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2009 Keystone Symposia Global Health Series Kicks off with Thai Meeting in Bangkok

Keystone Symposia recently kicked off its 2009 Global Health Series with an extremely well-attended meeting on “Pathogenesis and Control of Emerging Infections and Drug-Resistant Organisms” in Bangkok, Thailand, held October 22-27, 2008. This was also the second Keystone Symposia meeting held concurrently with the annual Grand Challenges in Global Health Conference (the previous one being in Cape Town, South Africa in fall 2007).

The Bangkok meeting attracted 407 attendees from 45 different countries, including 60 scientists from 24 developing countries who received Keystone Symposia Global Health Travel Awards. Travel Awards and scholarships were funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and NIAID (the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease). Additionally, a large number of Thai students and scientists (30% of total participation) were able to attend thanks to free or reduced registration rates.

The meeting began with a dinner at the Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall held in conjunction with the Grand Challenges in Global Health Conference. Delivering the formal address at the dinner was the guest of honor, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The Princess serves as President of Thailand’s Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the advancement of modern medicine and public health.

Organizers of the meeting hailed from six different countries and included Sumalee Kamchonwongpaisan, a scientist at BIOTEC, which is part of Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).

Following the opening dinner, attendees participated in four days of plenary sessions, workshops, and poster sessions on multiple disease areas, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, and respiratory pathogens. While delving into the molecular mechanisms of these diseases, the talks also provided a high-level education on the topic.

Made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series aims to help break the cycle of infectious disease by holding meetings on different disease topics and bringing together scientists from all over the world who can share their insights and experience.

Additional Keystone Symposia Global Health meetings to be held in the 2008-2009 season are as follows: