The Symposium on Mechanisms of Cell Death, entitled 'Cell Maintenance and Cell Death", will be co-organized and co-hosted by the International Cell Death Society, a non-profit scientific organization based in NY, USA. The meeting is an example of the society' s efforts to help promote interaction and collaboration among scientists working in various subspecialty fields of apoptosis. This is the first European edition of the meeting, scheduled in a year in which there are no regular dedicated meetings on apoptosis (the Keystone, Gordon, and CSHL meetings in the USA), and will be the main occasion for cell death scientists to meet and discuss recent developments in this rapidly advancing field. Scientists from many research backgrounds will examine cell death in a multidisciplinary fashion, with interaction among neurologists, immunologists, developmental biologists, oncologists, and gerontologists from American and European groups.
Broad topics such as cell death in aging and development, which are often not addressed in limited-focus meetings, will be addressed specifically and in the context of three currently important topics in the field: intracellular localization and translocation of molecules that affect apoptosis, autophagocytosis, and phagocytosis. Focus is on the concept that cells live perpetually amid signals encouraging maintenance, proliferation, or death, and that effective communication of this information determines cell fate. The impact of failure in disease situations will be emphasized, and individual sessions will draw parallels among signalling mechanisms in diverse tissues such as thymocytes, neurons, malignant cells, and cells under the control of viral genes. The approach focuses on processes, asking participants to consider common elements and to note how emphases differ e.g. the distinction between dependence on substratum for a normally sedentary cell and on soluble growth factors for a migratory cell.