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ASM biodefense meeting scheduled for March 2003

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will host a scientific conference, Future Directions for Biodefense Research: Development of Countermeasures, March 9-12, 2003 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

Over the past year research priorities of many government as well as private-sector scientists have shifted towards homeland security. In the biological fields, there is an increasing need for research to help protect the public from biological attacks, as evidenced by President Bushs recent announcement of the 10-year, $6 billion Project Bioshield.

This new biological research agenda, though, does not require scientists to start from scratch. Many new technologies currently being tested in the field of infectious diseases can be applied to the challenge of homeland defense.

The purpose of this meeting is to identify existing state-of-the-art research in the biomedical sciences that can be adapted to address biodefense needs, including vaccine development, new and faster diagnostics, and new treatments for potential biowarfare agents. The meeting will also seek to identify gaps where more research is needed.

The first day of the conference will be devoted to workshop presentations by representatives of various government agencies designed to help researchers better understand the governments approach to and priorities in biodefense. The workshops will be followed by the opening session featuring presentations by Program Chair Gail Cassell, Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Anthony Fauci and ASM President Ronald Atlas.

Additional presentation topics include:

Challenges facing researchers in the field of biological warfare
Novel antibacterial countermeasures
New approaches to vaccine development
Using of nanotechnology to develop new diagnostics

Comprehensive media fac
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
11-Feb-2003


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