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abstract Project Summary This application seeks funding support for the 2018 Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminth Parasites Meeting that brings together principal investigators, students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world to present important new findings, interact, develop new collaborations, and raise the profile of research on parasitic helminths. The 2018 (12th) meeting will be held September 2-7, 2018. This meeting was established in 1997 with the intent to provide a collegial forum for scientists to exchange ideas, develop new strategies for basic and applied research on these neglected diseases of poverty, and to bring to the field new concepts and technologies emerging from studies on C. elegans and other free-living helminths. The meeting consists of 100 participants and due to increased demand is now held every year. This conference is currently the key and only recurring venue that unites researchers in the field, provides an important mechanism for dissemination of new and key studies, and represents a critical opportunity for recruiting new young scientists and retaining existing researchers in the field. While helminth parasites are a major health problem, enticing and keeping scientists working on these often intractable pathogens is an ongoing and critical challenge. In this context, the meeting has proven instrumental in fostering this community, playing an important and integral part in the development, growth, and continued advancements of the field. Because of the way it is structured, the meeting provides a unique opportunity to highlight student, postdoctoral and new junior faculty in the field, with almost all participants contributing oral or poster presentations in interactive sessions. The meeting also offers a valuable opportunity for participation of scientists from countries endemic for helminthic diseases and for the participation of under-represented minority trainees and scientists from the USA. Thematically, the conference covers all major areas of helminth research in 12 sessions including genomics, immunology, molecular biology, cell biology, drug development and tropical medicine, to maximise cross-fertilization. The location in Hydra, Greece was chosen for equal travel access for the international community and proximity to endemic countries, and for the inexpensive range of accommodation options for delegates. The meeting size and the small and quiet, traffic-free town provides ample facilities for interactions between delegates, fosters community development, and a special atmosphere of concentrated science, interactive discussions and generous opportunities for informal follow-ups. Importantly, the conference organizers request feedback following each meeting and continuously implement new formats and approaches to improve the meeting. !
label Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminth Parasites

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