AST scientific conference to emphasize on immunosuppression and tolerance

The American Society of Transplantation (AST) will present a scientific conference this winter that offers an in-depth, up-to-date look at immunosuppression and tolerance -- but with a brand new vibe. Called the Annual Scientific Exchange (ASE), slated for December 2-6, 2009, at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Florida, it will differ from the typical conference in its format, which is specifically designed to be relaxed yet focused.

The usual scientific conference is a whirlwind affair, with attendees running between concurrent sessions but still missing important information, cramming into packed rooms that discourage discussion, running out of time to ask questions, missing out on opportunities to network, and reaching a point of sensory overload way too early.

A truly "unconventional convention"

By contrast, the Annual Scientific Exchange, will provide a relaxed yet focused forum for new and established researchers, physicians, surgeons and other transplant professionals to present their basic, translational and clinical transplantation research; an opportunity to truly mingle and exchange ideas with leaders in the field; and an environment conducive to making new friends and finding new ways to collaborate -- all while still giving participants the time to have fun with their families. In other words, ASE 2009 is designed to be a truly "unconventional convention."

In order to achieve these goals, AST has organized the meeting around a single topic, immunosuppression and tolerance, and will explore the full spectrum of issues around that topic, from basic science, to preclinical studies, to human trials. Among the matters to be discussed at ASE include the best immunosuppresive strategy for producing an optimal outcome, the pros and cons of minimization immunosuppression trials, the needed updates to clinical tolerance protocols, what biomarker research can tell about predicting outcomes, and the latest in basic research and preclinical animal models.

Opportunities for real dialog and collaboration

While the conference is aimed at all transplant professionals, ASE 2009 will put the spotlight on young investigators who have the most to gain from receiving constructive feedback on the progress of their work. Abstract sessions will be structured to allow for extended presentation and discussion times, encouraging open and thorough dialog. No concurrent abstract sessions will be offered, eliminating the distractions and inefficiencies while enhancing the quality of learning. And when sessions end, a "learning pavilion" area will allow attendees to converse one-on-one with presenters.

Features to ensure a low-stress environment

ASE 2009 is a family friendly meeting. Additional highlights of this meeting include a half-day pre-meeting review course and "The Unconference," a low-key evening dedicated solely to meeting ASE faculty and other leaders in the field, establishing new collaborations and making new friends.

Abstracts for presentation at ASE 2009 will be accepted through Friday, September 18. For more information on this unique, key scientific event, or to submit an abstract, visit www.ast-ase.org.

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