Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Novel Therapeutic Approaches to Tuberculosis, organized by Christopher M. Sassetti and Thomas G. Evans. The meeting will be held in Keystone, Colorado from March 30 - April 4, 2014. Despite more than a century of research, tuberculosis kills millions every year. The reasons we are unable to control this disease are well documented: the lack of an effective vaccine, inefficient chemotherapy, and an inability to predict who is at risk of disease. Traditionl approaches to antibacterial and vaccine development have produced only incremental improvements in TB therapy, and have had little effect on transmission in the developing world. This meeting will explore novel strategies to treat this disease, either through direct antimicrobil interventions or the manipulation of host immunity. Plenary sessions will explore three topical areas: 1) The mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response to M. tuberculosis, and novel strategies to ameliorate disease through the manipulation of this response;2) New approaches to accelerate TB chemotherapy, concentrating on genetic/chemical synergies, specific targeting of persistent bacterial populations, and host-directed antimicrobial therapies;and 3) Immunotherapy for both latent and active disease, with an emphasis on cytokine modulation and therapeutic vaccines. This symposium will assemble a diverse group of scientists specializing in immunology, bacteriology, cell biology, and therapeutic development. To ensure that insights from basic science are discussed in the context of practical therapeutic solutions, attendees will be drawn from both academic and industrial institutions. A particular emphasis will be placed on lessons gleaned from other systems, such as cancer, acute inflammation, and viral infections, which could be applied to tuberculosis. This diversity of background and approach will encourage the development of truly novel approaches to treat this devastating disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Despite decades of intensive basic research and a recent surge in drug development efforts, the TB therapeutic pipeline lags behind other diseases, such as HIV and malaria. The Keystone symposia meeting on Novel Therapeutic Approaches to Tuberculosis will draw together an interdisciplinary group that is focused on creative new approaches to eradicate this persistent infection. A distinct focus of this symposium will be on the repurposing of existing non-tuberculosis drugs and/or drug regimens that could have an immediate impact on TB treatment.