Each year the National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE hosts a conference to bring together more than 100 of the nation's best and brightest researchers from academia, industry, and government laboratories to ask questions about -- and to discover interdisciplinary connections between --important areas of cutting-edge research. This year's conference will focus on new research possibilities in the field of genomics. This topic was selected because advances in the fields of biotechnology and genomics over the last decade offer a wide range of opportunities for collaboration among scientific disciplines.
To help overcome differences in terminology used by researchers in various fields, the conference will include "tutorials" given by genomics experts. Each expert will provide an overview of his or her field in language that other researchers -- scientists, engineers or medical researchers -- not familiar with the discipline can understand. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their latest research at the conference.
The centerpiece of the conference will be break-out sessions in which researchers from different fields can collaborate and develop research plans to address new questions in genomics. Representatives from public and private funding organizations, government, industry, and the science media will also participate in the focus groups.