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  UPCOMING EVENTS   about the Conference        
Date: 18 - 21 March 2012

Level 2, Auditorium, Matrix. 30 Biopolis Street, Biopolis, Singapore.

Host: Philip INGHAM
ORGANISER: Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Title: Hedgehog Signalling in Development, Evolution and Disease

Hedgehog (HH) proteins constitute one of a small number of families of secreted signals that play a central role in the development of metazoans. First discovered in Drosophila, research over the past 15 years has unveiled the key role played by Hh signaling in human development and disease. The aim of this meeting, which will be the latest in a series initiated in 2002, is to bring together the leading researchers in the HH field to present their most recent findings and exchange ideas. The choice of Singapore as a venue was endorsed at the last, EMBO-sponsored, HH meeting held near Nice in 2010 and reflects the growing presence of Singapore on the world scientific stage as well as the desire of the US/European community to engage more closely with the growing number of HH researchers based in Asia and Australia.

Genetic analyses in flies, fish and mice have uncovered the major components of the pathway that transduce HH signals and recent genome sequence projects have provided clues about its evolutionary origins. Dysfunction of the pathway results in severe developmental defects and is associated with a number of different types of human cancer.  An intriguing feature of HH signalling is the byzantine biochemical nature of the pathway: the coupling of the HH ligand to cholesterol; the role of a large multipass–transmembrane transporter-like protein, Patched (PTC), as the ligand receptor; the lack of physical interaction between HH or PTC and the signal transducer, Smoothened, a member of the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily; and the crucial role of the primary cilium in the transduction of the HH signal in vertebrate cells. Reflecting this, the mechanism of HH signal propagation and transduction will form a major focus of the meeting; in addition, sessions devoted to the developmental roles of HH, the evolutionary origins of the pathway, its involvement in human diseases and its importance as a therapeutic target will provide a well rounded and comprehensive survey of the field, which will be of value both to the HH aficionados and to the many newcomers to the field that we expect to welcome to Singapore.

Please visit the conference website at for more details.


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