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Banbury Center

Banbury 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.

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.

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.

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 inviduals 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 countires for such studies.

Lewy Body Dementia: Current Status, Future Directions (November 16-14, 2014)
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most common cause of cognitive impairment after Alzheimer’s disease (AD), affecting more than 1.3 million Americans and perhaps over 4 million people worldwide. Participants in the meeting reviewed the current state of research on the genetics of LBD and current imaging and biological markers, as well as discussing how global research on LBD could be promoted.

The Genetics of Pain and Pain Inhibition: Where to From Here? (june 22-25, 2014)
Chronic pain is the most prevalent human health problem, with a lifetime prevalence of one in two. It is now 10 years since the first human genetic association studies of pain began appearing in the literature, and association studies and exome sequencing studies of chronic pain disorders are also now being published. Thus the time was right for a meeting to address the relative merits of the association studies and single-gene approaches for the study of chronic pain, along with various current practices in the field.

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?

The Adolescent Brain and Mental Disorders  (December 3-5, 2013) 
It has long been noted that many psychiatric disorders first make their appearance in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. Such illnesses include anxiety, mood, psychotic, and substance abuse disorders. Adolescence is a time of great developmental change in the human brain and it is becoming clear that the origins of at least some of these disorders lie in failures of normal brain development. However, the neurobiological underpinnings of these failures in development have as yet proven elusive.

Neurobiology and Clinical Study of Rapid Acting Antidepressants  (September 15-18, 2013)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are chronic illnesses affecting millions of people worldwide. A major limitation of existing pharmacotherapies is that they take weeks or months to show therapeutic effects. This lag exerts a toll on patients’ well-being and ability to function, and increases the already high risk of suicide. Therefore, rapid-onset pharmacological strategies with pronounced and sustained effects would have an enormous impact on public health.