Join PATH in Mexico City for the next VASE Conference!

Jan 09, 2018


Dr. Richard Walker
Director of PATH’s enteric vaccine project

Nearly two years ago, I announced PATH’s first international Vaccines Against Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) Conference (more commonly known as the VASE Conference), and I blogged about our high hopes and exciting plans for the event. This meeting was the first of its kind, and we really weren’t sure what to expect. Would we get enough abstract submissions? Would people actually show up? Does anyone really care that much about Shigella and ETEC?


Well, I’m pleased to report that our inaugural conference in 2016 was a rousing success, and I’m even more pleased to share that registration is now open for the 2018 VASE Conference! This year’s event will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency in Mexico City, Mexico, on June 12 to 14. It’s a wonderful venue in a beautiful and vibrant city, and we are looking forward to sharing our “new and improved” VASE Conference with you.


Dr. Walker pointing to Dr. Bourgeois posing in a vaccine superhero cutout
Dr. Richard Walker (left) and Dr. Lou Bourgeois (right) are a dynamic duo of superheroes fighting against ETEC and Shigella. Meet a few more heroes from the 2016 VASE Conference.

VASE 2016 brought together more than 250 scientists, public health professionals, immunization leaders, vaccine industry representatives, donors, and other experts from approximately 30 countries to discuss developing and introducing new enteric vaccines. We also received 71 abstracts for consideration, which was more than we expected for a first-time conference! The final program featured a total of 23 oral and 32 poster abstract-based presentations, representing a wide range of research and topics related to enteric diseases and vaccines.


So, what’s different this year? For one, we are focusing the VASE 2018 agenda around two major themes. First, as diarrhea mortality rates in children decline, the focus must shift to diarrhea's longer-term impact on child growth and development. Second, vaccines (including those against Shigella and ETEC) are a critical component of the global strategy to prevent and control diarrheal disease.


Along with the registration launch for VASE 2018, we’re also sharing summaries for the nine break-out workshop sessions. We have a great array of topics – a little something for everyone– and we’re asking registrants to select their workshops ahead of time. We’re also looking at some innovative ways to work in the discussion-based workshop session model elsewhere in our 2018 program.


In addition, we’re working on increasing the scientific content of the meeting, while continuing to keep our focus on ensuring lots of interactive discussion time. This is where you come in – we’re looking for your abstracts of original work on Shigella, ETEC, and other neglected enteric diseases and vaccine development. So, if you have something to share – please submit an abstract by February 14, 2018!


If you have an idea to submit (or even if you don’t) and you’re worried about having the funds to attend the conference, I strongly encourage you to apply for a travel grant (deadline for applications is March 1, 2018). As with 2016, we aren't charging a registration fee in order to make it easier to attend VASE, and we hope that by offering travel grants, we will be able to help bring together another diverse group of participants at this year’s meeting.


See you in Mexico City!