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Meeting Reports


The success of meetings at the Banbury Center is due in large measure to the small number of participants. This encourages participants to speak up in ways that they might be reluctant to do in a larger setting. Such critical discussions lead to a clearer understanding of the issues at hand. In addition, the stated Banbury policy of not publishing detailed reports or proceedings of our meetings also promotes open and frank discussions. However, this means that the outcome of a Banbury meeting is accessible only to the invited participants.

We have now decided to provide information online so that more people can benefit from Banbury Center meetings. This information will include the rationale for holding the meeting and a description of what transpired, a list of participants, and an abridged version of the  program. This section of the website will be called “Banbury Reports” in acknowledgement of the printed series of that name which was published between 1979 and 1991.

Better cancer therapy from redox biology

April 10-13, 2017

This Banbury meeting on redox biology centered on the complexity of redox regulation in the context of cancer biochemistry and therapy. Specifically, the meeting aimed to explore ROS genesis and metabolism in cancer cells, as well as the “productive” and “destructive” signal transduction by free radicals through the oxidation of intermediates such as protein encoded cysteine and methionine residues.

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Evolution of the Translational Apparatus and Implication for the Origin of the Genetic Code

November 13-16, 2016

Leading researchers involved in the translational system came together to discuss the Origin of the Genetic Code and the evolution of the Translational Apparatus. The meeting began with a review of the structure, function and evolution of the ribosome.

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Can We Make Animal Models of Human Mental Illness? A Critical Review

August 21-23, 2016

The use of animal models in studies of psychiatric disorders is increasingly controversial. Arguments for their use note that while imperfect, they are indispensable for research; those against argue that because they are imperfect, they are at best inadequate and at worst misleading. Participants in this Banbury meeting critically reviewed opportunities and limitations with the current state of animal models in this field.

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Studying the Genomic Variation that Underlies Health and Disease: The Unique Contribution of the Nordic Health Systems

February 16-19, 2016

Understanding the relationship between variations in the genome and the phenotypic consequences of those variations is essential if genome information is to be used to improve the health of individuals. But some variations are very rare and it requires the study of very large numbers of individuals to be able to make these correlations. It also requires having detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the health history of the individuals. The healthcare systems of the Nordic countries have these histories and are already making a contribution to studies of genomic variation and health. However, the power of these studies would be increased if  studies could be made using all the data. Participants in this meeting discussed the logistic, ethical, legal and political challenges facing combining health care records across the countries for such studies.

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Preventing BRCA-related Cancer: a Think Tank for Innovative Strategies, Milestone Objectives and Research Priorities 

November 11-13, 2015

Inherited mutations in the BRCA genes are the most prominent of the inherited cancer genes, a carrier of a BRCA mutation having a vastly increased risk of not only one but several types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and skin cancers. We have an opportunity to develop new preventative approaches because we know underlying gene mutations leading to inherited BRCA cancers. This conference was organized to take advantage of our ability to identify carries of BRCA mutations and to focus research on stopping cancer before it starts.

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Therapeutic use of ketamine for treating severe depression: Risks and potential

September 20-22, 2015

Ketamine is purported to be the only truly new and effective therapy discovered for depression in the past 50 years. As Charney, Krystal and colleagues demonstrated two decades ago, people who are severely depressed and often suicidal, respond rapidly to the common anesthetic, reporting dramatic mood changes within minutes. The benefits can last for several weeks, giving other standard therapies the opportunity to take effect.

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Rhabdomyosarcoma. A Critical Review of Research & Implications for Developing Therapies 

May 13-16, 2014

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma of childhood, but despite four decades of advances in chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, the outcome for metastatic or relapsed disease is particularly poor. Why is this? What are the biological characteristics of these recurring tumors? Can these characteristics be exploited for new therapies?

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