6th ORFeome Meeting: ORFeomes & Systems (ORFeome Meeting)

Venue: The Conference Center at Harvard Med

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Event Date/Time: Nov 15, 2006 End Date/Time: Nov 18, 2006
Registration Date: Nov 15, 2006
Early Registration Date: Nov 01, 2006
Abstract Submission Date: Nov 01, 2006
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The annual ORFeome meeting provides an intimate venue to foster open scientific exchange between researchers whose mutual interests focus on global approaches to the study of molecular processes in biological systems. Bringing together leading innovators in functional genomic technologies, experimental applications, bioinformatics, and network theory to discuss challenges and share cutting-edge developments in these areas, the meeting serves as a nexus for cross-fertilization of ideas and stimulation of new collaborative efforts between individuals and groups with complementary realms of expertise. The ORFeome meeting, which originated as an informal gathering to bring together collaborators involved in developing ORFeome and yeast two-hybrid projects for C. elegans biology, has evolved substantially alongside the scientific maturation of the field. While maintaining both the relaxed, easy-going atmosphere intrinsic to the success of the first few gatherings, as well as its original focus on technology and resource development, the ORFeome meeting has now evolved into an exciting and dynamic forum to exchange ideas and progress on the most current experimental and theoretical approaches, and the results obtained to gain insight into biological processes as interconnected functional modules, integrated networks, and global systems. Through the development of improved methods to model the organization and dynamics of molecular systems, and to translate knowledge about model organisms to human biology, these collective efforts are transforming how we think about biological processes and are leading the way toward a new integrative approach to biological research and medicine.
The availability of the human genome sequence and those of many other organisms has enabled the development of experimental and computational approaches aimed at providing different types of functional information for vast numbers of genes at once. Successful genome-scale projects must surmount many technical and conceptual hurdles, and they ultimately produce large volumes of data. Consequently, scientists now face the significant challenges of effectively integrating the body of rapidly accumulating data into models of biological processes based on a new understanding of molecular networks, and of translating the results into practical knowledge that can be used to benefit human health. The ORFeome meeting provides a venue for cutting-edge researchers engaged in such efforts to share progress and exchange ideas in addressing these challenges.
While the scientific community has made significant strides over the past years, many questions remain unanswered at the level of our molecular understanding of cancer. It is now becoming increasingly accepted that cancer, and perhaps many other diseases, should be viewed in the context of complex networks and that “traditional research” that focuses on tumor biology using one-gene-at-a-time approaches should thus be combined with more integrative or systems biology approaches. The ability to systematically study genes, gene products and cellular processes in parallel and in combination will be required to unravel the networks that underlie these complex processes.

The recent sequencing of the human genome has created tremendous opportunities and has led to new scientific approaches and tools for understanding the function of both healthy human molecular systems and their associated diseases, including cancer. Technically, the human genome sequence has enabled laboratories to conduct large-scale, high-throughput testing and profiling. Conceptually, it has enabled scientists to think more ambitiously and broadly, to consider experiments on a genome-wide scale, and to gain more global insight into the organism as a system. However, these opportunities come with a new set of challenges.

The daunting challenges to the emerging field of genome-scale experimental science and systems biology include: engineering and logistics of performing many experiments in parallel, establishing experimental design principles that maximize derived information content given limited physical and monetary resources, establishment of technology and reagent resources that optimize sharing and dissemination, interpreting experimental results in the context of other systems-level experiments, standardization of experimental design, data-sharing that allows comparisons between groups and across technology platforms and model systems, and development of new technologies that enable new kinds of systems-level measurements. Solutions to these problems not only require nurturing and encouragement of an emerging interdisciplinary research community, but also a forum that foments communication within this community. This forum must cross the boundaries by which meetings are typically organized—e.g. particular model organisms or biological processes—while remaining small enough to focus on the challenges (and solutions) inherent to a systems biology approach.

In an effort to provide a forum for bringing together different but complementary disciplines and foster collaborations, The Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) hosts an annual scientific meeting, The ORFeome Meeting, that is devoted to recent developments in generating and using large-scale resource collections (e.g. cloned open reading frames, or ORFs), with particular emphasis on interactome mapping, analysis of networks, and systems approaches to understanding biological entities.

Although different definitions of systems biology exist today, the purpose of the 6th ORFeome Meeting is unique, as we define systems biology as “the study of systems formed by biological entities and the aberrations in the corresponding networks that result in disease.” Proteins, RNAs and other macromolecules mediate their function in the context of complex networks. Systems biology studies the inherent properties of these networks by integrating large-scale discovery science (functional genomics and proteomics), modeling (computational biology) and hypothesis-driven science based on both discovery and modeling. Importantly, new models of investigation relevant to the systematic analysis of diseases such as cancer and cancer systems are needed.

This systematic and comprehensive analysis will require:
• Development of increasingly complete libraries of cloned genes, including open reading frames (ORFs) as well as regulatory elements in promoter regions and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs).
• Development and implementation of scalable analytical methods.
• Acquisition and development of computational resources for data analysis.
• Continued development of novel technologies to interrogate network properties and perturbations.
The ORFeome Meeting brings together world-class scientists from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia, who have been trained in diverse fields and use a variety of novel approaches to discovery. The Meeting represents an intellectual “hub” that seeks to maximize the interaction and synergy between investigators pursuing genome-based discovery efforts. This year, formal presentations will include discussions of new analytical methods and technologies that will greatly increase the impact of work in genomics, proteomics, and high-throughput biology—for example, developing new algorithms so that scientists can quickly and accurately estimate gene-gene or protein-protein relationships and determine structure in biological pathways; or building software with the increased capacity needed to manipulate large data sets of gene and protein expression levels.
Keynote Speakers are:
Dr. Michael Snyder, a pioneer in the development of genome and proteome-scale tools for functional genomics, chair of the Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Director of the Yale Center for Genomics and Proteomics;
Dr. Robert Waterston, who played a pivotal role in the Human Genome Project and was recently a founder of a new Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington; and
Dr. Brenda Andrews, a pioneer in the application of systematic genetic approaches to study of the cell cycle, Chair of the Banting and Best Dept. of Medical Research and founding Director of a new interdisciplinary Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto.


New Research Building, 77 Louis Pasteur
United States

Additional Information

Fees for the conference are $50 for students and trainees and $100 for Principal Investigators and Staff Scientists in academics and industry. This includes registration and selected meals during the 4 days.