ASM 2019 coming to Adelaide

Friday, 24 May, 2019

ASM 2019 coming to Adelaide

The Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) is excited to invite you to Adelaide for its annual national scientific conference (ASM 2019).

The conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC), overlooking the River Torrens, the Riverside Precinct and the Adelaide Oval. It is also amongst a growing hub of biomedical and medical research facilities. Next door to the ACC are the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), the South Australian Medical and Health Research Institute (SAMHRI), and the newly finished University of Adelaide Health and Medical Science building and University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute.

Within the Cancer Research Institute is a wonderfully exciting and innovative public museum of discovery (MOD). This futuristic museum is a place to be inspired about science and technology, displaying how research shapes our understanding of the world and informs our futures. An intersection of art and science, MOD is said to be like no other museum experience in Australia.

Co-located with the ACC and in the neighbouring streets and laneways are a diverse range of bars, restaurants and cafes showcasing the high standard of South Australian food and wine. And just a short walk or tram trip from the ACC, Adelaide continues to surprise with exciting events and activities. A visit to Adelaide Zoo to meet the pandas is close by. For those with more time, you can jump on the tram to Glenelg (the beach and surrounding cafes and bars are always exciting) or within an hour you are in the McLaren Vale or Barossa Valley. In half that time you could be in the Adelaide Hills; perhaps in Hanhdorf, amongst the 19th century, German-styled architecture and culture, all the time enjoying the local food and wine.

Not to be outdone by the wonderful surroundings, the ASM has managed to create an inspiring and exciting scientific program. The society has visiting speakers and guests from around Australia and the rest of the world, who will present science across the breadth of ideas and research that make up microbiology. An overarching theme of ASM 2019 is Humanitarian and Development Solutions.

The conference kicks off on Sunday 30 June with a public lecture by Wendy Jackson and Hilda Zoleveke from the Pacific Region Infectious Disease Association (PRIDA). They will introduce and describe the important work they do in the neglected areas of infectious disease, including bacteriology, sepsis, other life-threatening infections and hospital infection prevention. The work they are doing goes into many areas and remote sites across the Pacific region, including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and the Marshall Islands.

Professor Tilman Ruff will present the Rubbo Oration on Tuesday, 2 July. He has a broad portfolio of amazing professional and personal activities, and his work has had an enormous impact on humanitarian development. He is an infectious disease and public health physician and has major roles in international organisations surrounding immunisation, public health, and nuclear disarmament and peace. He helped establish the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was its founding chair. ICAN was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace.

In the last 35 years there has been an amazing development in the pure scientific understanding of HIV and the disease outcome of infection, both in western and developing countries. Dr Alan Landay is from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and will talk on Monday, 1 July about his research into HIV/AIDS. This work includes the first immune evaluations of HIV-infected haemophiliacs in 1982 and important original contributions to understanding the role of immune activation in diseases related to ageing in the HIV population. He has been part of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and an advisor to the United Nations on HIV/AIDS and ageing.

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global public health and infectious disease problem — particularly in developing countries, where in many parts it is endemic. Globally, almost 1 million people die from TB every year. Plenary speaker Professor Miguel Viveiros, from the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, conducts research devoted to the early diagnosis of active or latent TB infections, as well as the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to deal with multidrug-resistant TB. He leads the Study Group for Mycobacterial Infections (ESGMYC) at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID).

The continued and vital research into vaccine development is an essential area for global and humanitarian health and development strategies. Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) annually provides direct support for the Bazeley Oration at the ASM 2019, and this year’s oration will be presented by an eminent international speaker — Professor Luigina Romani, who is internationally recognised in the area of antifungal immunity. The Bazeley Oration will be followed by a social event, also to be held in the ACC overlooking the River Torrens and the Adelaide Oval; a great environment to end the day and reflect on the science.

Professor Sarah Gurr, Chair in Food Security at Exeter University, will present from her large body of significant research on fungal diseases in plants. Her interests are in crop diseases, with particular emphasis on fungal infestations and their global movement and control.

Further to our understanding of infectious diseases, how they spread and how we treat these diseases, a global concern is the increasing number of infections that are resistant to antimicrobials. ASM is thus pleased to have Dr Marnie L Peterson visiting from the USA to speak at ASM 2019. Dr Peterson is an expert in antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial stewardship, experimental therapeutics and microbial pathogenesis, with a successful background in the development of new therapeutics for infectious diseases. In 2016, she founded Extherid Biosciences to accelerate anti-infective therapeutics through the preclinical phase and increase their clinical performance.

Across ASM 2019 there will be a broad range of important areas of microbiology that will be addressed, and these should stimulate professional (and social) discussion. There will also be a series of social events, including the Welcome night, the Trade and Poster night, and the Rubbo and Bazeley celebrations. ASM looks forward to the science, the discussions, and having fellow microbiologists enjoy ASM 2019 in Adelaide.

What: ASM 2019
When: 30 June–3 July
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre

Image credit: ©moisseyev/Dollar Photo Club

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