Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Nature And La Fondation Ipsen Launch An Annual Series Of Scientific Meetings On Biological Complexity, The First Focusing On 'Diseases Of Transcription' (11 To 14 January 2007, La Jolla, Ca.)

PARIS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- La Fondation Ipsen has announced the launch of a new annual series of conferences on the topic of biological complexity, in partnership with Nature and The Salk Institute. The first symposium will take place at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California from 11 to 14 January 2007 and will deal with diseases of transcription, i.e. role of transcription and transcription factors in normal and pathological biological mechanisms. Pr. Roger Kornberg, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will be one of the speakers at the symposium.

Recent developments in molecular biology, in which biological pathways are analyzed in a detailed manner, have enabled many of the processes inherent in living organisms to be more fully characterised. Sometimes deemed "reductionist," this approach has elucidated the extreme complexity of living mechanisms down to the level of a single cell.

Understanding biological complexity is a real scientific challenge, both for fundamental research and its progress, as well as the development of new therapies. With this in mind, La Fondation Ipsen has set up a new series of annual meetings entirely dedicated to the theme of biological complexity. For this purpose, La Fondation Ipsen has joined forces with two international groups, Nature, renowned scientific review for decades, and The Salk Institute, a research institute of excellence.

The Organising Committee for the event, composed of Ron Evans (Salk Institute, San Diego), Beatrice Renault (Nature Publishing Group, New York), Inder Verma (Salk Institute, San Diego) and Yves Christen (La Fondation Ipsen, Paris), has chosen a very topical issue for the event: the role of transcription (the synthesis of messenger RNA from DNA) and transcription factors in normal and diseased biological mechanisms. Genes code for an organism's proteins and do not express themselves in all cells at all times, but rather in very specific sequences. If the differences between genes due to mutations are significant, the differences in gene expression will be equally significant. This area of knowledge has escalated following a number of pioneering discoveries, such as the isolation and characterisation of Pol II transcription factors and the understanding that translation and transcription are the molecular foundation for physiological mechanisms and their regulation. Genome "dynamics" subsequently led to the discovery of the link between transcription and diseases, in that the mechanisms controlling gene expression have been shown to be involved in cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases (like the metabolic syndrome), for instance.

This research was at the core of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry being awarded to one of the pioneers in the field, Pr. Roger Kornberg, who will be speaking at the symposium.

La Fondation Ipsen

Established in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the mission of La Fondation Ipsen is to contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Its mission is to durably encourage interaction between research scientists and clinicians. The ambition of La Fondation Ipsen is to trigger debate on major scientific challenges for years to come. It has developed an important international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at meetings known as 'Colloques Medecine et Recherche'. Seven main themes are treated: Alzheimer's disease, neurosciences, longevity, endocrinology, the vascular tree, oncology and biological complexity. Since its beginning, La Fondation Ipsen has organised more than 60 international conferences, published 65 volumes with renowned publishers and 190 issues of 'Alzheimer Actualites'. It has also awarded dozens of prizes and grants.

For further information, please contact: Catherine Jones Brunswick Group Telephone: +1-212-333-3810 Email:

La Fondation Ipsen

CONTACT: Catherine Jones of Brunswick Group, +1-212-333-3810,

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