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.
FY18 Program Accomplishments
Keystone Symposia's FY18 year (July 2017 — June 2018) featured 60 conferences across a diverse range of the life sciences that attracted the participation of 13,822 scientists from 91 countries. Seventy-one percent of participants were affiliated with academia, with the remainder coming from industry, government and nonprofit/nongovernment organizations; nine percent of participants did not disclose their affiliation. FY18 student and postdoc participation was 37%. The majority of attendees (79%) 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 349 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 (51%). Twenty-five scholarships were awarded to students and postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Global Health Travel Awards funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation enabled 181 investigators and clinicians from developing countries to attend meetings in the 2018 Keystone Symposia Global Health Series.
- 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-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 conferences 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."
- According to exit survey responses, 46% of those participating were attending a Keystone Symposia conference for the first time.
- Keystone Symposia expanded outreach beyond the 60 face-to-face conferences via public lectures for our Colorado community and online "Virtual Keystone Symposia" events which were broadcast to participants around the world.
- Genome Editing Using CRISPR-Cas Systems, a Keystone Symposia Community Lecture in partnership with the CU Boulder Department of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology with Dr. Feng Zhang as lecturer.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Conventional and Alternative Therapeutic Approaches, an ePanel livestream featuring Drs. Bruce Bebo (moderator), Patrizia Casaccia (moderator), Dennis Bourdette, Ari Green, Andrew Goodman, and Douglas Landsman as panelists.
- Rigor in Science: The Challenge of Reproducibility in Biomedical Research, an ePanel livestream featuring Drs. Richard Harris (moderator), Michael Holtzman, Jeffrey Haspel, Dana Philpott, Patricia Valdez, Emilie Marcus, and Alison Farrell as panelists.
- Neuroinflammation: Causes, Concepts and Consequences, an online ePanel featuring Drs. Richard Ransohoff (moderator), Irene Knuesel, Carlo Condello, and Hugh Perry as panelists.
- Tech Transfer for Medical Advances: Challenges and Opportunities in Commercializing Academic Biomedical Research, an online ePanel featuring Drs. Juan Carlo López (moderator), Lita Nelsen, Curtis Keith, Katherine Bowdish, and Avi Spier as panelists.
- Drug Discovery: Current Trends in Medicinal Chemistry, an online ePanel featuring Drs. Walter Moos (moderator), Gina Xiaojing Wang, Dmitry Koltun, Chudy Ndubaku, and Eric Harstad as panelists.
- Training Next-Gen Underrepresented (UR) Biomedical Scientists: What Works, What’s Wrong, What’s Right on Target, an online ePanel featuring Drs. Irelene Ricks (moderator), Roland Thorpe, Nicole LaRonde, Michael Lipscomb, Medeva Ghee, Christine Pfund, and Amol Kulkarni as panelists.