Sixteenth Annual Mark Wilson Conference

27th Annual Meeting of the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group

February 10–13, 2017

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Oranjestad, Aruba


2017 Meeting Information


Meeting registration, hotel reservation, and request to speak are all due by                       December 10, 2016.

  • Register for the conference
  • Reserve your room at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
    The Renaissance Aruba property offers two rooming experiences: the Marina Hotel and the Ocean Suites. The Marina Hotel is adult-exclusive, whereas the Ocean Suites is a family-friendly option with larger rooms and children’s activities. Participants bringing children under the age of 18 must stay in the Ocean Suites. However, families are very welcome throughout the resort and have full access to all buildings. Rooms in the Marina Hotel are $269/night and rooms in the Ocean Suites are $329/night for island view and $359/night for ocean view. Room taxes and fees total 23.74% and there is a $3.50 per room per night environmental and Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association levy.
  • Request to speak
    Send the title of your presentation to conference coordinator Jacob Burks. Presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes, followed by a few minutes for discussion.

Additional 2017 Mark Wilson Conference information:


2017 Invited Speakers

Thad Photo-0167“Influence of microbial metabolites on disease pathogenesis”

Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, MD, PhD

Conan Professor of Pathology & Immunology

Division of Immunobiology, School of Medicine, Washington University

Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck is currently the Conan Professor of Pathology & Immunology and Co-Chief of the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine. He received a BA degree in the Integrated Science Program from Northwestern University. He obtained an MD/PhD from Northwestern University. He trained in anatomic pathology at Washington University School of Medicine and conducted postdoctoral research with Jeffrey Gordon also at Washington University.

Dr. Stappenbeck’s research program has focused on the response of intestinal epithelial cells to injury using several mouse models including chemical and physical damage as well as genetic modulation of the immune system and epithelial function. His lab has found epithelial repair is directed by intestinal microbes, specific cells of the immune system and the stromal cells that support the epithelium. Within the intestinal epithelium, the process of autophagy is required within specific secretory cells to support intestinal homeostasis. His lab has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America, The Broad Medical Research Program, the Pew Foundation, among others.

????????????????????????????????????“The role of the VBNC state in oral microbiology”

 James D. Oliver, PhD

 Bonnie E. Cone Distinguished Professor of Microbiology

 Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

“James D. Oliver is a microbiologist who has studied the bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus, for 35 years and is considered by the World Health Organization to probably be the foremost expert in the world on this bacterium” (FAO/WHO). He received a BS degree at the University of Arizona, a PhD from Georgetown University, and a PD from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Oliver is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and he has been a visiting professor at numerous universities including the University of Göteborg, Sweden; Duke University Marine Lab; University of Copenhagen, Denmark; National University of Ireland, Galway; University of Aberdeen, Scotland; and was chosen a Mary Derrickson McCurdy Scholar, Duke University. He is an author on 170 publications and 21 book chapters and he has been the invited key note speaker at 127 meetings in 19 countries.

Dr. Oliver’s area of active research includes all aspects (pathogenesis, genomics, transcriptomics, physiology, ecology) of the human pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus; the dormancy state known as the “viable but non culturable state”; stress responses and survival in the environment

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About the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group

The Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group is currently comprised of 183 investigators representing forty-eight universities, research centers, and commercial organizations in the U.S. and abroad. The group had its first meeting in 1991 and has met consecutively each year to date. It is primarily, but not exclusively, through the annual meeting that the mission of the OIMRG is achieved. This meeting, which was designed to facilitate in-depth discussions by more established investigators, is built around topical areas encompassing host responses to oral bacteria, pathogenic mechanisms, and studies of host-derived factors and host-genetics, and is guided by the following objectives:

  • To foster interaction and collaboration among scientists interested in oral immunology and microbiology
  • To promote information exchange and collaboration between academicians and their colleagues, including those working in industry
  • To provide a forum through which new investigators can begin to network with more established investigators

These principles have remained constant and virtually all participants who have been invited to this meeting, including outside speakers, remark on its uniqueness, because of both its small size and intimate nature, permitting interchange by senior investigators in a way that is unique and unparalleled. Group members are able to interact in a congenial atmosphere which helps minimize barriers to information exchange. This informal atmosphere encourages discussions during the day and well into the evenings and is responsible for many, many scientific collaborations over the years, not to mention lasting friendships.

Another notable quality of the conference is the distinguished outside speakers this meeting is able to attract. Speakers have included Nobel Prize awardees, a Shaw Prize winner (the Asian equivalent of the Nobel), and several members of the National Academy of Science during the past 10 years. Because of the “personality” of this meeting, several of the outside speakers have chosen to continue to attend the conference in future years as attendees themselves even though the oral cavity is not the focus of their research.

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Meeting Logistics

The Annual Meeting of the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group (OIMRG) is also known as The Mark Wilson Conference, named in honor of its founder, Mark Wilson, PhD, 1950–2000. In keeping with Mark’s original concept, the meeting is held over a long weekend during late January or early February and consists of three scientific sessions, each focusing on a distinct area of oral immunology and microbiology.

The scientific sessions run from 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. This year’s topics are:

  • Saturday: Pathogenic Strategies of Oral Microbiota
  • Sunday: Emerging Areas in Translational Oral Medicine
  • Monday: Cross-talk between the Host and the Oral Microbiota

Sessions begin with a keynote address by an invited speaker. Small group breakout sessions for continuing scientific discussions from the morning are held in the afternoons.

The meeting starts on Friday evening with a reception, breakfast is served prior to each session, and a dinner banquet is held on Sunday evening. All group meals/special events (reception, three breakfasts, and dinner banquet) are included in the registration fee and to further maintain Mark’s original meeting concept, registered participants are welcome to bring one companion to each meal. Additional companions are welcome at an additional charge, which must be paid at the time of registration.

Meeting director: Ann Progulske-Fox, PhD







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