This proposal requests partial support for a meeting on "Tropical Infectious Diseases: from bench to field" as part of the Gordon Research Conference series to be held in Galveston, Texas, Feb. 10-15, 2013. The broad and long-term goal of the conference is to increase our understanding of host-pathogen-vector interactions with the aim of developing new insights for controlling Tropical Infectious Diseases (TIDs).
The specific aims of this meeting are to convene 33 speakers representing critical areas of tropical disease research with a total of 150 participants for a five-day conference in a relatively isolate, relaxed setting. The program will open with two keynote presentations addressing present global needs for infectious disease research. The conference will focus on the diseases for which most significant recent progress is being made and on those of the highest medical importance. The sessions will cover arboviral and enteric diseases, filariasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, tuberculosis, and vector-pathogen interactions. Each session will consider recent basic discoveries in the areas of pathogen genomics, cell biology, and immunology in the context of the most current findings from field-based epidemiologic studies and intervention trials. The conference will close with two keynote presentations that provide outstanding examples of basic and applied research, emphasizing how pathogen biology can be explored for disease control and the challenges of vaccine development. Four afternoon poster sessions will permit all participants to contribute to these topics. The significance of this application is that the Gordon Research Conference on TIDs provides a forum that brings together multidisciplinary members of the international research community on tropical diseases. The intent is to promote discussions from basic to applied questions and to generate "cross-fertilization" among different specialties and fields of knowledge while establishing a community of scientists interested in TIDs. The health relatedness of this application is that the discussions will define the important questions on basic science as they relate to the development of new strategies to control the most important tropical diseases affecting over one-sixth of the world's population.
Approximately 1 billion people - one-sixth of the world's population - suffer from one or more tropical infectious diseases. This Tropical Infectious Diseases (TIDs) Gordon Research Conference will bring together scientists working on the most prevalent TIDs and cover topics ranging from basic to field-based and translational research. The health relatedness of this application is that the gathering of top scientists tackling the varied challenges in TIDs will stimulate the generation of new ideas and foster cross-discipline collaboration with the aim of accelerating progress toward the control and elimination of TIDs.