Among many global health challenges, infectious diseases remain among the most problematic, accounting for about one quarter of all deaths globally, and nearly two-thirds of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Fauci will discuss progress–and remaining challenges–in the fight against major infectious causes of death and disability such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and drug-resistant microbes. He also will discuss how conceptual and technological progress in fields such as genomics and nanotechnology has invigorated infectious disease research. These advances also are contributing to exciting studies on the ecology of human disease, including the Human Microbiome Project, which is exploring how the billions of bacteria that inhabit our bodies contribute to health and illness.
Other NIAID scientists are scheduled to present findings during the four-day meeting as well. The range of topics covered reflects the broad scope of NIAID’s research efforts aimed at better understanding, treating and preventing infectious and immune-mediated diseases.
- Noroviruses, the highly contagious viruses that cause the episodes of acute gastroenteritis also known as winter vomiting disease (Kim Green, Ph.D.)
- The role of gut-dwelling commensal bacteria in producing the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines (Warren Strober, M.D.)
- Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis (Michael Otto, Ph.D.) and Staphylococcus aureus (Frank DeLeo, Ph.D.)
- Finding ways to treat primary immunodeficiencies, inherited conditions in which immune function is impaired (Steve Holland, M.D.)
- Containing Ebola virus, for which there is currently no vaccine or specific treatment (Gary Nabel, M.D., Ph.D.)