Keystone Symposia

This meeting took place in 2004

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Molecular Mechanisms of HIV Pathogenesis (X7)

Organizer(s) Beatrice H. Hahn, Wesley I. Sundquist, Michael H. Malim and Didier Trono
April 12—18, 2004
Whistler Conference Centre • Whistler, BC Canada
Abstract Deadline: Dec 11, 2003
Late Abstract Deadline:
Scholarship Deadline:
Early Registration Deadline: Feb 12, 2004

Supported by Keystone Symposia

Summary of Meeting:
To replicate and cause disease, HIV-1 must overcome cellular and humoral immune responses, defeat innate cellular defense systems, usurp cellular factors, and reprogram the normal biology of the cell. Historically, detailed genetic analyses of viral functions and evolution have identified key viral determinants for the successful completion of each stage in the replication cycle. More recently, studies of innate antiviral and immune responses, host genetics, cell biology, and neuropathogenesis have identified host factors that HIV-1 must overcome in order to replicate. The field is now poised to combine these studies to define the molecular mechanisms that underlie important host/virus interactions, and our meeting therefore focuses on emerging concepts in the molecular mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis. Significant recent advances in this area include: the definition of a variety of envelope/receptor interactions, the development of tools for depleting cellular proteins and visualizing viral trafficking in real time, the discovery of cellular factors and genetic elements that restrict viral replication, an increased understanding of the activities of pathogenesis factors such as nef, the identification of host factors required for viral replication, assembly and budding, the development of non-pathogenic primate lentiviral models, and an increased understanding of the origins and evolution of HIV and primate lentiviruses in general. This recent progress opens the way to answering new questions: - How does the virus penetrate its target cells, once the envelope binds its receptors and undergoes an increasingly well characterized number of structural modifications? - What is the site and mechanism of uncoating, the step through which the inner components of viral cores lose their external layer, the capsid, and organize into an enzymatically active nucleoprotein complex? - How does the virus escape what increasingly appears to be a formidable attempt of the cell to repel this genetic invader? - How does the viral genome find its way to regions of the chromosome in which it is almost always successfully expressed? - How does the combination of host and viral factors modulate viral transcription and cell division, seemingly adapting it to the extracellular environment, and in some rare but critical cells resulting in latent, reactivatable gene expression? - How does the virus hijack intracellular machineries to organize the formation of new particles and promote their release from the infected cell? - What cells host the long-term reservoir of HIV that seems to preclude viral eradication in patients treated with highly active chemotherapy? - How do these cells avoid elimination by the immune system? - Why are naturally occurring SIV infections not causing disease in their natural hosts? - How can we best utilize these SIVs as tools to probe the pathogenic mechanisms of HIV? By bringing together a group of international leaders in HIV/AIDS research, new and exciting information in all of these areas will be presented, new paradigms will be established, and, perhaps, new approaches for anti-HIV therapeutics will be identified.

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Scholarship / Award Information


Keystone Symposia is offering scholarships of up to 1,200 USD to Students and Postdoctoral fellows. These scholarships are to be used to help defray the expenses associated with conference attendance, including airfare (restrictions may apply based on funding source), ground transportation, lodging costs, and a portion of meeting registration. Receipts will be required to receive reimbursement.

Abstracts submitted for poster presentation will be used as the basis for awarding the scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the quality of science of the abstract and the relevance of the abstract to the conference topic. Only one application per abstract is accepted. Only one award per lab will be allocated.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be:

A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow currently enrolled in an academic institute at the start of the meeting for which you are applying. Note: a graduate student is defined as a student who is studying for a higher degree at an academic institution. A postdoctoral fellow is defined as an individual with a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue their desired career path, and is within 6 years of these degrees.

Review Criteria

Criteria for Abstract Review:

  1. Relevance to the meeting topic
  2. Significance of the scientific question and results
  3. Style
    • Organization (e.g. the abstract has a clear beginning, middle and end)
    • Grammar and spelling
  4. Clarity of scientific presentations
    • Clear question or hypothesis
    • Sufficient background
    • The experimental approach and rationale for the approach are clear
    • The results are clearly presented
    • The interpretation and conclusions are reasonable and logical

Application Process

If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should complete all of the following by the scholarship deadline for the meeting you wish to attend. It is recommended you begin these steps in advance of the deadline date to ensure completion.

Click here to start a scholarship application.

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Underrepresented Trainee Scholarships are also available...
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