The purpose of this grant submission is to request funds to partially support the 2013 Staphylococcal Diseases Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and its associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). This will be the 13th GRC, with the first being held in 1989 and thereafter on a bi-annual basis. Importantly, it will be the 1st meetig of the GRS, the specific purpose of which is to promote the development of the next generation of staphylococcal investigators and the active participation of these investigators and their integration into the broader research community. These meetings will be held at the Waterville Valley Resort in Waterville Valley, NH, with the GRS being held on July 27-28 and the GRC immediately following on July 28-August 2, 2013. This will be second time the meeting was held at this site, with the first occurring in 2009. At this 2009 meeting Drs. Vance Fowler and Mark Smeltzer were elected Co-Vice Chairs, a role they served at the 2011 meeting at the Il Ciocco Hotel and Resort, in Lucca (Barga), Italy. As is the conference custom, they will now serve as Co- Chairs of the 2013 meeting, with Drs. Simon Foster and Jos van Stripj serving as Co-Vice Chairs. Drs. Michael Olson and Karen Beenken will serve as Co-Chairs of the GRS. The overall goal of the GRC and its associated GRS is to bring the world's leading scientists and the most promising young investigators and trainees together in a collegial and supportive environment. The specific goals are to: 1) provide a forum for the presentation of unpublished, cutting-edge research and both formal and informal discussions of the manner in which these results advance the field, 2) include investigators focusing on diverse staphylococcal species and the impact of these species on the overall problem of staphylococcal infection in both humans and animals, 3) include investigators focusing on all aspects of staphylococcal disease and provide these investigators with a forum to expand the boundaries of their own work, and 4) ensure development and integration of young investigators into the broader research community in a meaningful and interactive way. The collegial atmosphere will include organized discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, thus providing an ideal setting for scientists from different disciplines to exchange ideas and foster cross-disciplinary collaborations both among themselves and the next generation of staphylococcal investigators. Thus, the GRC will provide a unique and fundamentally important opportunity to bring together the world's leading staphylococcal investigators in a format designed for the free exchange of research results and ideas covering all aspects of staphylococcal biology and its relationship to disease and, together with the GRS, it will do so in a manner specifically designed to promote the development of promising young investigators in the field and their integration into the larger research community. In the short term, this will significantly enhance the ability of investigators around the world to address critical problems in staphylococcal disease, while in the long term it will ensure the continued success of their efforts and those of the next generation of investigators.
Despite decades of intensive research, the staphylococci remain among the most formidable of all bacterial pathogens. This is evidenced by the recent emergence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) even among isolates causing community-acquired infections. The appearance of S. aureus isolates resistant to even last resort antibiotics like vancomycin, linezolid, and daptomycin raises the possibility of strains resistant to all available antibiotics;in short, a return to the devastation of the pre-antibioticera. Developments in antimicrobial resistance, epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of staphylococcal infections are occurring at a rapid pace from an increasingly international community of investigators, and it is imperative to provide these investigators, and the trainees who will ultimately make up the next generation of investigators, with a forum for the open and free exchange of ideas. This is the purpose of the Gordon Research Conference on Staphylococcal Diseases and its associated Gordon Research Seminar.