This application requests funding to partially support the third meeting of the Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Acute Respiratory Infection. This meeting will be held in Ventura, CA March 11-16, 2012 and we expect 110 - 150 scientists to participate. The overarching goal of this multi-disciplinary conference is to provide a setting to present and discuss outstanding research in the area of acute lung infection. As the diverse pathogens that infect the lung activate a limited number of conserved immunologic responses, there is a great deal of information that can be shared by colleagues working in and by colleagues who study different pathogens. General principles of vaccine development, particularly the activation of local immune protection are highly relevant to many different types of pulmonary infection. The meeting will run for 4 1/2 days leading off with presentations each morning dealing with general topics in innate immunity relevant to diverse types of lung infection. Sessions devoted to specific pathogens will be held in morning and evening sessions, each led by an experienced discussion leader, often a scientist who has presented their own work at previous meetings. Topics will include major causes of bacterial pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus (especially MRSA) Mycoplasma pneumoniae and pertussis. Sessions focusing upon viral pathogenesis and prevention will be held focusing on influenza, RSV and mixed bacterial/viral infection. Several talks will address the host response to infection;the participation of lipoxins and resolvins, the role of epithelial signaling in host defense, and the recruitment of PMNs to the lung will be included. Afternoon poster sessions will provide an informal venue to discuss work-in progress and enable graduate students and post-docs to meet with various luminaries in their field of interest as well as their peers. At all stages of speaker invitation and recruitment of attendees we have made every effort to encourage participation by women, underrepresented minorities and people with disabilities. As pulmonary infection is a leading cause of mortality in the USA and worldwide this conference is highly relevant to public health and will potentially foster novel approaches to disease prevention and vaccine development.
Acute lung infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, associated with a greater number of deaths each year in the USA than HIV/AIDS and cancer combined. The health care associated costs of community-acquired pneumonia in 2007 exceeded 2 billion dollars/year in Europe alone, despite the availability of pneumococcal and influenza vaccines. The cost of RSV hospitalizations for children under 2 years of age in the US exceeds 384 million dollars per year. Although many different types of pathogens infect the lung, there are conserved mucosal immune responses to these infections. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for investigators who study acute lung infections to better understand microbial pathogenesis and the intricacies of the immune responses evoked which cause much pathology. This Gordon research Conference will provide an opportunity to share new hypotheses, discuss novel approaches and establish collaborations to better understand the pathogenesis of lung infection and hopefully develop better strategies for prevention and treatment.