We are seeking support to hold the second international symposium entitled "Facing the Challenges of Vector-Borne Diseases in the 21st Century" at the University of California, Riverside in March, 2012. The field of vector biology is rapidly developing through advances made in whole genome sequence analysis, bioinformatics, progression towards the use of transgenesis and endosymbionts in novel insect control, and the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying immunity (including the role of small RNAs) and sensory perception. Indeed it is highly likely that some of the approaches being developed will be translated into field applications within the next few years. This symposium brings together leading scientists in these areas with junior faculty and graduate students so that the latest developments in vector biology can be discussed with one of the aims being to increase the likelihood that that emerging scientists will become successful and established scientists within it. This in turn will ensure that the chronic problem of pathogen spreading by these arthropod vectors will continue to be researched in the years ahead, with the outcome being new and novel approaches to vector control. A unique feature of the symposium is that it combines, at a single venue, vector biologists who work on arthropod vectors of human and plant diseases (funding for the latter coming from a separate NSF proposal) thereby allowing participants to find commonalities in problems and approaches in vector biology. The increasing number and use of whole genome projects and technologies such as siRNA and transgenesis that can be used across orders of insects and arthropods now enables scientists from both arms of vector biology to meet at a single dedicated conference.
We wish to hold the Second International Symposium on "Facing the Challenges of Vector-Borne Diseases in the 21st Century" at the University of California, Riverside in March 2012. This symposium will bring together vector biologists who take diverse approaches ranging from genomics studies to the examination of the evolution of insecticide resistance to study arthropod vectors and the pathogens they transmit. The symposium strives to engage senior faculty with junior faculty and students in order to ensure that new and sustainable solutions to the global health problems caused by these vectors can be found.