Strategies for the Identification and Development of Novel Antimicrobial Agents
Organizer(s): Steven J. Projan, Karen Bush and Richard J. WhitleyDate: January 31 - February 05, 2002
Location: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel, Santa Fe, NM, USA
In many ways we are entering the golden age of anti-infective research. Many of the major pathogenic bacteria have been completely sequenced and complete sequence information is also available for most all clinically important viruses and some pathogenic fungi. While the roles of many bacterial and viral genes have yet to be elucidated, a variety of methods including proteomics, transcriptional profiling, in vivo expression technology and tightly regulable, in vivo gene expression are giving us new insights into the physiology of infections at the level of both the pathogen and the host. As multitudes of potential targets have emerged from these and other studies, an increasing array of methods for finding substances that interact with these novel (and not so novel) targets have also been developed and are being improved upon daily. These technologies are making increasingly effective uses of automated approaches to screening and chemical syntheses, structural biology approaches to rational drug design and ever-sophisticated animal models of human disease. Perhaps our greatest difficulty is being able to effectively utilize the vast amount of biological data being generated in the drug discovery process. The goal of this conference will be to interface our new understanding of molecular pathogenesis with our enhanced ability to define targets and screen for novel molecules that interact with those targets. While there are many levels at which one can affect the course of infection from prevention through therapy, this conference will focus on developing treatments for infected patients. However we will also try and focus not only on direct interference with bacterial or viral replication but also on strategies to boost host defenses as a means of therapy, clearly an under-appreciated subject. Tempering this enthusiasm is the understanding that resistance to anti-infective agents is the direct consequence of their use, but our ever improving understanding of both pathogenesis and resistance may allow for counter-strategies to prevent or at least ameliorate, the acquisition and spread of resistant pathogens. While it is becoming increasingly uncommon to combine anti-viral and anti-bacterial drug discovery symposia, the fact is that the rapid development of resistance to both antibacterial and antiviral agents, the molecular nature of the targets, and the approaches to find molecules that interact with them are actually converging. This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for cross-fertilization.
Discounted Abstract Deadline: October 8 2001
Discounted Registration Deadline: November 30 2001