CIIE Symposium on Parasite evolution across scales

We are pleased to announce that the 5th CIIE Symposium, “Life in cells, hosts, and vectors: how do parasites maximise fitness across scales?”, will be held on Tuesday November 29, 2011 in Lecture Theatre 3, Ashworth Laboratories, University of Edinburgh.
This will be an all-day event.

The aim of the symposium is to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines to address a central question in infectious disease biology: How do parasites maximise fitness across a range of biological scales? Although parasite fitness is often equated with between-host transmission, such a simple assumption overlooks the fact that transmission is a consequence of processes acting on a number of different scales and, in some cases, across a number of vastly different environments. Understanding disease evolution therefore requires an understanding of the cellular and behavioural interactions between parasites and hosts; of host demography and epidemiology; of vector ecology and immunity; and of the links between these scales.

This symposium brings together researchers whose work looks across scales and environments to understand why and how parasites 'do what they do', tying together mechanism, evolutionary explanations, and public health implications. Our programme of speakers is broad, covering a range of different systems – from micro- (bacteria, viruses, protozoans) to macro-parasites (helminths) – as well as integrating theoretical and empirical approaches.

9:30 Nicole Mideo (University of Edinburgh): Introduction
9:45 Olivier Restif (University of Cambridge): Is Salmonella trapped in the closet? The coming-out of an intracellular pathogen
10:15 Sarah Reece (University of Edinburgh): Putting within-host ecology into parasite evolutionary biology: strategic decision-making?
10:45-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 Toni Aebischer (Robert Koch Institute): Life in cells: From a proteomic parts list to an interpretation of the habitat of Leishmania in macrophages
12:00 Andy Fenton (University of Liverpool): Dances with worms: the evolution of pathogen virulence under coinfection
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00 Sam Brown (University of Edinburgh): Virulence dynamics across multiple environments
14:30 Ville Friman (University of Exeter): Protist and phage enemies and the evolution of virulence in opportunistic bacterial pathogens
15:00 Alvaro Acosta-Serrano (University of Liverpool): The blood pact: African trypanosomes use tsetse serpins to evade mammalian complement in the fly
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 Joanne Webster (Imperial College): How do schistosomes optimize fitness across scales and changing environments?
16:30 Mark Brown (Royal Holloway, University of London): Dynamic transmission, host quality and population structure in a multi-host parasite of bumblebees
17:00 Discussion, drinks, and nibbles
If you'd like to attend, you need to register using the online registration form below. Lunch will be provided for all registered attendees.

You can contact the organisers by e-mailing



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