The use of phages and phage products in biotechnology and pathogen control has expanded exponentially in the recent past and many academics and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are working to develop phage- or phage-based therapeutics. This 22nd Evergreen International Phage Meeting (Aug. 6-11) will again bring together a very diverse group of biotechnologists and basic research scientists who are engaged in applying phage biology to current needs in animal and human health, food safety, biotechnology, and other applications as well as carrying out basic studies of the very large variety of phages being discovered and analyzed in recent years. Presentations will include 5 full days of keynote talks by invited speakers as well as talks chosen from submitted abstracts and extensive display and discussion of posters from most participants. The funding requested will facilitate participation of U.S. young investigators and under-represented minorities, phage scientists from underdeveloped countries, and leading international speakers, including Former Soviet Union (FSU) scientists, providing U.S. scientists access to their extensive therapeutic phage collections and over 80 years of experience with human phage therapy. The cost is kept very low: $600 ($450 for students) includes all meals and housing in suites of rooms on The Evergreen State College campus. The informal, interactive atmosphere results in many regional and international collaborations. It also provides a particularly good opportunity for young investigators (graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty) and senior scientists from other disciplinary backgrounds to interact closely with well-established and influential scientists in these fields and to present their research at extensive poster sessions. There is also an opportunity for oral presentations in a supportive environment for those showing the most promise; many current leaders in the field gave their first talks as grad students at Evergreen meetings. Particular attention is paid to providing opportunities for talented women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities to participate actively in the meeting, showcasing their results and facilitating interactions with other scientists in their fields. This year, a special initiative is bringing 15 African scientists involved in a multinational program to develop phage applications in disease management and food safety, with their air fare supported by the Gates Foundation, to build partnerships as well as knowledge and skills.
In this era of growing antimicrobial resistance, interest has been greatly increasing in the possibility of using bacteriophages ? kinds of viruses that each target particular groups of bacteria ? to treat a wide range of pathogens. The 22nd Evergreen International Phage Biology Meeting (August 6-11, 2017) will provide a very collaborative, interactive forum for about 220 participants from over 40 countries on 6 continents to share the recent advances in phage ecology, biology, and biotechnology and their applications to a wide range of health problems. This meeting focuses particularly on drawing people from a wide variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and skills into the field and making accessible the experience and resources of participants from those few countries where phage have long been an established part of medical practice.