The New York Academy of Sciences to Host World TB Day Symposium

On March 24, the Academy will bring together researchers, clinicians, and public health experts to share emerging knowledge and inspire new directions for future work for this deadly disease.

NEW YORK, March 18, 2014-Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable infection that should be a disease of the past, yet a third of the world's population remains affected. On World TB Day, March 24, the New York Academy of Sciences will host the World TB Day Symposium: Countdown to 2015 to explore scientific insights towards novel diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccine-related tools.

"Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-the bacteria that causes TB-kills more people world-wide than any other bacteria. We don't have a vaccine that protects adults from pulmonary TB. Furthermore, diagnosis is difficult and treatment requires a minimum of six months. The emergence of multi- and extremely-drug resistant Mtb makes the problem that much more urgent," says symposium organizer Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD,NYU Langone Medical Center.

Philips warns that without better diagnostics and new therapies, pushed forward by multiple sectors, we risk returning to the pre-antibiotic era, when TB was a leading cause of death in the U.S. and Europe. 

"On the one hand we are encouraged by the advances that have been made-the approval of bedaquiline, the growth in the drug and vaccine pipelines-but we are also driven by the awareness that we have not met the tuberculosis Millennium Development Goals and other global targets for 2015,"says symposium organizer Jessica C. Seeliger, PhD,Stony Brook University. "Bringing TB researchers together at this symposium is not just about sharing what we've done so far, but also about inspiring new directions for our work."

The symposium, which will bring together researchers, clinicians, and public health experts, is presented by the Academy's Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Discussion Group. Presentations will focus on emerging aspects of TB etiology, clinical care, the interaction between Mtb and the host, and protective immunity. There will also be a poster session.

For more information, including the full symposium agenda, please visit www.nyas.org/TB2014.

For press requests, including press passes to the symposium and interview opportunities, please contact Diana Friedman (dfriedman@nyas.org; 212-298-8645).

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 About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology and society worldwide. With 22,000 members around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.