Gordon Research Conference "Tissues Niches & Resident Stem Cells in Adult Epithelia" - August 7-13, 2016, Hong Kong, China
Adult epithelia regenerate during adult life due to the constant activity of stem cell pools. Stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis and repair injury by close communication with their tissue environment, known as "niche". Niches are complex, structured arrays of different cell types that guide tissue stem cell dynamics. The ultimate goal of understanding epithelial stem cell regulation is to repair or replace cells or organs damaged by injury, disease, and aging. The strategies vary from generating cell types and tissues in a dish for transplantation purposes, to directly stimulating the damaged organ in the living organism. This field has been exponentially growing for the past decade. Tissues such as human skin and cornea have already been grown in 3D cultured and used in clinics to fight otherwise incurable medical conditions. The GRC "Tissue Niches and Resident Stem Cells in Adult Epithelia” will focus on comparative principles of adult epithelial stem cell dynamics and niche signaling in the homeostasis of different tissues. This conference will include work on the molecular control of stem cell function from the epidermis and its appendages, intestine, lung, mammary gland, cornea and retina, epithelial transition zones, and emerging work from other epithelial tissues. All model organisms are welcome. We strongly believe in being inclusive, and hope to inspire a principle of alternating speakers that will allow a variety of participants to contribute to this exciting meeting over the coming years.