FY15 Program Accomplishments
FY15 featured 57 meetings across a diverse range of the life sciences that attracted the participation of 13,417 scientists from all over the world (87 countries). The majority of scientists were affiliated with academia (68%), with the remainder (25%) coming from industry, government and nonprofit/nongovernment organizations (7% of participants did not disclose their affiliation). FY15 student and postdoc participation was 41%. The majority of attendees (68%) who disclosed year of birth were under 45 years of age. In general, attendee demographics were similar to those of the previous two years.
Some notable achievements and milestones included:
- Keystone Symposia awarded 466 scholarships for meeting attendance to deserving graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, funded by its own operating fund as well as generous donor support.
- Women were well-represented among scholarship recipients (54%). Ninety-eight scholarships were awarded to students and postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented backgrounds. The majority of those recipients were Hispanic American (55%) and African American (26%).
- Thanks to support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the São Paulo Research Foundation, 216 investigators and clinicians from developing countries received Global Health Travel Awards enabling them to attend infectious disease meetings in the 2015 Keystone Symposia Global Health Series. Keystone Symposia’s Global Health series will continue through 2018 thanks to a renewal of the generous Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant.
- Keystone Symposia held its first conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (“Lipid Metabolism and Diabetes”) and in São Paulo, Brazil (“Cell Death Signaling”).
- Exit survey respondents gave high ratings for professional development opportunities at the Keystone Symposia conferences regardless of career stage, affiliation or meeting role. Eighty percent agreed that they made a useful contact at the conference they attended that will lead to a collaboration or sharing of information, data or techniques. Similarly, respondents recognized that the meeting had potential to impact their research regardless of career stage or affiliation. Eighty-eight percent of attendees agreed that the conference facilitated interactions between junior and senior investigators.
- Exit survey respondents reported very high ratings for the scientific content of the meetings regardless of age, region, affiliation or occupation, continuing the same trend observed over the last few years. Ninety-two percent of participants rated the scientific content "Excellent" or "Very Good."
- Keystone Symposia conducted two public forums for the Summit County, Colorado community with panels of experts drawn from scientific conference speakers: on “The Viral Threat in the Age of Ebola” on January 13th, 2015 and on “Little Guys, Big Jobs: Microbes at Work in Your Body” on March 3rd, 2015.