Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Tuberculosis: Understanding the Enemy, organized by Eric J. Rubin, Sebastien Gagneux and Heran Darwin. The meeting will be held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada from March 13 - 18, 2013. Despite more than a century of research, tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of death in the world. Although drug therapy is available, it remains cumbersome and difficult to administer in areas of the developing world where TB is most prevalent. Moreover, the rise of HIV and consequent marked increase in TB susceptibility and the increasing appearance of drug resistant bacterial strains has made management of infection far more difficult. New approaches to treatment and prevention could have an enormous impact on the disease. This meeting will bring together different disciplines, including microbial genomics and genetics, bacterial physiology, systems biology and drug development, to explore how Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted and causes disease. In addition, the conference will be paired with a concurrent meeting that explores host responses to TB. Together, these two conferences will cover a breadth of TB biology and examine the interface between the host and pathogen. The conference will provide an opportunity for interactions among those from different fields and include many participants from disciplines that would not ordinarily participate in a meeting devoted exclusively to TB. We hope to stimulate new collaborations and introduce novel areas of biology so that the field will be positioned to tackle the many remaining challenges for combating this disease. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to develop and engage the next generation of researchers in the field by including junior and early stage investigators in the meeting format.
Despite more than a century of research, tuberculosis remains a widespread disease and a leading cause of death worldwide. Advances in the detection, treatment and prevention of the disease are hampered by the fact that we lack a deep understanding of many of the fundamental aspects of the pathogen and its interaction with the host. The Keystone Symposia meeting on Tuberculosis: Understanding the Enemy - along with a companion meeting on Host Response in Tuberculosis - will gather researchers across the spectrum of tuberculosis basic science to explore how Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted and causes disease.