The Colorado Alphaherpesvirus Latency Society (CALS) was established in 2011 to provide a venue for open exchange of unpublished data from leading clinical and research scientists, with the aim of understanding alphaherpesvirus latency. Alphaherpesviruses include human herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2, varicella zoster virus (VZV), as well as significant pathogens of nonhuman primates (simian varicella virus) and cattle and poultry (bovine herpesvirus and Marek's disease virus). Reactivation of HSV from latency produces serious disease, including encephalitis, keratitis and genital herpes, while VZV reactivation produces zoster (shingles), postherpetic neuralgia (chronic pain), meningoencephalitis, myelopathy, vasculopathy, and multiple ocular disorders, including retinal necrosis. The 3-day CALS meeting format involves 30+ concise presentations, each followed by extended discussions. A significant innovation that increased the impact of CALS is a plenary presentation by a world-class researcher involved primarily in neuroscience or related fields, not virology. This talk provides new and unique perspectives to initiate novel areas of research in alphaherpesvirus latency. The 11-member CALS board of directors (all non-paid, highly productive and established alphaherpesvirus researchers located in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany) participate in selecting plenary speakers and guide the Society in all important decisions. CALS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization. The annual symposium does not charge a registration fee and has been financed, in part, through charitable contributions from corporate sponsors. CALS has no paid employees, charges no overhead and 100% of all funds go directly to support the annual symposium. Funds are now requested to maintain the high caliber of the meeting and to expand our scope to mentorship and education of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, the next generation of herpes virologists. Specifically, conference support (travel and lodging) for 30 senior investigators and 30 students/young investigators is requested. Especially important is conference support for minority individuals and others requiring family child day-care. The recognized success of past CALS symposia has made this meeting the premier venue for highly focused discussion of key issues in alphaherpesvirus latency, and with the proposed extension, CALS promises to be the training ground for future investigators as we maintain our high symposium standards.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 and varicella zoster virus (VZV) are human pathogens that cause serious and sometimes fatal disease after reactivation from latency. In addition, alphaherpesvirus reactivation in animals is a significant burden on the US economy and food supply. To facilitate advances towards eliminating disease caused by alphaherpesvirus reactivation, the Colorado Alphaherpesvirus Latency Symposium (CALS) was formed to: (1) provide highly focused discussions of unpublished data concerning all aspects of alphaherpesvirus latency;(2) extend collaborative research, including exchange of unique reagents;and (3) foster the mentorship of student, postdoctoral and junior faculty. Since its inception, CALS has been instrumental in accelerating research in alphaherpesvirus latency by uniting national and international principle investigators for concise, highly focused and timely discussions. We aim to continue eminently successful symposia as we embark on a novel extension designed specifically to mentor students, postdoctoral fellows and especially individuals belonging to under-represented minorities.