(1998, NS 106)
June 7-10, 1998
Södertuna slott, Gnesta, Sweden, and Nobel Forum, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Organizers: Professor Ingemar Ernberg, Karolinska Institute (KI); with Professors Carl-Erik Nord and Staffan Normark (KI); Ulf Pettersson, Uppsala University; Hans Wolf-Watz, Umeå University; Ralf Pettersson, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, KI; Stanley Falkow, Stanford University; Ari Helenius, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich; and Elliot Kieff and Jack Strominger, Harvard University, scientific committee.
Attending the symposium were 35 of the foremost researchers in this field from Europe, the United States and Canada (including Rolf Zinkernagel, Stanley Prusiner, Craig Venter, Tony Pawson and Philippe Sansonetti), who made their own contributions, plus 20 selected younger researchers from Sweden and Norway as discussion participants. The strategies that microorganisms (bacteria, parasites and viruses) have developed to invade their human host and human cells in order to hide from the body's defense mechanisms were discussed and compared. The success of this microbial strategy, in turn, affects their dispersion and reproduction, as well as the human risk of contracting acute, persistent or lingering illnesses. The mechanisms utilized by microbes are highly varied and surprising. The genetic makeup of microbes is being mapped at a rapid pace, providing entirely new insights into microbial strategies and new research tools. Against the backdrop of today's solid expertise in immunology, intracellular signal transduction, mucous membrane biology and genetic engineering, these discussions took place in a calm yet inspiring manor house atmosphere in rural Södermanland province. They were enriched by a piano concert by the now Italian-based Carl Pontén, a cultural event at nearby Gripsholm Castle and many lively discussions during breaks. The symposium ended with an open-session day for all students and younger researchers at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.