2020 Virtual Pre-Meeting Courses

Registration is now closed for all Pre-Meeting Courses. The Annual Meeting registration will remain open throughout the meeting.



Where Flatworms Roam: Controversies and Updates in Management of Neurocysticercosis and Echinococcus
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
7:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST
Course Co-chairs: Christina Coyle, MD and Michael Libman, MD

This one-day session will go beyond the basics of the diagnosis, imaging and management of both cestodes and larval cestodes. Expert speakers will present updates and explore controversies in diagnosis and management, unusual manifestations and imaging challenges. Imaging presentations will focus on understanding the differential diagnosis of suspicious lesions. Uncommon cestode infections also will be discussed, including alveolar hydatidosis, sparganosis and coenurosis. Sessions will be highly interactive with opportunities for active audience participation and discussion with the experts. 

Modeling for Disease Outbreaks – Practical Approaches to Understanding and Using Models
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST
Course Co-chairs: Kathryn Anderson, MD, PhD, MSPH and Julie Pavlin, MD, PhD, MPH, FASTMH

The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated to the world again how rapidly a disease can move through populations, spread exponentially in numbers and locations, and impact human health, transportation, economies, and other important and significant aspects of life. The ability to plan and implement an effective response depends on predicting as accurately as possible who, where, how many and when cases will occur, with limited information and under a range of assumptions. With this knowledge, responders can allocate resources to maximum benefit, and enact the best preventive, containment and mitigation measures. This prediction requires accurate data, an understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics, the context in which the disease is transmitted, and a range of mathematical modeling methods. Modeling is an essential tool in the study of infectious disease epidemiology which allows informed policymaking, nowcasting and forecasting of epidemics, and real-time risk assessments. COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated how model implementation is a multi-discplinary effort best grounded in a thorough understanding of the principles and limits of communicable disease models. This Pre-Meeting Course will provide instruction to first-time or introductory modelers in 1) key concepts of infectious disease modeling; 2) understanding the strengths and limitations of modeling in order to critically review modeling results; 3) provide a list of resources including modelers and open source modeling programs; and 4) a practical session to provide hands-on experience implementing, running and using models.

At the end of the activity, participants will be able to:
• Understand the principles underlying infectious disease modeling;
• Describe dynamics in pathogen transmission;
• Identify necessary data elements for accurate disease modeling;
• Analyze different models and their outputs and understand limitations;
• Consider different resources and programs when determining the most appropriate modeling approach; and
• Develop and demonstrate mastery of basic modeling using a simulated example.

Vector-Borne Disease Risk and Prevention for the Clinician
Thursday, November 12, 2020
9 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. EST
Course Co-chairs: Christopher Barker, PhD and Laura Harrington, PhD

Blood-sucking insects and ticks transmit some of the most devastating, yet, in many cases, preventable human diseases including malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Lyme disease, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. In this course, we will review the basic biology of major arthropod vectors; discuss the geographic and behavioral risks posed by vector-borne diseases; and review preventive options, including personal protection and environmental control methods. The course is designed to help medical professionals advise their patients about the risks and prevention measures against biting insects and ticks.

The Science and Business of Vaccines Against Tropical Parasitic Diseases in the COVID19 Era
Friday, November 13, 2020
7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST.
Couse Co-chairs: John Adams, PhD, FASTMH and Stephen Hoffman, MD, DTMH, FASTMH

There is no vaccine for a human parasitic infection that has marketing authorization (licensure) anywhere in the world. However, we are on the verge of licensed vaccines for malaria, and are making enormous progress for diseases caused by other protozoans like leishmaniasis and helminths like hookworm. A distinguished international faculty from the biotechnology industry, the government, and academia will communicate their experience and insights regarding how to approach successful development of vaccines against parasites, including identification of the immunological mechanisms of protection and the antigenic targets of protective humoral and cellular immune responses, the construction of vaccine delivery systems (recombinant proteins, recombinant viruses, nucleotide (eg. mRNA), and whole wild type and genetically altered parasites) and achieving regulatory approval for conducting phase 1-3 clinical trials and translating from the laboratory to the clinic to assess safety and vaccine efficacy in the era of COVID-19.