27th Annual Meeting of the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group
February 10–13, 2017
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
- 2017 Invited Speakers
- About the Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group
- About the Annual Meeting
- Visiting Aruba
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.
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
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.
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