International Symposium on TB Diagnostics: Innovating to make an impact

The "International Symposium on TB Diagnostics: Innovating to make an impact" (ITBS 2010) shall soon be held in New Delhi, India during 16-17 December 2010. It is being organized by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). ITBS 2010 is being co-sponsored by Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). Read more

"This is the fourth meeting in the International Tuberculosis (TB) Symposia (ITBS) series that has become a regular biennial event at ICGEB, New Delhi. It is heartening to note that every meeting has attracted increasingly good number of leading TB experts from across the world as well as large number of young researchers from across India and other countries. However, tuberculosis still continues to inflict one third of the global population, causing nearly nine million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) and death of nearly 1.8 millions per year. Thanks to persistent efforts of research community across the world, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is beginning to reveal its secrets, though slowly and reluctantly. Once again it is time for us to get together, pool our resources, and form networks in order to evolve more effective intervention strategies. This Symposium is an attempt to facilitate this process" said Dr Pawan Sharma, Convener of ITBS 2010.

"It is perhaps the most opportune time to address issues in TB Diagnostics. With the largest pipeline of new drugs and drug combinations in place, 'potentially effective against all forms of disease in all patients' (TB Alliance), and a similar pipeline of TB vaccines in various stages of clinical trials, it is only imperative to devise point-of-care diagnostic methods, which are not only sensitive and specific but also time-effective and cost-effective. This Symposium provides an opportunity to take stock of deliverables in the area of TB diagnostics against the backdrop of advances made in the basic biology of the disease. I hope that this meeting offers a platform for national and global policy-makers, academia, industry and funding agencies to come together and take stock of the current status of TB diagnostics and find ways for translating research results into reliable point-of-care methods for diagnosis, and to develop more robust strategies for epidemiology studies. At this juncture, India being home to the largest number of TB patients in the world, presents a challenge and an opportunity to emerge as a global leader in the area of TB diagnostics" added Dr Sharma.

The ITBS 2010 Symposium will provide a platform for these deliberations in the following scientific sessions:
- Pathophysiology of Tuberculosis and the Challenge of Diagnosis
- Trailing the Bug: TB Diagnostics Today & Tomorrow
- Changing the Landscape of TB Diagnostics in India
- Diagnostics Innovations from India: View from Industry and Clinic
- Diagnostics Innovations in India: Enablers and Barriers

Bobby Ramakant - CNS