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UCC Academic Chairs US Science Conference
Professor Rosemary O'Connor, UCC Department of Biochemistry and Director of the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology, is the Chair of this year’s Gordon Research Conference on “Insulin-like Growth Factors in Physiology and Disease”, in Ventura, California, which will run from February 27th until March 3rd.
Professor O'Connor was elected by her peers to be responsible for the scientific content of the conference, as well as the selection of all speakers, discussion leaders, and attendees. The Gordon Research Conferences were initiated in the USA in the 1920s to promote free exchange of ideas at the frontiers of the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, providing a forum where scientists with significant accomplishments and common interests come together for a week of intense formal and informal discussion of the most important developments in their field. Over the years they have become synonymous with scientific excellence. They are unique in that each member of the conference agrees to participate actively in discussions and to consider all presentations as private. This allows an unrestricted exchange of ideas that fosters new interactions and can lead to major scientific progress. At this conference, scientists from academia and industry will discuss how Insulin-like Growth Factors control normal body growth and ageing, maintain the nervous system, and can also promote tumour growth. Insulin-like Growth Factors are used as drugs to treat short stature and are being tested for their potential to promote tissue repair. Several new anti-cancer drugs that inhibit this system are currently in clinical testing. According to Professor O’Connor, “It’s been an honour and very exciting to assemble the programme for this conference and to interact with scientists from 16 different countries who are engaged in ground-breaking research.”