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The Houston Zoo, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and the National School of Tropical Medicine will be sponsoring a symposium focusing on emerging diseases as influenced by habitat destruction and change. Many of the deadliest and emerging diseases are zoonoses that are due to habitat destruction, human and animal crowding, and agricultural practices. The symposium will include international scholars and experts from both the symposium sponsors and outside institutions. There will be formal presentations, panel discussions and informal gatherings.
Stephen Morse, PhD, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University
Having originated the term and concept of emerging diseases, Dr. Morse will present on emerging diseases and bioterrorism.
Gregory Bossart, VMD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer, Georgia Aquarium
Dr. Bossart will present on marine animals as sentinels for human disease.
Dickson Despommier, PhD, Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University
Dr. Despommier will introduce the concept of vertical and urban farming to help protect the environment.
Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Hotez will present on tropical diseases and their impact on global health and development.
Tammy Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director, Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Excellence for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Diseases (FAZD Center) and Director Texas Veterinary Diagnositic Laboratory
Dr. Beckham will talk about animal diseases associated with bioterrorism and zoonotic diseases.
Max Essex DVM, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative
Dr. Essex will briefly discuss the zoonotic origins of HIV but primarily focus on its phylogenetics, natural history, and transmission. He won the Lasker Award with a group of scientists that first identified SIV and suggested that HIV was caused by a retrovirus.
Sharon Deem DVM, PhD, Director, Institute for Conservation Medicine, St. Louis Zoo
Dr. Deem will give an overview of epidemiology from the perspective of a wildlife veterinarian.
Kristy Murray, DVM, PhD, Associate Vice Chair for Research, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Murray will present on the epidemiology of West Nile especially as it relates to Texas. Dr. Murray previously has worked at the CDC.
Wendy Keitel, MD, Principal Investigator Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, Professor Department Of Molecular Virology and Molecular Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Keitel will present on the epidemiology of bird flu and vaccine production.
Ron Sass, PhD, Fellow, James A. Baker Institute of Public Policy, Professor Emeritus Rice University.
Former Chairman Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University and former
Guggenheim Fellow in the Department of Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University.
Dr. Sass will present on Climate Change and its Relationship to Water and Food.
Amy Dunham, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
Dr. Dunham will present on Parasites, Emerging Disease and Biodiversity Conservation.
Evan Siemann, PhD, Chairman and Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,Rice University.
Dr Siemann will present on The Impact of Overgrazing on Native Grasslands and Insect Population.
Lisa Atkins, Graduate Student (in Joseph Petrosino’s Laboratory) Department of Molecular Virology and Molecular Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
Ms. Atkins will present on Functional Genomics applied to bio-defense and emerging infectious disease concerns.
Members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring institutions will also be giving presentations and participating in the panel discussions.
The symposium is scheduled for February 13-15, 2014 and will be held on the grounds and meeting facilities of The Houston Zoo.
February 13th 5pm to 8pm: Welcome and evening icebreaker at the Houston Zoo
February 14th and 15th8am to 5pm: Full day sessions at the Houston Zoo 8am to 5pm
Registration Fee – $250
The registration fee will include all meetings, social gatherings, a reception and two lunches. Registration will be limited to two hundred people and a webpage will be developed for registration, complete agenda and speaker list. If space is still available, late registration begins on January 1st and will be $300.
Call for Posters opens on July 1st.
We will have a limited number of spaces available for poster presentations. Suitable poster topics will include conservation and its impact on emerging disease, sustainable environment themes, public policy, and bioterrorism threats. Please forward all poster abstracts to email: email@example.com by November 1, 2013. Notification of accepted posters will go out no later than December 1, 2013.
Poster Awards: Posters will be judged by attendees at the Symposium with the top three posters winning prizes of: 1st) $250 2nd) $100 and 3rd ) $50
Travel and Accommodations
We have reserved a room block at the following hotels for guests attending the symposium. You may reserve your rooms directly with the hotels:
Wyndham Houston – Medical Center Hotel & Suites
6800 Main Street | Houston, TX 77030
Group Name: Houston Zoo
Rates are $89 per night single or double plus applicable taxes
Residence Inn by Marriott – Houston Medical Center
7710 Main Street, Houston, TX 77030
Group Name: Houston Zoo
Rates are $109 per night queen or $119 per night for double plus applicable taxes
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) hosts all major airlines and is approximately 25 miles from the Houston Zoo and nearby lodging. William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) hosts Southwest, Delta, Air Tran and American Airlines and is approximately 15 miles from the Houston Zoo and nearby lodging. Super Shuttle operates from both airports and can be accessed online at http://www.supershuttle.com/.