More than 120 scientific presentations and 80 posters were offered at the fourth annual "Pep Talk: The Protein Information Week," held recently in San Diego. Presented by Cambridge Healthtech Institute, the conference provided exhibits, as well as sessions on protein folding disorders, protein arrays, protein expression, protein process development, the human proteome, and protein therapeutics.
Because recent discoveries have shown that the misfolding or aggregation of proteins is responsible for many of the most devastating diseases of the 21st century, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, cystic fibrosis, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers, a two-day segment of the Pep Talk program was devoted to protein folding disorders.
Experts provided insights into strategies for elucidating protein misfolding and aggregation mechanisms, methods for improved study of these events and strategies for effective drug discovery and development for these disorders.
It has been extremely difficult to study the changes that result in these pathologies because of the speed of folding and the limited differences between properly and misfolded proteins, according to the speakers.