The 2014 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) "Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity" and its companion Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) "New Approaches to Understand the Host-Pathogen Dynamic" is designed to showcase exciting, innovative basic and applied research in the infectious disease field while promoting intensive discussion and networking between new and veteran specialists from academia and government, medicine and biotech. Since its inception in 1972, this biennial international conference continues to be regarded by the microbial pathogenesis community as our premier venue for intellectual exchange. To be held July 20-25 at the Waterville Valley Resort in New Hampshire, the 2014 Conference is led by Chair Michele Swanson, PhD, Professor in the Department of Microbiology &Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and Vice-Chair Virginia Miller, PhD, Professor of the Departments of Genetics and Microbiology &Immunology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Nine sessions will feature 33 invited speakers chosen to integrate cutting-edge research on: bacterial toxin structure and function;cell biology of host defenses;inflammatory barriers to infection;interactions of microbial communities with the gut;bacterial regulatory, virulence, adaptation and nutrient acquisition mechanisms;and strategies for infection control. To highlight current challenges in each of these areas and to stimulate provocative exchange among junior and senior attendees, the nine Discussion Leaders will present 10 minute session introductions and lead 10 minute discussion periods after each talk. Afternoon poster sessions will promote tailored discussions between colleagues within and across disciplines and ranks. To integrate and develop the next generation of scientists in our field, the GRC will be preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar that is planned, led and attended exclusively by pre- and post-doctoral trainees who then join the Conference. Four outstanding trainees selected by their peers will also present their research in the opening and closing sessions of the GRC. Together the Seminar and Conference promise to provide an exceptional forum for a diverse population of scientists to learn, consider and challenge the current paradigms, barriers and opportunities to advancing and translating knowledge of molecular mechanisms of microbial infection.
The GRC and GRS on Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity will advance the NIAID mission by advancing the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of many of the world's most intractable and widespread diseases. Presentations and discussion points by basic scientists who examine virulence and host defense pathways in mechanistic detail will be framed by physician scientists well versed in today's clinical challenges, as well as academic, government and industry scientists working to bring solutions to the bedside. Also germane to the NIH mission is the professional development of the next generation of scientists and leaders.