ASMB 2021 e-Symposia - Join Us On-line!

All webinars begin at 11:00am EDT. 
Abstract submission for 2021 e-Symposia now OPEN!

Deadline for Fibroblast abstract submission is Friday, January 29.

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February 11

Fibroblast Cell Phenotypic Changes in Development and Disease

Guest Chair: Morgan Salmon, University of Michigan

For many years, I focused my investigations on the phenotypic transitions of smooth muscle cells in both atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm formation with minimal thought toward the importance of adventitial fibroblasts to these processes. However, lineage tracing of smooth muscle cells during aortic aneurysm diseases and tracking their migration into the adventitia began to demonstrate the importance of the adventitia to aneurysm formation. These studies and my attendance at the ASMB Fibroblast workshop at the University of Virginia further emphasized the importance of the phenotypic transitions of fibroblasts in development and diseases and the  need to develop several different lineage tracing mouse models to investigate these mechanisms in diseases due to cell marker overlap with other cell types. I feel that the cellular changes the fibroblasts undergo in the adventitia during diseases like aortic aneurysm formation are just as important as the cellular changes in cells historically emphasized as key players in these diseases, such as the smooth muscle cells in aortic aneurysm formation and, lineage studies to investigate these models would help to elucidate novel fibroblast phenotypic changes in various diseases. The goal of this workshop is to highlight novel research in the field of fibroblast cell phenotypic changes in development and disease, especially using novel mouse models to investigate these changes. Another goal of this workshop is to help promote the importance of looking at fibroblast cellular "phenotypic" changes and the other possible markers fibroblasts can express in response to their environment and, specifically, in response to the surrounding matrix.  Finally, I hope to use this workshop as a venue to encourage future collaborations for scientists in the study of fibroblasts and their changes in response to environmental cues during development or disease.

Register for FEBRUARY 11

March 11

Matrix Math: Computational Modeling of the ECM

Guest Chair: William Richardson, Clemson University

Signaling pathway crosstalk, dynamic multicellular interactions, bidirectional cell-matrix feedback loops, oh my! It is becoming more apparent that understanding matrix biology relies on our ability to integrate multifaceted processes that operate across complex, interconnected systems. To that end, many research groups are developing computational modeling approaches to help grapple with these system-level complexities in order to elucidate biological regulation and identify novel therapeutic interventions. Such groups have made exciting advances across spatial scales (from molecular-level matrix binding events to organ-level matrix performance), across temporal scales (from millisecond-long biochemical reactions to years-long chronic in vivo remodeling), and across the gamut of ECM processes (signaling, expression, assembly, maturation, degradation, etc.). In this "Matrix Math" e-Symposium, we will host cutting-edge talks that utilize computational tools for understanding extracellular matrix regulation.

April 8

Growth factor regulation by extracellular matrices

Guest Chair: Dirk Hubmacher, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The extracellular matrix (ECM) represents a dynamic and instructive microenvironment enabling resident cells to quickly sense and respond to physiological or environmental cues. One mode of ECM-to-cell communication is through the modulation of growth factor signaling. To achieve that, the ECM can provide a reservoir for latent growth factors to allow for rapid growth factor activation in response to external stimuli. The ECM can also modulate the strength or duration of growth factor signals at the level of the growth factor - growth factor receptor interaction. In tissue engineering, tethering active growth factors to engineered ECMs is an important aspect in recreating the physiological microenvironment for stem cells or to home endogenous tissue-resident cell types. Finally, dysregulation of growth factor signaling is often observed in inherited or acquired connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome or fibrosis. This ASMB eSymposium will explore molecular aspects of the regulation of ECM-mediated signaling pathways and the response elicited on a cellular, tissue, or organismal level. Submission of abstracts from PhD students, postdocs, and junior faculty is highly encouraged.

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