FRAXA Investigators Meeting and Fragile X Gordon Conferences

Two biannual meeting series alternate to provide focused discussion of the latest advances in Fragile X research and related disorders, notably autism. FRAXA hosts Investigators Meetings in fall 2013, 1015, etc., and the Gordon Conferences take place in the summers of even years, 2014, 2016, and so forth.

2013 FRAXA Investigators Meeting: Treatment Strategies for Fragile X

The 2013 FRAXA meeting took place September 29-October 2 at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center in Southbridge, MA.  Three days packed with presentations of new information by researchers funded by FRAXA as well as others in the field, from universities around the world.  Scientists from nine pharmaceutical companies were there, with most presenting information about their investigational new drugs.  Between presentations and posters, participants discussed, debated, and formed new collaborations.

Because scientists present new unpublished data at meetings such as this one, much of the information presented is confidential.  Top scientific journals refuse to publish information that has already been published elsewhere.  However there were some highlights to report:

Margaret King accepted the FRAXA Pioneer Award on behalf of Dr. Richard Jope, at the 2013 FRAXA Investigators Meeting
Margaret King, PhD, accepted the FRAXA Pioneer Award on behalf of Dr. Richard Jope of the University of Alabama
Dr. Tori Shaeffer and Dr. Craig Erickson, both of the University of Indiana
Drs. Randi Hagerman, Irina Ethell, and Sean McBride
Dr. Daniela Neuhofer won the 2013 FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow of the Year Award
Dr. Gary Bassell and Dr. Aditi Bhattacharya

Awards

Richard Jope, PhD, won the 2013 FRAXA Pioneer Award for two new papers from demonstrating the potential of GSK3 inhibitors, including the available drug, lithium, to reverse learning deficits in fragile X.  More here

Daniela Neuhofer, PhD, won the 2013 FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow of the Year Award for her work on the endocannabinoid system in Fragile X, in the laboratory of Dr. Olivier Manzoni Manzoni page

THANK YOU to our Meeting Sponsors

LEADERSHIP ($20,000) --- The Zorović Family

UNDERWRITER ($10,000) --- Kathy and Ted Truscott, Leslie and Trevor Eddy

BENEFACTOR ($5,000) --- Alcobra Pharmaceuticals

SUPPORTER ($1,000+) --- Autism Science Foundation, Sage Pharmaceuticals

An educational grant from Genentech provided support for brochures and other materials provided at the meeting.
The meeting was excellent from a scientific viewpoint, like others I have attended in the past, but this was completely different.

While at the meeting, I came to understand that we were all there not to show our colleagues how good we are at science. We were there because we have an opportunity to contribute to something very important for all the people who face FXS every day.

It was moving to meet a father who was there to hear hope for his son!

Gordon Conference in Fragile X and Autism-related Disorders

Gordon Research Conferences provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. The Gordon conferences in Fragile X and Autsim are held in even years (2012, 2014, etc.) and FRAXA Investigators Meetings are planned bi-annually in 2013, 2015, etc.

June 1-6, 2014 Mount Snow Resort West Dover, VT Chair: Jennifer C. Darnell and Vice Chair: Michael R. Tranfaglia

Immediately preceeding each Gordon Research Conferences will be a bi-annual Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Fragile X and Autism. This is a forum for graduate students and post-docs to present and discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. The small size and focus on young investigators provide an ideal interactive and welcoming atmosphere.

The 2014 Gordon Research Seminar

May 31 - June 1, 2014 Mount Snow Resort West Dover, VT Chair: Aditi Bhattacharya

More details about the 2014 conferences at the Gordon Conferences website

Applications for this Gordon Conference must be submitted by May 4, 2014. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline.