IGB Director to Chair 2014 NAKFI Conference on Social Behavior
IGB Director Gene Robinson will lead efforts to plan conference and award $1M in seed grants.
Gene Robinson, Director of the Institute for Genomic Biology, will chair the 2014 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) Conference, to be held at the Beckman Center in Irvine, California in November, 2014.
This conference will bring together top scientists, engineers and doctors to initiate a new synthesis on collective behavior. After a competitive application process, nearly 100 researchers will be invited to discuss their ideas and research related to social behavior, the 2014 conference’s single cross-disciplinary theme.
The conference will discuss the regulation, dynamics and evolution of social behavior from microbes to metazoans. Attendees will gather to discuss how and why molecules, cells, and organisms communicate with each other, and modify their activities based on these communications, drawing on phenomena as disparate as microbial biofilms, insect societies and human social networks. Attendees will then be invited to submit proposals for seed grants based on ideas generated during the conference.
This annual conference and its seed grant component are considered to be at the heart of NAKFI, an organization that works to stimulate new modes of scientific inquiry and create opportunities for collaboration between disciplines. NAKFI is a partnership between the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, with support from the W.M. Keck Foundation.