Keystone Symposia

This meeting took place in 2018

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Natural Products and Synthetic Biology: Parts and Pathways (J1)

Organizer(s) Jon Clardy, Yi Tang and Sean F. Brady
January 21—24, 2018
Resort at Squaw Creek • Olympic Valley, CA USA
Discounted Abstract Deadline: Sep 25, 2017
Abstract Deadline: Oct 23, 2017
Scholarship Deadline: Sep 25, 2017
Discounted Registration Deadline: Nov 21, 2017

Sponsored by Merck & Co., Inc.

Summary of Meeting:
Natural products, the structurally diverse family of small molecules produced by living organisms in an idiosyncratic fashion, have provided the basis for the majority of our therapeutic agents used to treat infectious diseases, cancer and immune disorders. Whole genome sequencing of producing organisms, especially bacteria and fungi, reveals that we have discovered only a fraction of these biosynthetically derived small molecules; a substantial fraction of natural product chemical space still represents “dark matter” (i.e., molecules predicted by bioinformatics analysis that have yet to be observed experimentally). Diversity springs from variations in genetically encoded biosynthetic enzymes, environmental stimuli that regulate expression of these genes and the inherent combinatorial expansion resulting from multi-enzyme biosynthetic pathways. Closing this gap between our current inventory and the genomic potential has become an important goal for basic and applied science; synthetic biology coupled with bioinformatic analysis has become the primary research tool for this effort. Bioinformatic mining continues to reveal the enzymes and pathways that nature uses, and synthetic biology has begun to reassemble or refactor these pathways to produce known and unknown products in new hosts. This conference brings together researchers in fields ranging from microbiology to botany, bioinformatics, gene synthesis and assembly, covering the spectrum from basic to industrial applications.

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National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Scholarship Recipients

John Kilpatrick Brunson
University of California, San Diego, USA

Pranatchareeya Chankhamjon
Princeton University, USA

Jack G. Ganley
Duke University, USA

Jennifer Kan
California Institute of Technology, USA

Roland D. Kersten
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Melanie-Maria Gisela Obermeier
Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Austria

Joanna Tannous
University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA