Gordon Research Conference on Macromolecular Organization and Cell Function

NEWS: The 2000 GRC was at the same location, August 6-11, 2000, as is...

the 2002 meeting, August 4-8, 2002

September 13-17, 1998

Queen's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.

Douglas Kell(University of Wales Aberystwyth)
John Wilson (Michigan State University)

Natalie Cohen (University of Southern California)
Hans Westerhoff (Free University, Amsterdam)

[program] [Application] [schedule] [Sponsorship] [projection & posters] [Travel] [Oxford links] [Selected bibliography]

The focus of the conference is on the functional organization of cellular components, and the critical role of this organization in metabolism and its regulation. Initially, much of the attention was directed at enzymes, but this has greatly expanded over the years to include nucleic acids (e.g., targeting of mRNAs, assembly of complexes associated with transcription or translation), membranes, organelles, and delicate structures such as the nuclear matrix and cytoskeleton. Principles governing the assembly of such structures, as well as mechanisms by which these assemblies might be changed in response to altered metabolic or hormonal status, are central issues in this conference. Conference participants have been especially sensitive to the fact that much of this organization may be destroyed, or at least grossly perturbed, when studies are performed in vitro. Thus, a persistent feature in the conference has been the cautious extrapolation of in vitro results to the in vivo condition, as well as development and application of techniques that allow one to study cellular structure and function in vivo. The result has been that this conference traditionally brings together scientists with interests ranging from biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology to theoretical formalisms, quantitative modelling, biophysics, physics, and instrumentation. This truly interdisciplinary nature has consistently led to broad based discussions and interactions which have been rated highly by those in attendance.


Effective in 1997, the Gordon Conferences have adopted a format in which the opening session of the conference is on Sunday evening, followed by morning and evening sessions on Monday-Thursday. This program has been developed following that format. We are planning for four speakers in each morning session, and three speakers in each evening session. Each speaker will be allotted 35 min for his/her talk, followed by 10 min discussion. An additional general discussion period will be scheduled at the end of each session.

All speakers listed below have already accepted invitations to participate in this conference. There will be a designated Discussion Leader for each session. Where these have already been determined, names are indicated; others will be appointed as program development continues.


Cell Structure and Microenvironments

Discussion Leader: Jim Clegg
Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory
Univ. of California-Davis

Evolving Concepts of Cell Structure and the Intracellular Milieu: A Historical Perspective
Jim Clegg
Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory, Univ. of California, Davis
Organization of Cellular Water
Adrian Parsegian
Laboratory of Structural Biology, NIH
Control of Intracellular Transport by the Cytoplasmic Architecture
Kate Luby-Phelps
Dept. of Physiology, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Cellular Mobility and Intracellular Transport

Discussion Leader: Kate Luby-Phelps
Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Axonal Transport
Scott Brady
Dept of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Cytokinesis and Cell Locomotion
Kevin Burton
Science & Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
Imaging Intracellular Trafficking
Thomas Jovin
Dept. of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Inst. For Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen
Cytoskeletal Function in Plant Cells
Mel Schindler
Dept. of Biochemistry, Michigan State Univ.

Molecular Basis for Channeled Metabolism

Discussion Leader: Paul Srere
VA Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Principles of Protein-Protein Interaction
Susan Jones
Dept. of Biochemistry, University College London
Tryptophan Synthase: Allosteric Regulation of Substrate Channeling
Michael Dunn
Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of California-Riverside
Protein-Protein Interaction and the Molecular Mechanism of Substrate Channelling in 2-Oxo Acid Dehydrogenase Complexes
Richard Perham
Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Cambridge

Non-invasive Approaches for Exploring Macromolecular and Cellular Organization

Discussion Leader: Douglas Kell
Institute of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Wales, Aberystwyth

Luminescent Indicator and Reporter Genes
Tony Campbell
Dept. of Medical Biochemistry, Univ. of Wales, Cardiff
Spectroscopic Analysis of Proteins in vivo
Kevin Brindle
Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Cambridge
Detection of Protein-Protein Interactions with the Reverse Two Hybrid System
Marc Vidal
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Univ.
Detection and localization of genes and gene products by fluorescence microcopy in prokaryotes: linking genotype and phenotype?
Nanne Nanninga
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Amsterdam.

Enzyme Organization and Channeled Metabolism

Discussion Leader: Harvey Knull
Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of North Dakota

Protein-Protein Interactions Within the Bcl-2 Family: Importance in the Regulation of Apoptosis.
Caroline Dive
Univ. of Manchester
Structural and Functional Organisation of Polyketide Synthases
Peter F. Leadlay
Univ. of Cambridge
Production and modelling of Krebs TCA cycle enzyme fusions to study the metabolon hypothesis
Christian Vélot
VA Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Organization of Gene Expression

Discussion Leader: Chris Mathews
Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State Univ.

Intracellular Localization of mRNAs
Natalie Cohen
Univ. of Southern California
Nucleosome Assembly
Jerry Workman
Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State Univ.
Nucleotide/DNA Synthesis
Chris Mathews
Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State Univ.
Sensing Stress and Protein Damage by Heat Shock Transcription Factors and Molecular Chaperones
Rick Morimoto
Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern Univ.

Organization and Compartmentation of Glycolysis and Glycogen Metabolism

Discussion Leader: John Wilson
Dept. of Biochemistry, Michigan State Univ.

Discrete Functions of Hexokinase Isozymes
Chris Newgard
Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Glycogen Synthesis
Joan Guinovart
Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Barcelona
Translocation of Glucokinase
Kasim Mookhtiar
Dept. of Metabolic Diseases, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute

Integrative Biology

Discussion Leader: G. Rickey Welch
Univ. Maryland Baltimore County

Genome Functional Analysis in the Post-Genomic Era
Steve Oliver
Dept. of Biomolecular Sciences, Univ. of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology
Hierarchical Control Analysis
Hans Westerhoff
Free Univ., Amsterdam
New Approaches to Defining the Flavonoid Metabolon
Brenda Shirley
Dept. of Biology, Virginia Tech Univ.
Gene Knockouts in Animals
Bé Wieringa
Catholic University of Nijmegen

Organization of Signaling Pathways.

Discussion Leader: Susan Jaken
W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center

Signal Transduction Pathways that Regulate Neuronal Differentiation, Survival, and Adaptive Responses
Michael Greenberg
Div. of Neurosciences, Children's Hospital, Harvard Univ.
Protein Kinase C: Isozymes, Substrates, and Translocation
Susan Jaken
W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center
Neuronal Targeting of Kinase Phosphatase Signaling Complexes
John D. Scott
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vollum Institute


A detailed conference schedule is available here, and may be printed out using your browser. Please note the Queens' College Phone (+44 1865 279120) and Fax (790819) numbers


We thank the following external organizations for financial support:
Ares-Serono Foundation The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) Promega Corporation Novartis Pharma Research
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. Zeneca Pharmaceuticals EG & G Wallac Nycomed Amersham plc.
Bender + Co GmbH Merck Sharp & Dohme Celsis Xenova, Ltd.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute The Wellcome Trust Bio-Rad
National Science Foundation      


To apply for participation in this conference you have to fill in an electronic application form at the G.R.C. site. The G.R.C. will then send you a confirmation of acceptance and a registration form to be sent back with the payment ($720 or $770 if sent after 24 August).

Projection facilities and poster boards

Travel information


The closest international airport to Oxford is Heathrow, but Gatwick also has good links to Oxford. Travelling from both Heathrow or Gatwick to Oxford is most conveniently done by bus: the X70 Citylink bus leaves Heathrow every 30 minutes (£12 return) with a journey time of about 1 hour. From Gatwick the X80 Citylink bus departs every 2 hours (£19 return) and the journey time is 2 hours.

It is also possible to use Birmingham international airport, which is connected to Oxford by railway. Trains to Oxford approximately every hour, journey time roughly 70 minutes. Railtrack has an online rail journey planner.


If you are travelling by train, use Railtrack's online rail journey planner


Main roads to Oxford are the M40 from London and Birmingham and the A34 from Southampton (also useful if you arrive by ferry in Portsmouth). Bear in mind that Oxford is not a very good town for parking (this is an understatement...) and there is no parking reserved for participants at Queens College. See links below for a map of Oxford.


Within Oxford you may take a taxi from the train station. There is no need for a taxi if you arrive by bus as there is a bus stop right in front of Queens College.

Oxford Links

The Queen's College, University of Oxford. Other useful links here

A very useful page with information on how to get to Oxford is The Alien's Guide to Oxford. Sometimes it is useful to have a map before we get to the destination, here is a Map of Oxford (522 Kbytes), print it if you need to!

For those who enjoy walking, Oxford is an excellent place. Here is A walking tour of Oxford.

In the last conference we had access to the Queen's College pub in the evenings and during the Poster sessions, and this will also be available in 1998. In any case here is a guide to the Oxford pubs, there's plenty of choice!

Other Links

This web page is hosted by the UMIST Bioanalytical Sciences Group and is maintained by Pedro Mendes, although Douglas Kell has occasionally helped him to discover that not all HTML writers adhere to the current international standards for this class of language.

w3c wilbur checked!