After holding the annual KSHV workshops for a quarter century since the discovery of this cancer virus, substantial progress has been made on the biology of Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), diseases associated with its infection, the treatment, and the disease pathogenesis. It is now timely that KSHV 2023 will be the first in this conference series to be held in Africa, where the majority of KSHV and HIV infections are taking place, and where KS is more common than prostate cancer is in the US. The organizing committee and the participants felt that this should mark a new era in inclusiveness and global outreach such that the numerous groundbreaking discoveries about the virus can be more quickly translated to preventing the disease and treating the affected patients, for the international community of researchers to engage African researchers, clinicians, and trainees, to foster collaborations in basic, translational, and clinical research.
This 25th iteration of the International KSHV Conference series will continue to serve as the premier forum for the exchange of new developments in the field of KSHV, which is the etiological agent of the AIDS defining malignancy, Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). Researchers in the KSHV field have held 24 previous annual conferences, typically attended by 100-184 participants.
The KSHV 2023 international organizing committee (IOC) and scientific advisory committee (SAC) will formulate an innovative and thematic format for the meeting to be hosted in Dar es Salaam from June 19th– June 22nd of 2023, followed by a dedicated networking and training workshop on Friday, June 23rd to engage Africa and the next generation of researchers. Our objective is to bring together a diverse audience of researchers and clinicians, especially those on the ground in Africa who are encountering HIV-associated diseases daily, to facilitate the conduct of both translational and basic research on KSHV and KS, to foster new collaborations, and to explore novel therapeutic strategies for treating patients with ailments associated with KSHV in diverse populations and geographies.
This yearly meeting is key to enhance interactions among scientists in the field and promote interdisciplinary communication and collaborations among researchers with expertise that span molecular virus biology, innate and adaptive immunobiology, animal models of pathogenesis, pathology, epidemiology and therapeutic strategies. Thus, this meeting facilitates cross-fertilization of ideas, techniques, and reagents.
In addition, we believe this venue is a critical environment to strengthen the education and professional development of our trainees, especially African researchers and trainees, spanning graduate students, medical students, post-doctoral fellows and clinical fellows, and pre-tenured early careers faculty. Our meeting encourages the presentation of data before publication to enable open discussion and feedback from a field of experts. There are no invited lectures or keynotes. All contributions are equal, which encourages the participation of trainees.
This meeting will provide structured networking opportunities for trainees to interact with senior faculty at academic institutions and scientists from industry and government. From bench science to clinical application, a conversation starter for an international collaboration of researchers.
KSHV 2023 International Organizing Committee:
- Dr. Charles Wood, Cancer Crusader Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Associate Director of Basic Science, Stanley S Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans (Co-Chair)
- Dr. Dirk P. Dittmer, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill (Co-Chair)
- Dr. Julius Mwaiselage, the Executive Director of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (Local Host)
- Dr. Salum Lidenge, Director of Research, Ocean Road Cancer Institute (Local Co-Host)
- Dr. John Ngowi, Oncology, Ocean Road Cancer Institute
- Dr. John West, Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans
- Dr. Owen Ngalamika, Head of the Skin and STI Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital/University of Zambia School of Medicine
- Dr. Tamiwe Tomoka, Head of Pathology of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi and a member of UNC Project Malawi