The focus of the 7th Biennial Symposium on Polyamines in Parasites will be the polyamine pathway as a drug target in parasitic protozoa and other pathogens. Disease-causing parasitic organisms contain polyamine metabolic enzymes that are structurally distinct from their human counterparts, or that do not exist in humans, and thus these enzymes represent attractive targets for antiparasitic drug discovery. The symposium was initiated in Hamburg, Germany, in 2000, and has been held biannually in San Antonio, TX, (2002); New York, NY, (2004); Portland, OR, (2006); Detroit, MI (2008); and Phalaborwa, South Africa (2010). In the past, participants have traveled from countries like the United States, India, Germany, Sweden and South Africa to attend the Symposium on Polyamines in Parasites.
The meeting will be composed of a series of 30 min talks given by meeting participants and may also contain a poster session for students and postdoctoral fellows to present their work. Topics for discussion will include: polyamine metabolic pathways in protozoan parasites and other pathogens, validation of polyamine enzyme drug targets, biochemical and structural characterization of polyamine enzymes, drug discovery and inhibitor design, and drug resistance mechanisms. The symposium will be interdisciplinary in nature; thus far, participants with expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, synthetic chemistry, and structural biology have expressed interest in attending.
The goal of the symposium is to assess the most recent state of research in the area of polyamines in parasites, develop new scientific collaborations and coordinate drug discovery efforts, with the aim of identifying effective drug treatments for uncontrolled parasitic diseases. Participants will include principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows, and students from both United States and international laboratories.