Keystone Symposia will serve as a catalyst for the advancement of biomedical and life sciences by connecting scientists within and across disciplines at conferences and workshops held at venues that create an environment conducive to information exchange, generation of new ideas, and acceleration of discoveries that benefit society.
FY16 Program Accomplishments
Keystone Symposia's FY16 year (July 2015 — June 2016) featured 59 conferences across a diverse range of the life sciences that attracted the participation of 12,675 scientists from 87 countries. Sixty-five percent of participants were affiliated with academia, with the remainder coming from industry, government and nonprofit/nongovernment organizations; seven percent of participants did not disclose their affiliation. FY16 student and postdoc participation was 37%. The majority of attendees (65%) 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 409 scholarships for conference attendance to deserving graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, funded by its own operating fund as well as generous donor and grant support.
- Women were well-represented among scholarship recipients (58%). Fifty scholarships were awarded to students and postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented backgrounds. The majority of those recipients were Hispanic American (50%) and African American (46%).
- Global Health Travel Awards funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation enabled 175 investigators and clinicians from developing countries to attend meetings in the 2016 Keystone Symposia Global Health Series. In August 2015, Keystone Symposia received a renewed multi-million-dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, providing support of the Keystone Symposia Global Health series and Global Health Travel Awards through the end of calendar year 2018.
- Attendees completing the exit surveys gave high ratings for professional development opportunities at Keystone Symposia conferences regardless of career stage, affiliation or meeting role. Seventy-nine 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 conference had the potential to impact their research regardless of career stage or affiliation. Eighty-seven 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 conferences regardless of age, region, affiliation or occupation, continuing the same trend observed over the last few years. Ninety-one percent of participants rated the scientific content "Excellent" or "Very Good."
- According to exit survey responses, 47% of those participating were attending a Keystone Symposia conference for the first time.
- Keystone Symposia expanded outreach beyond the 59 face-to-face conferences via public lectures for the Summit County, Colorado community and online “Virtual Keystone Symposia” events:
- Challenges for Drug Discovery: Making Safer, More Effective Drugs to Treat Disease presented by Nobel Laureate Dr. Brian Kobilka to the local community on February 23rd, 2016
- Between the Tiger the Crocodile: TB and HIV presented by Dr. Anne Goldfeld to the local community on March 2nd, 2016
- From Neuroscience to Therapy: How Do We Get There, an online live panel discussion with Q&A featuring Drs. Steven Hyman, Benjamin Neale, Guoping Feng and Stacie Weninger as panelists and broadcast to participants in 66 countries around the world.