a Tuberculosis symposium on the beach? Yes, on June 2016: Correlating Clinical and Experimental TB Pathology

symposiumWhat do we know of human tuberculosis (TB) lesions? At what extent are we mimicking them well with the current experimental animal models? Which are the best models to evaluate vaccine and drug candidates against TB? And what could we do to design better models? The  Correlating Clinical and Experimental TB Pathology symposium will gather the most renown scientists to answer these questions. The symposium will be held in a hotel on the beach, in the mediterranean sunny Catalonia and is being organized by us with the support of our institution the IGTP and the TBVI.

Tuberculosis (TB) is still a public health threat in many countries in Africa and Asia, causing 9.6 million new cases and 1.5 million deaths per year (WHO, 2014).
To combat the biggest infectious disease killer worldwide, new tools are urgently needed.

In spite of  the limited financial resources, scientists in the TB field have made important progress in the past 20 years, in particular in basic studies and experimental modelling.International efforts funded by the EU Framework Programmes (6 and 7) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have accellerated the development of new drug and vaccine candidates. Besides that, capacity has been built by training scientists, technicians and other personnel, both in the labs and in the field.

Experimental animal modelling is essential to evaluate drug and vaccine candidates, helping to select the better ones for further (clinical) development. But to what extent can these models be really representative for human TB? Most experiments are done with small mammals (mice and guinea pigs), with obviously big anatomo-pathological differences with humans. However, experts on human TB and those on experimental modelling have little opportunities to share their latest insights.

With this conference, we want to fill the gap between these two worlds, by gathering speakers with long-term expertise one either of these topics. With this purpose, we have set the following objectives:

  1. To present the latest scientific progresses at international level.
  2. To discuss the contribution of experimental animal models in the TB research field and how experimental animal models can better mimic human disease.
  3. To disseminate and to maximize the impact of the conference by: generating new translational collaborations, the publication of a position paper on how to become a guide at international level, and dissemination of the presented knowledge to the society through mass media.

On 8th June, the WP2 meeting of H2020 EU-funded Project TBVAC2020 will be hosted as a satellite event, conducted by Dr Frank Verreck (WP leader).


The Experimental Tuberculosis Unit is internationally renowned in evaluating new prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against TB. The organization of this congress will consolidate both the Unit and Barcelona as leaders of a human-like experimental animal modelling hub which aims to continue as a working group.

The basic researchers in the field of TB will benefitfrom the anatomo-pathological and clinical findings in humans, and the collaboration between clinical and basic researchers will open new translational collaborations. In this sense, the venue for the event (Hostal Spa Empúries, secluded and inspiring) has been selected to promote professional interrelationships.

The organizers have sought maximal feasible diversity in speakers in terms of geography, gender and age, and as part of their involvement in the Africa-Europe Host-Directed Therapies Network, a representative number of African speakers have been included.

Gathering many experts working on 2 different aspects of the same disease will be key to debate and find a consensus position at international level. It is expected to wrap up the conclusions in a scientific manuscript and publish it in a high-impact scientific journal.

Innovation and Transference
All the generated knowledge can be useful for developers and evaluators of new vaccine and drug candidates against tuberculosis, thus with high probability of acting as a bridge between the academy and the pharma and biotech companies (knowledge and technology transfer).

For more information and registration, please visit the following link: #TBEmpuries2016 



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