The IBD conference, which kicks off in Snowmass, Colorado Sept. 8 with a keynote address by Dr. Daniel Podolsky of the Massachusetts General Hospital, comprehensively deals with diseases that are for the most incurable and whose causes are still unknown.
One of the co-organizers, Matthew B. Grisham, professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Physiology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, said about half the 18 additional speakers are comparatively young up-and-coming researchers, "and for most of them, this probably will be their first oral presentation at a major conference."
Broad range of topics reflects comprehensive attack on IBD
Three speakers have been added to each of the six symposia on topics ranging from "new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of IBD" to the "role of the immune system in IBD." (See complete schedule, below.)
Grisham said that the overall quality of the abstracts reflects the fact that IBD is getting the kind of research attention it deserves and needs. "Over the past 15 years, IBD has gone from a somewhat invisible, almost orphan disease to one where almost everyone you talk with knows someone" with either Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis, the two constituent diseases of IBD, Grisham added.
Formerly thought of as predominantly a white American and European disease, Grisham said that in those same 15 years or so, the incidence of IBD in Japan, for instance, has risen from a relatively low level to about the same rate as in the U.S. According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), there are an estimated 1 million IBD sufferers in the U.S.,