14th Annual Mark Wilson Conference

February 6-9, 2015
Caribe Hilton
San Juan, Puerto Rico

2015 Meeting Information

2015 Invited Speakers

“The Social Life of Bacteria”


E. Peter Greenberg, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology

School of Medicine, University of Washington

Dr. Greenberg received his Bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University, an MS from the University of Iowa, and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts. After completing postdoctoral studies at Harvard he held faculty positions at Cornell University and then the University of Iowa, eventually returning to the Pacific Northwest as a faculty member with the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Dr. Greenberg is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and the Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Greenberg has spent his scientific career uncovering the secret world of microbial social behavior and unlocking clues regarding the mechanisms of bacterial communication. He introduced the now commonly used term “quorum sensing and response” into the lexicon of microbiology and will speak on the concept of “quorum-sensing groups” and the interactions between group members known as “quorum-sensing cooperators” and “social cheaters.” Because bacterial communication controls virulence in a variety of pathogenic bacteria and has thus become a target for development of new therapeutic strategies, Dr. Greenberg’s work may one day have a significant positive effect on human health.

Dr. Greenberg is also interested in how the development of normal biofilms is influenced by bacterial cell-cell signaling and the use of bacteria as models for studies of selection for and evolution of cooperative behavior. Click below for more information on Dr. Greenberg and his lab:

“Linking Pathogen Virulence, Immunity and the Microbiota”


Gabriel Nuñez, MD

Paul de Kruif Endowed Professor, Department of Pathology

University of Michigan Medical School

Dr. Gabriel Nuñez earned his Medical Doctor’s degree from the University of Seville, Spain, in 1977. He received postdoctoral training in Immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (1979–1984) and residency training in Anatomical Pathology at Washington University in St Louis (1985–1990). In 1987, he joined the laboratory of Stanley Korsmeyer at Washington University, where he studied the function of the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2. In 1991, he joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to full Professor in 2001. He holds the Paul de Kruif Endowed Professorship in Academic Pathology. His laboratory identified NOD1 and NOD2, the first members of the Nod-like receptor (NLR) family, a class of pattern-recognition receptors that mediate cytosolic sensing of microbial organisms. Nuñez and colleagues showed that genetic variation in a NLR family member, NOD2, is strongly associated with susceptibility to Crohn’s disease.

Currently, the Nuñez laboratory is interested in signaling pathways regulating innate immunity, the pathogenesis of inflammatory disease and the role of the microbiota in host defense and colitis. Dr. Nuñez is the author of more than 270 scientific publications. His research program is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Broad Foundation, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Click below for more information on Dr. Nuñez and his lab:

  • Dr. Nuñez’s Faculty Profile and Research Interests

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About the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group

The Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group (OIMRG) had its first meeting in 1991. It was founded as a means of promoting intimate, collegial interaction and collaboration among researchers interested in the immunology and microbiology of the oral cavity, particularly as related to oral diseases (dental caries and periodontal disease). The OIMRG is currently comprised of 183 investigators representing forty-eight universities, research centers, and commercial organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

The OIMRG convenes annually for a meeting that consists of three scientific sessions, each focusing on a distinct area of oral immunology and microbiology. It is primarily, but not exclusively, through the annual meeting that the objectives of the OIMRG are achieved. These objectives include the following:

  1. To foster interaction and collaboration among scientists interested in oral immunology and microbiology;
  2. To promote information exchange and collaboration between academicians and their colleagues in the private sector who are engaged in basic and clinical studies pertaining to oral health and disease;
  3. To provide a forum through which new independent investigators establish contact with representatives of federal and non-federal agencies which may be potential sources of funding for future studies.

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About the annual meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group is also known as the Mark Wilson Conference in honor of its founder, Mark Wilson, PhD, 1950–2000. In keeping with Mark’s original plan, the meeting is held over a long weekend during late January or early February. The 25th annual meeting is scheduled for February 6–9, 2015 at the Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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

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

Each session begins with a keynote address by an invited lecturer. Small group break out sessions for continuing scientific discussions from the morning are held in the afternoons.

The meeting starts on a Friday evening with a reception. Breakfast is served prior to each session. A dinner banquet is held on Sunday evening. All meals (reception, three breakfasts, and dinner banquet) are included in the registration fee and 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