The Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference (MMPC) is a longstanding scientific event that brings together established and junior investigators from the Midwest to present and discuss cutting-edge research in the field of microbial pathogenesis. The first MMPC convened in 1994 at the University of Iowa;the meeting has been held every year since, alternating venues between different academic institutions within the Midwest. Between 200-300 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and established investigators participate in this meeting annually, with attendees hailing from Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. The 20th annual MMPC is being held in Columbus, OH from August 23rd-25th, 2013, and will be organized by the Ohio State University. This conference is a major scientific venue, supporting the development of the next generation of research scientists including those from underrepresented populations. Apart from providing an interactive and engaging scientific forum for investigators to present their work in state-of-the-art facilities, te MMPC fosters meaningful collaborations and promotes networking between investigators and institutions from around the Midwest. The regional accessibility, relatively low meeting costs, and travel and/or registration support provided for select attendees allows this meeting to attract a diverse group of participants from around the Midwest. 92% of speakers invited to give oral presentations at the 2013 meeting are junior faculty (Assistant Professors) who are often presenting their first formal seminar since establishing their own laboratory. Five graduate student or postdoctoral fellows chosen from submitted abstracts are also invited to present orally, providing these trainees with an invaluable opportunity to showcase their research in a collegial and interactive environment. We propose to select from abstract submissions 20 students for registration waivers, focusing on underrepresented minorities. Importantly, this year's MMPC will have two interactive fora focused on career development for trainee attendees. As always, special efforts have been made to encourage attendance by underrepresented minorities in science, including women. Thus, the MMPC supports a variety of activities that are directly relevant to the scientific missions of the National Institutes of Healh and public health.
The annual Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference (MMPC) is a major venue that seeks to promote interactions between microbial pathogenesis researchers located within the Midwest region of the United States. It provides a forum for the exchange of cutting-edge information on research in the field of microbial pathogenesis, and provides training, career development, and networking opportunities for both young and established scientists who seek to understand mechanisms influencing interactions between microbes and their human host. The focus of the MMPC is directly applicable to the scientific missions supported by the National Institutes of Health and the field of public health, including the identification, validation, and characterization of new therapeutic targets and strategies for combating human infectious diseases.