The 65th Symposium of the Society for General Physiologists: energizing research in mitochondrial physiology and medicine.

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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: The Journal of general physiology

Volume 138, Issue 6, December 2011, Pages 563-7.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201110739. Copyright © Rockefeller University Press.


The annual Society of General Physiologists (SGP) symposium has a six-decade legacy as the premier and innovative international meeting for physiologists, cell biologists, and biophysicists. During September 7–11th, 2011, more than 130 scientists participated in the 65th SGP symposium entitled “Mitochondrial Physiology and Medicine” at Woods Hole, MA. In a survey distributed at the end of the conference, participants ranked the overall science and quality of discussions very highly (average of 9.5 out of 10), with multiple respondents noting the highly collegial atmosphere, emphasis on unpublished research, and opportunity for younger scientists to interact with leaders in the field.

Recent groundbreaking discoveries demonstrating the pivotal role of mitochondria in human physiology and disease have repositioned mitochondria to the center stage of biomedical research. Mitochondria serve as gatekeepers between cell survival and death, as well as regulate proper cell signaling, energy metabolism, redox balance, and ion homeostasis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with numerous acute and chronic human diseases, including heart failure, ischemia-reperfusion injury, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, stroke, neurodegeneration, diabetes, obesity, cancer, rare diseases, and aging. Clearly, the SGP’s selection of this year’s topic on mitochondrial physiology and disease was timely and fitting.

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