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The Gordon Research Seminar on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization is a welcoming and collegial forum for graduate students and postdocs to exchange cutting-edge findings and ideas in epithelial biology. A primary goal of the Seminar is to spark the flow of ideas and opinions among trainees so they feel empowered to actively participate in the accompanying Gordon Research Conference. This meeting will survey emerging genetic, molecular and cellular concepts that underpin epithelial development, homeostatic renewal and response to injury. The aberrant signaling processes that mediate disease states and cancer will also be discussed. Interdisciplinary and cutting-edge approaches in transcriptomics, epigenomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and mechanics will be represented. With the exception of the keynote presented by Dr. George Cotsarelis, all talks will be selected from contributed abstracts by graduate students and postdocs. Top presenters will be invited to speak at the Gordon Research Conference. A panel discussion will offer early-career scientists perspectives on mentoring and diversity in academic science.