Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology is pleased to announce that it has received a fourth grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote discoveries that will solve urgent global health problems via support of infectious disease conferences in the "Keystone Symposia Global Health Series." The grant also funds Global Health Travel Awards for investigators from developing countries, a pre-meeting workshop for Travel Awardees, and registration costs for local participants at the conferences that are based in developing countries.
A Colorado, USA-based nonprofit organization, Keystone Symposia received three previous grants from the Foundation, beginning in 2004 and ending with the December 2012 conference on "Immunological Mechanisms of Vaccination" in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, which will be held following the conclusion of the Grand Challenges meeting for that program's grantees. Keystone Symposia typically holds one Global Health Series conference each year in conjunction with the Grand Challenges meeting.
The new grant will provide support for conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015. It consists of $2.25 million in funding over three years - or $750,000 per year.
The five 2012-2013 season Keystone Symposia conferences funded by the new grant are: "Malaria" in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA in January 2013; "HIV Vaccines" in Keystone, Colorado, USA in February 2013; "Tuberculosis: Understanding the Enemy" in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada in March 2013; "Immune Activation in HIV Infection: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Implications" in Breckenridge, Colorado, USA in April 2013 and "The Innate Immune Response in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease" in Ouro Preto, Brazil in May 2013. The latter will be the first conference for Keystone Symposia in Latin America.
More than half of the grant is used to fund Global Health Travel Awards for investigators, clinicians, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from developing countries where the health issues of the meeting topic are endemic. Without these awards, these individuals would not be able to attend the conferences and participate in the valuable knowledge-sharing and collaboration-building that result. To date, more than 1,100 individuals from at least 50 countries have participated in Keystone Symposia conferences as a result of Global Health Travel Awards.