AHR Conference 2016
The aryl hydrocarbon Receptor as a Central Mediator of Health and Disease
August 3-6, 2016
Rochester, NY USA
The AHR 2016 Symposium in Rochester, NY (USA) will bring together world-class scientists and trainees from around the world in an integrated program to share cutting-edge information about the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in health and disease, and to discuss and explore the many remaining open questions in our understanding of the biological role of the AHR. Topics will span organ systems and disease models, and will include up-to-date thinking about how the AHR, and its many ligands, are relevant to public and environmental health, toxicology, pharmacology, and the fundamental development and function of many organ systems and cell types.
The AHR has long been recognized as a ligand-activated transcription factor responsible for the induction of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes; a role that was established long before the first report of its sequence was published. Much of the early attention given to this receptor focused on anthropogenic ligands, many of which are known or suspected carcinogens, and on the role that its best studied gene targets, the members of the CYP1 family of enzymes, play in toxic responses and carcinogenic activation. Through this work, it has become widely accepted that the AHR is the primary mediator of the toxic effects of many persistent environmental contaminants, including dioxins and innumerable halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ligands. Yet, more recently, other functions of this fascinating protein have been recognized, and it is becoming clear that the AHR functions in pathways outside of its initially discovered role in metabolic enzyme induction and toxicant metabolism.
The emerging diversity of pathways implicates the AHR in the regulation of multiple developmental and homeostatic biological processes, such as immune responses, growth factor and hormone signaling, cell cycle progression, oxidative stress, inflammation, differentiation, development, and apoptosis. Literally hundreds of genes have been shown to be regulated, either directly or indirectly, by the AHR, and some of the underlying regulatory mechanisms may involve the interaction of the AHR with other cellular effectors. In parallel with the expanding repertoire of signaling pathways controlled by AHR, the spectrum of ligands has increased. In addition to certain types of common pollutants, AHR ligands include some pharmaceuticals and other synthetic compounds, as well as naturally derived compounds that are either taken in (e.g., in foods) or synthesized in vivo by endogenous cells or by colonizing microorganisms. In short, it has become evident that the AHR is a key environmental sensor that drives the biological outcome resulting from the molecular dialogue established between genes and the environment. Yet, many uncertainties remain with regard to how AHR carries out these functions.
The conference venue will provide opportunities for all who attend to participare in formal and informal discussions about the emerging science of the AHR. To create a vibrant and exiting meeting, in which a mixture of published and unpublished discoveries are presented and discussed, some of the talks will be derived from submitted abstracts. To facilitate integration of the field, there will be no parallel sessions, and there will be ample time for informal discussion among meeting attendees and invited speakers.
"Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1R13ES026862-01 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government."