Keystone Symposia, in collaboration with MESA (Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance), is convening its first conference in Mexico – on "The Science of Malaria Eradication" at the Fiesta Americana Hotel in Merida, Yucatan. The four-day conference begins Sunday evening, February 2, 2014 and is part of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has also funded travel awards for investigators from malaria-endemic countries to attend. The conference will gather experts from 37 countries.
Scientific organizers of the meeting are Drs. Pedro Alonso of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain, Chetan Chitnis of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in India and Lee Hall of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health.The focus is on examining today's scientific evidence base and cutting-edge discoveries to help chart the speediest path to end the scourge of malaria. Mexico, like other countries in Latin America and around the globe, is a low malaria-endemic country and is in the "pre-elimination" phase (World Malaria Report 2013).
After Sunday evening's welcome mixer, the conference will consist of four days of morning and evening plenary sessions as well as a workshop and interactive poster sessions. Presenters will discuss their efforts in a variety of areas, including vaccine initiatives, drug development, health systems research, genetic engineering approaches and surveillance-response for elimination. The four-day conference will conclude on the evening of Thursday, February 6 with a keynote address by Dr. Peter Agre of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.
According to lead scientific organizer Dr. Pedro Alonso, "For the first time, a Keystone Symposia conference is focused on the science of malaria eradication; this is a milestone in the development of the research agenda. Discovery and innovation from the bench to operational research will be captured."