As part of a partnership arrangement with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada hosted an International Policy Dialogue on HIV/AIDS and Disability from 11 to 13 March 2009 in Ottawa, Canada. The dialogue provided a forum for stakeholders from governments, academia, and non-governmental and multilateral organizations to explore the issues and evidence related to HIV/AIDS and disability, and to chart a way forward in terms of policy and programme development. This meeting report outlines the participants, objectives and high-level outcomes.
The inaugural Canadian Consortium for LABC (locally advanced breast cancer) conference was held at Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario, April 11–12, 2010. The meeting focused on current and future directions in labc treatment and research, the specific benefits of labc as a model for clinical and translational research, strategies for increased national and international collaboration, and ongoing clinical trials. Exciting Canadian initiatives in labc research are underway, focusing on identifying molecular signatures that will allow for the development of new tailored therapies. The challenge of identifying patient subgroups for accrual is being addressed through strategies to foster and improve national collaboration. This meeting report includes highlights from each presentation at the conference.
The 22nd Ion Channel Meeting was organized by the French Ion Channel Society (Association Canaux Ioniques) from the 25th to the 28th of September 2011 on the French Riviera (Giens). This year again, more than one hundred researchers from France, Europe and extra-European countries gathered to present and discuss their recent advances and future challenges in the ion channels and transporters field. The scientific committee organized a plenary lecture and five thematic symposia by inviting international researchers to present their recent outstanding work on themes as diverse as muscular channelopathies, regulation of channels by extracellular matrix, receptor-channels interactions, localization and distribution of ion channels, their involvement in the cell life and death, and finally how they participate in the evolution and adaptability of cellular excitability. These presentations are summarized in this meeting report. Two sessions of oral communications selected from submitted abstracts and two poster sessions were also organized to present the ongoing work of young researchers worldwide.
The 6th annual Bone and the Oncologist New Updates conference was held in Ottawa, Ontario, April 14–15, 2011. This meeting traditionally focuses on innovative research into the mechanisms and consequences of treatment-induced and metastatic bone disease. This year, the multidisciplinary audience was polled to produce “treatment recommendations for the use of bone-targeted agents.” In addition, the meeting report itself outlines some of the key topics presented on adjuvant bisphosphonate use and the role of bone-targeted agents in the settings of meta-static and cancer-therapy-induced bone loss.
In the 21st century, systems-wide analyses of biological processes are getting more and more realistic. Especially for the in depth analysis of signal transduction pathways and networks, various approaches of systems biology are now successfully used. The EU FP7 large integrated project SYBILLA (Systems Biology of T-cell Activation in Health and Disease) coordinates such an endeavor. By using a combination of experimental data sets and computational modelling, the consortium strives for gaining a detailed and mechanistic understanding of signal transduction processes that govern T-cell activation. In order to foster the interaction between systems biologists and experimentally working groups, SYBILLA co-organized the 15th meeting “Signal Transduction: Receptors, Mediators and Genes” together with the Signal Transduction Society (STS). Thus, the annual STS conference, held from November 7 to 9, 2011 in Weimar, Germany, provided an interdisciplinary forum for research on signal transduction with a major focus on systems biology addressing signalling events in T-cells. Here we report on a selection of ongoing projects of SYBILLA and how they were discussed at this interdisciplinary conference.
In March, 2012 we held the first Mideast conference on “Depression and Anxiety Spectrum disorders: from basic science to the clinic and back”, at the University of Amman, Jordan. This event brought together both clinical and basic scientists with expertise in depression and anxiety spectrum disorders. The meeting took place in a large lecture hall at the University of Jordan Medical School. The audience included faculty, residents, and students. The Dean of the Medical School opened the meeting, welcoming the guest speakers and participants.
The 11th Transgenic Technology meeting was held in Guangzhou, China on 25th–27th February 2013. Over 300 scientists and students from round the world gathered to hear the latest developments in the technologies underpinning the creation of transgenic and knockout animals and their application to biological sciences in areas such as the modeling human diseases and biotechnology. As well as informative presentations from leading researchers in the field, an excellent selection of short talks selected from abstracts and posters, attendees were also treated to an inspiring talk from Allan Bradley who was awarded the 9th International Society of Transgenic Technologies Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies.
Ascierto, Paolo A; Grimaldi, Antonio M; Acquavella, Nicolas; Borgognoni, Lorenzo; Calabrò, Luana; Cascinelli, Natale; Cesano, Alessandra; Del Vecchio, Michele; Eggermont, Alexander M; Faries, Mark; Ferrone, Soldano; Fox, Bernard A; Gajewski, Thomas F; Ga
Recent insights into the genetic and somatic aberrations have initiated a new era of rapidly evolving targeted and immune-based treatments for melanoma. After decades of unsuccessful attempts to finding a more effective cure in the treatment of melanoma now we have several drugs active in melanoma. The possibility to use these drugs in combination to improve responses to overcome the resistance, to potentiate the action of immune system with the new immunomodulating antibodies, and identification of biomarkers that can predict the response to a particular therapy represent new concepts and approaches in the clinical management of melanoma. The third “Melanoma Research: “A bridge from Naples to the World” meeting, shortened as “Bridge Melanoma Meeting” took place in Naples, December 2 to 4th, 2012. The four topics of discussion at this meeting were: advances in molecular profiling and novel biomarkers, combination therapies, novel concepts toward integrating biomarkers and therapies into contemporary clinical management of patients with melanoma across the entire spectrum of disease stage, and the knowledge gained from the biology of tumor microenvironment across different tumors as a bridge to impact on prognosis and response to therapy in melanoma. This international congress gathered more than 30 international faculty members who in an interactive atmosphere which stimulated discussion and exchange of their experience regarding the most recent advances in research and clinical management of melanoma patients.
Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a neglected complication of visceral leishmaniasis (VL)―a deadly, infectious disease that claims approximately 20,000 to 40,000 lives every year. PKDL is thought to be a reservoir for transmission of VL, thus, adequate control of PKDL plays a key role in the ongoing effort to eliminate VL. Over the past few years, several expert meetings have recommended that a greater focus on PKDL was needed, especially in South Asia. This report summarizes the Post Kala-Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis Consortium Meeting held in New Delhi, India, 27–29 June 2012. The PKDL Consortium is committed to promote and facilitate activities that lead to better understanding of all aspects of PKDL that are needed for improved clinical management and to achieve control of PKDL and VL. Fifty clinicians, scientists, policy makers, and advocates came together to discuss issues relating to PKDL epidemiology, diagnosis, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, treatment, and control. Colleagues who were unable to attend participated during drafting of the consortium meeting report.
Extracellular micro- and nano-scale membrane vesicles produced by different cells are recognised as an essential entity of physiological fluids in a variety of organisms and function as mediators of intercellular communication employed for the regulation of multiple systemic and local processes. In the last decade, an exponential amount of experimental work was dedicated to exploring the biogenesis and secretion mechanisms, physiological and pathological functions and potential applications of the extracellular vesicles (EVs). Noteworthy is the large heterogeneity of in vitro and in vivo models applied, technical approaches developed in these studies and the diversity of designations assigned to different or similar types of EVs. Hence, there is a clear necessity for a uniform nomenclature and standardisation of methods to isolate and characterise these vesicles. In April 2012, the first meeting of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) took place bringing together this exponentially grown scientific community. The University of Gothenburg (Krefting Research Centre) together with the Interim Board of the Society created in September 2011 (Jan Lötvall, Clotilde Théry, Xandra Breakefield, Marca Wauben, Yong Song Gho...
The latest advances on the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathways were reported at the July 2013 FASEB Summer Research Conference ‘The TGF-β Superfamily: Development and Disease’. The meeting was held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA at 6700 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains. This was the seventh biannual meeting in the series. In attendance were investigators from a broad range of disciplines with a common interest in the mechanics of TGF-β and BMP signaling pathways, their normal developmental and homeostatic functions, and the diseases associated with pathway misregulation.
The 11th Annual Meeting of Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT) welcomed more than 700 scientists around the world to Mainz, Germany and continued to be the largest immunotherapy meeting in Europe. Renowned speakers from various fields of cancer immunotherapy gave lectures under CIMT2013’s tag: “Advancing targeted therapies” the highlights of which are summarized in this meeting report.
The focus of the British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) annual scientific meeting 2012 was aging mechanisms and mitigants. The themes covered included epigenetics, stem cells and regeneration, aging pathways and molecules, the aging bladder and bowel, as well as updates from the New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) programme. The topics incorporated new directions for staple aging research in caloric restriction (CR), inflammation, immunesenescence, neurodegeneration, homeostasis and stress resistance, as well as newer research areas such as bioengineering of tissues, including the internal anal sphincter and thymus.
Ascierto, Paolo A; Grimaldi, Antonio M; Anderson, Ana Carrizosa; Bifulco, Carlo; Cochran, Alistair; Garbe, Claus; Eggermont, Alexander M; Faries, Mark; Ferrone, Soldano; Gershenwald, Jeffrey E; Gajewski, Thomas F; Halaban, Ruth; Hodi, F Stephen; Kefford,
The fourth “Melanoma Bridge Meeting” took place in Naples, December 5 to 8th, 2013. The four topics discussed at this meeting were: Diagnosis and New Procedures, Molecular Advances and Combination Therapies, News in Immunotherapy, and Tumor Microenvironment and Biomarkers.
This report details the outcome of the 1st Skin Microbiota Workshop, Boulder, CO, held on October 15th-16th 2012. The workshop was arranged to bring Department of Defense personnel together with experts in microbial ecology, human skin physiology and anatomy, and computational techniques for interrogating the microbiome to define research frontiers at the intersection of these important areas. The workshop outlined a series of questions and created several working groups to address those questions, specifically to promote interdisciplinary activity and potential future collaboration. The US Army provided generous grant support and the meeting was organized and hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder. A primary forward vision of the meeting was the importance of understanding skin microbial communities to improve the health and stealth of US Army warfighters.
In Europe alone, over 70 million people experience tinnitus; for seven million people, it creates a debilitating condition. Despite its enormous socioeconomic relevance, progress in successfully treating the condition is somewhat limited. The European Union has approved funding to create a pan-European tinnitus research collaboration network (2014–2018). The goal of one working group is to establish an international standard for outcome measurements in clinical trials of tinnitus. Importantly, this would enhance tinnitus research by informing sample-size calculations, enabling meta-analyses, and facilitating the identification of tinnitus subtypes, ultimately leading to improved treatments. The first meeting followed a workshop on “Agreed Standards for Measurement: An International Perspective” with invited talks on clinimetrics and existing international initiatives to define core sets for outcome measurements in hearing loss (International classification of functioning, disability, and health core sets for hearing loss) and eczema (Harmonizing outcome measures for eczema). Both initiatives have taken an approach that clearly distinguishes the specification of what to measure from that of how to measure it. Meeting delegates agreed on taking a step-wise roadmap for which the first output would be a consensus on what outcome domains are essential for all trials. The working group seeks to embrace inclusivity and brings together clinicians...
During 11–12 August 2014, a Protein Bioinformatics and Community Resources Retreat was held at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, UK. This meeting brought together the principal investigators of several specialized protein resources (such as CAZy, TCDB and MEROPS) as well as those from protein databases from the large Bioinformatics centres (including UniProt and RefSeq). The retreat was divided into five sessions: (1) key challenges, (2) the databases represented, (3) best practices for maintenance and curation, (4) information flow to and from large data centers and (5) communication and funding. An important outcome of this meeting was the creation of a Specialist Protein Resource Network that we believe will improve coordination of the activities of its member resources. We invite further protein database resources to join the network and continue the dialogue.
C3 glomerulopathy is a recently introduced pathological entity whose original definition was glomerular pathology characterized by C3 accumulation with absent or scanty immunoglobulin deposition. In August 2012, an invited group of experts (comprising the authors of this document) in renal pathology, nephrology, complement biology, and complement therapeutics met to discuss C3 glomerulopathy in the first C3 Glomerulopathy Meeting. The objectives were to reach a consensus on: the definition of C3 glomerulopathy, appropriate complement investigations that should be performed in these patients, and how complement therapeutics should be explored in the condition. This meeting report represents the current consensus view of the group.
The fourth “Melanoma Bridge Meeting” took place in Naples, December 3–6th, 2014. The four topics discussed at this meeting were: Molecular and Immunological Advances, Combination Therapies, News in Immunotherapy, and Tumor Microenvironment and Biomarkers. Until recently systemic therapy for metastatic melanoma patients was ineffective, but recent advances in tumor biology and immunology have led to the development of new targeted and immunotherapeutic agents that prolong progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). New therapies, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors as well as other signaling pathway inhibitors, are being tested in patients with metastatic melanoma either as monotherapy or in combination, and all have yielded promising results. These include inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases (BRAF, MEK, and VEGFR), the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) pathway [PI3K, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)], activators of apoptotic pathway, and the cell cycle inhibitors (CDK4/6). Various locoregional interventions including radiotherapy and surgery are still valid approaches in treatment of advanced melanoma that can be integrated with novel therapies. Intrinsic, adaptive and acquired resistance occur with targeted therapy such as BRAF inhibitors...