples of other sessions are: "Metals in the Biosphere"; "Metalloregulation"; "Metal Imaging, Quantification and Speciation"; " "Metal Ion Transporters"; and "Metals in Protein Aggregation and Neurodegeneration." The Conference closes with a second keynote session on the topic of "Metals and Pathogenesis", with Shelley Paine (UT-Austin) presenting her work on iron in the virulence of Shigella and Vibrio.

All sessions will include short talks based on abstracts submitted to the conference; the organizers will make a strong effort to target new investigators and trainees in making these invitations. In addition, morning "Poster Blitz" platform presentations will summarize in 3 min talks highlights of the Poster Session that will be offered that afternoon. A primary objective of the four organizers is to ensure the full participation of all conferees including those who will become the core of Trace Elements investigators in the next few decades.

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.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.