Welcome Letter

Welcome Letter

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the Board and the Scientific Organising Committee we warmly welcome you to the 12th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12) in Toronto, Canada from 21-25th June 2020. As many of you are aware, ISPPD is the premier meeting for pneumococcal researchers globally. The meeting brings together researchers with a diverse range of interests and expertise.

The Toronto meeting is the 12th ISPPD and represents the second time that meeting is being held in North America. The first ISPPD was in Denmark in 1998. Over the past two decades, there have been transformational changes in the control of pneumococcal disease worldwide. This era has been defined by the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines worldwide, with a keen focus on assessing the new vaccines’ impact and serotype evolution. However, severe outcomes from pneumococcal diseases remain a concern for healthy as well as compromised hosts around the world. What transformational changes will define the next era of pneumococcal disease prevention? This new era will be characterized by new generation vaccines and strategies for their use, improved understanding of genomics, next-generation sequencing, new diagnostics, and the role of the microbiome, and better knowledge of host-pathogen interaction. These and other topics will be addressed at ISPPD-12 in Toronto.

As was done at ISPPD-11, we plan to have an informative and exciting programme that highlights the areas of substantial recent progress while also posing the tough questions where progress has been more challenging.  Wherever possible, plenary sessions will take a cross-disciplinary approach to major areas in the field.  Parallel sessions will allow us to explore specific topics that cover areas that include but are not limited to clinical issues, host-immune interactions, genomics, immunology, microbiology, epidemiology and the interface between these areas. Meet-the-Expert sessions and workshops will provide opportunities for interaction with professionals in smaller-structured settings.  Researchers at all levels will have an opportunity to present their work in interactive poster sessions. Attention will be given to how to exchange knowledge and translate findings into policy that benefit individuals affected by or a risk of pneumococcal diseases worldwide.

ISPPD-12’s programme will provide ample opportunities for networking professionally and socially. The social programme promises to be exciting and will allow you to experience the culture and warmth of Toronto. Toronto is an exciting, vibrant and multi-cultural city, with stunning Niagara Falls an easy day trip from the city center.  We look forward to interacting with you and your families as you enjoy the symposium and hopefully spend a few extra days exploring the sights, theatres and cuisine of the 4th largest city in North America.

We are extremely delighted to welcome you to Toronto, Ontario and Canada!

Best wishes,

Upton Allen, Cynthia Whitney, Philippe De Wals

Co-Chairs, Scientific Organising Committee