This application requests funds to support vector biologists to attend the 8th annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium (AGS) to be held at the University of Illinois campus June 12 -14, 2014. The AGS is the international forum for arthropod genomics research and fosters technology and knowledge exchange between bioinformatics, genomics, and fundamental and applied arthropod research. While the philosophy of the symposium is to cover a broad range of phylogenetic arthropod groups, a substantial focus has been on arthropod vectors of human disease. The 2014 symposium will be an open meeting of approximately 230 participants. The meeting will be preceded by a one day RNAseq Workshop that concludes in time for the AGC Symposium. The meeting agenda will offer a keynote speaker and invited speakers presenting in sessions the areas of i5K/1kite, Vector Genomics, Social Insects, Population genomics, Comparative Genomics, and Microbiomes. The program will be augmented by shorter talks chosen from submitted poster abstracts, and two poster sessions for which anticipate 60-70 posters based on past participation. Our over-arching goal is to increase genomics research in the field of vector biology. Progress towards this goal will be achieved through the following specific aims: (1) supplementing genomics training for early stage vector biologists;(2) Recruiting arthropod genomics researchers to the vector biology field;and (3) exposing non- vector arthropod genomics researchers to the field of vector biology we propose to support the travel of accomplished vector biologists working in the genomics field to present their work. The significance of this application lays in the key function of genomic information to modern vector biology research. Its innovation is the AGS's unique ability to bring together experts in vector biology, genomics, bioinformatics, and genomics technology developers. The meeting is public health relevant as research capacity building in cutting edge genomics research is crucial for the development of novel tools to combat and prevent vector-borne diseases.
Vector-borne diseases, especially malaria and dengue continue to be a major public health threat world-wide, with roughly half of the world population at risk. The proposed meeting support is relevant to public health because building research capacity in cutting edge genomics research is crucial for the development of novel tools to combat and prevent vector-borne diseases. Therefore, the proposed project is relevant to the NIH-NIAID's mission in relation to the understanding and prevention of re-emerging infectious diseases.