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Web Desc
Molecular Control of Adipogenesis and Obesity
joint with Diabetes Mellitus: Molecular Signaling, Genes and Therapeutics
Organizer(s): Stephen R. Farmer and Sheila Collins
Date: March 04 - 10, 2004
Location: Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, AB, Canada
Sponsored by Abbott Laboratories and Biovitrum AB
Summary of Meeting:
The focus of this conference is on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the formation and function of adipose tissue as well as understanding how various physiologic processes acting through adipose tissue regulate metabolism and energy homeostasis. This is a very timely conference since there has been an alarming increase in obesity and its associated disorders (most notably type 2 diabetes) throughout the United States and the Western World during the last 10 years. It is clear now that obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. From 1991 to 2000, there was a 61% increase in obesity and 49% increase in type 2 diabetes among adults of both genders. The most exciting current research in this field includes: 1. Identification of the adipocyte as an endocrine cell which acts at the center of a complex physiologic process to control overall metabolism and energy balance by secreting hormones, cytokines and other peptides that regulate functions in the hypothalamus, muscle and liver. 2. Characterization of adipocyte-specific secreted proteins such as adiponectin that act on the liver and muscle to sensitize these tissues to insulin. 3. Continued on-going research on leptin - defining its mechanism of action within the brain and in the periphery. 4. The role of circulating fatty acids and their accumulation in peripheral tissues such as liver and muscle where they contribute to the insulin resistance observed in these tissues in obese individuals. 5. Identification and characterization of the signaling pathways and transcription factors that regulate the formation of adipose tissue (adipogenesis) and thermogenesis in adipocytes and muscle cells. 6. Elucidation of the role of nuclear hormone receptors and their associated cofactors in regulating glucose and lipid homeostasis. In addition, several of these receptors are targets for drug discovery to combat obesity and to sensitize individuals to insulin. This is most elegantly illustrated by the elucidation of the mechanism of action of the thiazolidinedione family of insulin sensitizers, which are ligands for PPAR gamma (the master regulator of adipogenesis). Some of the major problems are: Understanding the contribution of genetics versus the environment and life style to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Awaiting bioinformatics from the genome and proteome progects to help elucidate some of these problems. A further understanding of the integration of insulin-responsive tissues in regulating metabolism and energy balance. To identify new hormones and peptides that mediate the signaling processes among these different tissues. To determine why visceral fat depots are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in obese individuals. The goal of this meeting is to bring together experts in the listed areas of research to present their lastest results so that the obesity and diabetes research community can integrate this information with their own observations to begin to understand the underlying cause of obesity and its related disorders. This meeting is strengthened by the fact that it is a joint meeting with Diabetes Mellitus: Molecular Mechanisms, Genetics and New Therapies, which will facilitate an even greater interaction across additional fields of expertise.
Discounted Abstract Deadline: November 3 2003
Discounted Registration Deadline: January 5 2004
We gratefully acknowledge additional support for this conference from:

Abbott Laboratories
Biovitrum AB
TestDiet division Purina Mills LLC
We gratefully acknowledge the generous grant for this conference provided by:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Grant No. 1R13DK067025-01
We appreciate the organizations that provide Keystone Symposia with additional support, such as marketing and advertising:

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Special thanks to the following for their support of Keystone Symposia initiatives to increase participation at this meeting by scientists from underrepresented backgrounds:

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