Volume 2, September 2004

3rd Annual Mycobacteria Research Laboratories Scientific Retreat a Resounding Success

On August 12-13, 2004 ninety five researchers attended the 3rd annual MRL retreat at the Ft. Collins Country Club. Attendees included visiting faculty from UCHSC, SUNY-Stonybrook, the Public Health Research Institute (NY/NJ) and Imperial College (London). The keynote speaker, Dr. Barry Kreisworth, a molecular epidemiologist from PHRI, drove home the important point that all M. tuberculosis strains are not created equal, and this inequality presents an important challenge to drug and vaccine development efforts. The retreat was divided into four platform sessions - Physiology and Drug Discovery, Vaccine Development, Pathogenesis, and Novel Strategies for the Study of Mycobacteria - as well as one poster session. All told, there were 25 talks and 19 posters. In addition to the scientific sessions, MRL Director John Belisle, made a presentation on the sustainability of the MRL, which brought in $9.5 million in research dollars and published 43 papers in '03-'04. He discussed a "DRIVEON" strategy, which involves:

Distribution of resources and effort
Retention and recruitment
New Technology

Congratulations to Miyako Kimura, Seba Mahapatra and Marcela Henao-Tamayo who received awards for the top posters. Other awards included Jenny Taylor (shortest talk), Randy Basaraba (who received a timer for giving the longest talk), Nathan Groathouse (who received a coloring book for the most doodling during presentations), and Mike McNeil (who was voted most congenial).

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