8th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis
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Conference Program Description and Purpose

The 8th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis (ICCC) will be held in Charleston, SC, USA, May 1–5, 2011.

The goal of this conference is to bring together the world’s leading researchers on Cryptococcus and cryptococcosis to foster cross-disciplinary discussions, research, and clinical collaborations to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans.

Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental microorganism that has become a major threat to a growing number of immunocompromised patients in today’s world. Recently, the CDC estimated more than 1 million new cases/year of cryptococcosis will occur worldwide in patients with AIDS, with more than half of those affected by cryptococcosis dying of the infection.Importantly, during the last few years, cryptococcosis has emerged in the Vancouver Island, Canada and Pacific Northwest of the US as an important disease also in immunocompetent subjects. These epidemiological data underscore the potential for this microorganism to continue to emerge in unexpected geographic and clinical settings.

We anticipate hosting 250 participants for a 4 and ½ day conference. The program will be structured into 11 sessions covering the diverse properties and characteristics of the pathogen as well as host susceptibility and immunity, emphasizing what makes a normal host suddenly susceptible to this disease. Importantly, the Conference will provide ample coverage of current and novel therapeutic strategies and special sessions are dedicated to clinical issues related to diverse clinical backgrounds within which clinicians from around the world operate. Each oral session will consist of 5 talks: 3 talks (20 min) followed by a 5-min discussion by leaders in the field and 2 talks selected from the abstracts (10 min) with a 5-min discussion.

Abstracts from junior investigators, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows will be included among those selected for oral presentation.  The Conference will host 3 poster sessions which will permit all participants to actively contribute to these topics. There will be no concurrent sessions. Every effort will be made to encourage participation by graduate students and postdocs and we will see parity with respect to women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Proceedings of the Conference will be published in Mycopathologia.

The 8th ICCC is significant because it focuses on an important infectious disease afflicting both immunocompromised and immunocompetent people, bringing together members of the international research community who investigate cryptococcosis.

The health relatedness of this application is immediate and translational: the discussions generated and potential new collaborations will define the important basic science questions as well as forge new avenues for the development of novel prevention and treatment strategies.

Outcomes Information / learnings will be released to all participants after the follow-up post survey is completed of the learners. Case studies will be incorporated in the learning format at different times during the program to capture baseline information from the learners so as to identify areas of concern  so that we may integrate plans of action for further studies in various countries to improve the investigations in the environment and ultimately affect patient care.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the conference, attendees should be able to:

*  Review the molecular mechanisms by which Cryptococcus can invade the host and cause disease.

* Identify and discuss the latest research discoveries, current available treatments and clinical issues in managing Cryptococcus.

*  Evaluate the use of resistance mechanisms, such as antibody vaccines and radioimmunotherapy.

*  Discuss recent sequencing of the Cryptococcus genomes and identify new molecular tools to facilitate advances in understanding virulence, sexual reproduction, signaling, and molecular pathogenesis.

*  Compare and contrast the characteristics and features of C. grubii versus C. gattii.

*  Contribute to the development of  new clinical treatment guidelines for both C. grubii and C. gattii and apply the guidelines in clinical practice.

Disclosure

    In accordance with the ACCME Essentials and Standards, anyone involved in planning or presenting at this educational activity will be required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests in the healthcare industry.  This information will be made available to participants at the beginning of the activity.  Speakers who incorporate information about off-label or investigational use of drugs or devices will be asked to disclose that information at the beginning of their presentation.

 

Special Dietary Requests -   Please make note on the Registration Form

Social Events  -   Please see Registration Information