Chlamydia is a genus of intracellular bacteria that infects hundreds of millions of people world-wide. C. trachomatis is the most common bacterial cause of sexually transmitted infection and the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. Additional human pathogens include C. pneumoniae, which causes community-acquired pneumonia, and the zoonotic agent, C. psittaci. Chlamydia species are also important sources of veterinary disease. The Chlamydia Basic Research Society is the primary scientific organization representing researchers studying Chlamydia biology and pathogenesis. It organizes the preeminent international basic science Chlamydia meeting, held every two years in a city in the U.S. Seven previous meetings have brought together an average of 266 attendees from as many as 17 countries. From the beginning, the Society has had a major goal of organizing the biennial meeting as an affordable forum that investigators would attend together with many of their students and post-doctoral fellows. Registration fees for trainees have been kept down by carefully negotiating low hotel and facility costs, and raising funds from outside sources including NIH. As a consequence, the meeting stands out for its very high participation rate of trainees (graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and a few undergrads), who have made up 45% of attendees. 62% of the talks at the 2015 meeting were given by trainees, emphasizing the Society?s commitment to giving young Chlamydia scientists the opportunity to present and discuss their work at the meeting. The 2017 Chlamydia Basic Research Society meeting will be held in Charlotte, NC in April 2017. This proposal seeks support to underwrite the travel expenses of students and post-doctoral fellows so that they can attend this meeting.
The specific aims of the 2017 meeting will be 1) to encourage and promote basic research in chlamydial biology and pathogenesis, 2) to provide a forum for the exchange of information among scientists engaged in research on basic chlamydial biology, pathogenesis and vaccine development, and 3) to promote the development of young scientists.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the leading bacterial cause of sexually-transmitted infections and approximately 10% of the sexually active population is infected. It is also a leading cause of pelvic inflammatory disease and involuntary infertility in women. In the underdeveloped world, C. trachomatis causes an infectious blindness called trachoma. Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common cause of community-associated pneumonia. The Biennial Meeting of the Chlamydia Basic Research Society is the preeminent scientific meeting for all basic research into chlamydial disease and biology, including genetics, genomics, structure, cell biology, immunology, pathogenic mechanisms and development of new anti-chlamydial antibiotics and vaccines. One of the main missions of the Chlamydia Basic Research Society is the training of new researchers in this field. Thus from its founding, the society has planned its meetings to encourage the inclusion and participation of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. This application seeks support for trainees to attend the 2017 CBRS meeting, which will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina in April 2017. About 250-300 Chlamydia researchers from around the world are anticipated to attend, and about half of them will be trainees.