Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia conference entitled Tuberculosis: Immunity and Immune Evasion, organized by Drs. Joel Ernst, Jennifer Philips and Daniel L. Barber. The conference will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA from January 16- 20, 2020. Tuberculosis remains the most common fatal infectious disease worldwide due to the absence of a sufficiently effective vaccine. Two critical barriers to the development of an effective TB vaccine are the incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of protective immunity to TB, and of the mechanisms of immune evasion by M. tuberculosis. The interactions among speakers and attendees at this conference will promote collaborations between scientists with complementary expertise and that work in geographically distinct institutions, including those in high TB burden regions. This conference will present new knowledge on mechanisms of protective immunity to M. tuberculosis, and promote dialogue between immunologists and scientists, in different areas of expertise, to fill gaps in knowledge. Participants will also discuss advances in TB vaccine development and vaccine immunology. Finally, this conference will cover topics on the advances in other fields of immunology and other infectious diseases characterized by pathogen persistence which will help to inform development of effective TB vaccines.
Tuberculosis (TB) involves complex interactions between host and pathogen yet our knowledge of the mechanisms of immunity, immune evasion, and impact of host and pathogen diversity is limited. As research matures in immunity and immune evasion TB investigation, and as new technologies are being developed and applied to TB research, new concepts of the impact of pathogen and host diversity are being incorporated into experimental design and interpretation of results. With these advancements in research evolving so quickly, it is an opportune time for this Keystone Symposia international conference to occur; participants will learn about new discoveries and technologies on TB research, and hear the latest scientific results ranging from basic research to clinical vaccine trials and translational immunology.