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The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Signal Transduction by Engineered Extracellular Matrices was established in 2000 to enhance the intersection of bioengineering and cell biology with an aim to foster translation of cell-based technologies into practice. The 2018 meeting retains the classic foundations of stem cell biology, bioengineering, and biomaterials design while emphasizing emerging new directions. In particular, this meeting will focus on the role that engineered matrices can play in advancing the development of stem cell biology, regenerative medicine therapies, organoid biology and tissue morphogenesis, and microphysiological models (i.e. "organs-on-chips") to study human health and disease. This conference should be of interest to a wide range of basic scientists, engineers, and practitioners in regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical development. Invited speakers from both industry and academia span a spectrum of fields including cell and developmental biology, chemistry, materials science, and bioengineering. Several short talks will be selected from submitted abstracts. Activities at the conference, including lively discussions and interactive poster sessions, will be designed to encourage interactions between established investigators and young investigators, including students and postdocs. The collegial atmosphere of the conference will provide ample opportunity for informal gatherings to bring together scientists across all experience levels, from trainees to senior scientists, and representing diverse fields of expertise and professional settings, from academic labs to national labs to small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, to foster meaningful, long-lasting collaborations.