Dear Colleagues and Friends,
On behalf of the Board and the Scientific Organising Committee we warmly welcome you to the 11th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD) in Melbourne, Australia from 15-19th April 2018. ISPPD is the premier meeting for pneumococcal researchers globally, bringing together researchers with a diverse range of interests and expertise.
Since the first ISPPD in Denmark, we have made substantial progress in controlling pneumococcal disease, but there remain many challenges and unanswered questions for us to address. At the time of the Denmark meeting global use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines seemed a distant goal, but the past two decades have seen great progress. As with other new vaccines for general use, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction started in the richest countries, and gradually moved to the poorer countries where the need is greatest. The Gavi Alliance has provided a mechanism for providing these expensive vaccines to the poorest countries, but many lower middle income countries have been left out. In Asia pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction has been very slow, but now we see growing interest in the vaccine in major countries like Indonesia and India. Appropriately, the program for this meeting will put the spotlight on Asia, and Indigenous communities in the region, while bringing the very latest scientific developments in the field of pneumococcal disease and its control.
We have endeavoured to develop a dynamic and engaging program that highlights the areas of substantial recent progress, while also posing the tough questions where progress has been more challenging. Where possible plenary sessions will take a cross-disciplinary approach to major areas in the field. Parallel sessions will allow us to 'dive deep' and focus on specific topic areas covering clinical aspects, immunology, microbiology, epidemiology and where they interact.
We have listened to the feedback – adding new social events designed to promote interaction and scientific engagement for all. This includes dedicated evening poster presentation sessions, as well as events for early career researchers, networking, and even a social run. We have maintained the 'meet the experts' sessions, and also added a program of pre-congress workshops. There will be no industry sponsored sessions, but participants from industry will contribute to the meeting as true scientific partners, thereby enriching the experience for all.
Along with our colleagues and partners, we are happy to welcome you to Melbourne. ISPPD-11 promises to be an outstanding scientific meeting at a state-of-the-art conference facility in a fantastic location. Melbourne is a lively multicultural city with great food, wine, sport and art.
We are delighted to welcome you to Melbourne and Australia, and to ISPPD-11!
Catherine Satzke and Kim Mulholland
Co-Chairs, Scientific Organising Committee