All participants are advised to arrive for the meeting by the Sunday prior to conference start if they plan to attend the optional workshops on Monday.

2023 Keynote Address

Tom Chiller, Chief, Mycotic Diseases Division, Centers for Disease Control, USA. 

Eliminating Deaths from Cryptococcal Meningitis: Dream vs Reality

2023 Tentative Schedule (as of November 3, 2022)

Monday, January 9, 2023 – Where we’ve been and where we’re going

 

Optional Workshops

Population Genetics 9am – 11am

  • Introduction - Wieland Meyer (9 – 9:10)

  • Carolina Firacative - Low genetic diversity among Cryptococcus neoformans isolates recovered from HIV positive patients from Lima, Peru with recurrent and multiple infections (9:10 – 9:30)

  • Massimo Cogliati - Multi-locus sequence typing reveals new insights about the origin of Cryptococcus neoformans AD-hybrids (9:40 –10:00)

  • Katrina Jackson - Unraveling the genetic determinants of virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans (10:10 – 10:25)

  • Jianping Xu - Analyses of the global multilocus genotypes of the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans species complex (10:30 – 10:45)

  • Volker Rickerts - Core genome MLST for molecular typing of C. neoformans var. neoformans isolated in Germany (10:50 – 11:05)

Treatment Frontiers Clinical Workshop 9am – 11am

Coordinators – David Lawrence, David Meya, and Joe Jarvis

Lunch noon – 1pm

Genomics 1pm – 3pm

  • Introduction - Christina Cuomo (1 – 1:10)

  • Nalu Teixera de Aguiar Peres - Cryptococcus neoformans transcriptional signatures of cellular remodeling in vivo and in vitro (1:10 – 1:30)

  • Edward Wallace - Modern tools for studying gene expression in Cryptococcus: ribosome profiling and modular cloning of reporter genes (1:40 – 2)

  • Michael Boucher - Functional genomic screens in Cryptococcus neoformans uncover a novel virulence determinant required for proliferation in the mammalian host (2:10 – 2:30)

  • Pedro Filho Noronha Souza - Antifungal Potential of Synthetic Peptides against Cryptococcus neoformans (2:40 – 3:00)

  • Diana Kabbale Kisakye - Establishing the landscape of structural variations in Cryptococcus neoformans isolates from Ugandan cryptococcal meningitis patients using long read sequencing (3:10 – 3:30)

 

 

Welcome Address 4:30 – 5pm

 

 

Keynote Address 5 – 6pm

Tom Chiller, Chief, Mycotic Diseases Division, Centers for Disease Control, USA

“Eliminating Deaths from Cryptococcal Meningitis: Dream vs Reality”

Welcome Reception 6:30 – 8pm

Tuesday, January 10, 2022

Announcements 8 - 8:20

Concurrent Sessions 8:30am – noon

Session 1A –  Species and Phenotypes    Basic Science Track

  • Wieland Meyer - Global epidemiology of Cryptococcus (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Joseph Heitman - Genomic insights on the Cryptococcus species complex (9 – 9:20)

  • Poppy Sephton-Clark (Cuomo Lab) - Leveraging population diversity to identify genomic signatures of clinical isolates (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10 – 10:30)

  • Bettina Fries - Replicative aging in Cryptococcus neoformans (10:40 – 11)

  • Blake Billmyre - High-throughput genetics, essential gene discovery, and antifungal resistance in Cryptococcus neoformans (11:10 – 11:30)

  • Zoë Hilbert - Training a pathogen: uncovering the evolutionary mechanisms of host adaptation in Cryptococcus neoformans (11:40 – noon)

Session 1B –  CrAg Screening    Clinical Science Track

  • Radha Rajasingham - Cryptococcal antigen screening: new preemptive treatment strategies (8:30 8:45)

  • Panel and Audience Discussion on Optimizing Preemptive Therapy: Role of enhanced therapy, customized care, and LPs (8:45 10)

Moderators: Tom Harrison and David Boulware

Panel Members: 

▪    Síle Molloy – EFFECT Trial

▪    Radha Rajasingham – ACACIA Trial 

▪    Elizabeth Nalintya – ENCORE Trial

▪    Tshiama Miriam Mwamba – NICD, South Africa

  • Break (10 10:30)

  • Nelesh Govender - Effectiveness of a national reflex laboratory cryptococcal antigen screening programme for people with advanced HIV disease in South Africa: a nationwide sampled cohort study (10:3010:45)

  • Panel and Audience Discussion of Programmatic and Implementation Issues on CrAg Screening (10:45 noon)

Moderators: Tom Chiller and David Meya

Panel Members: 

▪    Katy Godfrey – PEPFAR

▪    Carmen Perez Casas – UNITAID

▪    Nelesh Govender – South Africa

▪    Elizabeth Nalintya – Uganda

▪    Master Chisale – Malawi

▪    Boniface Ocora – Lira, Uganda

▪    Tafese Beyene Tufa – Ethiopia

Lunch noon – 2pm

Optional Networking Session 1 –  2pm (CrAg Screening Working Group)

 

Plenary Session 2 – Treatment Strategies 2pm – 5pm

  • Stuart Levitz – Vaxed against cryptococcosis! Good news for mice and hopefully humans (2 2:20)

  • Jessica Brown - Exploiting synergistic and antagonistic interactions with antifungal drugs to treat systemic infections (2:30 2:50)

  • Mucunguzi Atukunda - Oral encochleated Amphotericin EnACT Phase 2 Trial (3 3:20)

  • Break (3:30 4)

  • Methee Chayakulkeeree - Effectiveness of 1-week versus 2-week induction therapy: A Multicenter Randomized Trial in Thailand (4 4:20)

  • Julia Palmucci - A ketogenic diet enhances fluconazole efficacy in models of systemic fungal infection (4:25 4:45)

 

Poster Flash Talks 4:456pm

Poster Session 6 7:15pm

Dinner 7:15 – 8:30pm

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Concurrent Sessions 8:30am – noon

Session 3A – Cell Biology and Development    Basic Science Track

  • Kaustuv Sanyal - Mechanism of chromosome segregation in Cryptococcus neoformans (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Daniel Assis Santos - Cryptococcus-host interactions during coinfections (9 – 9:20)

  • Lukasz Kozubowski - Defining the role of septin proteins in stress response and virulence in C. neoformans (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10-10:30)

  • Andre Moraes Nicola - Melanin-independent roles of cryptococcal laccase in immune evasion (10:30 – 10:50)

  • Rajendra Upadhya - Breaking the shield: Chitosan deficiency in Cryptococcus alters cell wall architecture, affecting host immune response and fungal virulence (11 – 11:15)

  • Kevin Hardwick - Mitotic regulation and aneuploidy in Cryptococcus: spindle assembly checkpoint mutants and Titan (11:20 – 11:35)

 

Session 3B – Disease Manifestations    Clinical Science Track

  • Caleb Skipper - CMV and Cryptococcosis (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Minna Ding - Characterization of CD4 T-cell dysfunction and control of latent C. neoformans infection (9 – 9:20)

  • Jessica Hargarten - Characterization of MTOR signaling pathway variants in previously healthy patients with non-HIV cryptococcal meningoencephalitis. (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10 – 10:30)

  • Peter Williamson – Riding the wild west of inflammatory syndromes: Intrathecal immunologic markers of disease (10:30 – 10:50)

  • Panel and Audience Discussion on HIV Negative Cryptococcal Meningitis (11 – noon)

Moderators: TBD

Panel Members: 

▪    Peter Pappas – MSG and UAB Perspective

▪    Andrej Spec – Cryptococcus beyond HIV

▪    Olivier Paccoud – HIV negative Cryptocococcosis in France

Lunch noon – 2pm

Optional Networking Session 1 – 2pm (HIV-negative working group)

 

Plenary Session 4: Understanding and Treating Disease 2pm – 5pm

  • Michal Olszewski - Finding, the right balance! Immunity and inflammation in the brain (2 – 2:20)

  • Asiya Gusa - Exploring recurrent cryptococcal meningitis: Do transposable elements contribute to disease persistence? (2:30 – 2:50)

  • Nathan Bahr - Recurrence of symptoms following cryptococcal meningitis – characterizing a diagnostic conundrum (3 – 3:20)

  • Break (3:30 – 4)

  • Liesbeth Vanherp - Non-invasive imaging as a tool for in vivo comparison of disease manifestation and virulence in murine models infected with clinical C. neoformans isolates (4 – 4:15)

  • Gustavo José Cota de Freitas - Antimalarials combined with amphotericin B are new options to treat cryptococcosis (4:20 – 4:35)

  • Elizabeth Okafor - Cytotoxic Cells in the CNS of Subjects with Cryptococcal Meningitis and Advanced HIV (4:40 – 4:55)

Optional Boat Ride on Lake Victoria 5 – 6:30pm

Poster Session 6 – 7:15pm

Dinner 7:15 – 8:30pm

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Plenary Session 5: Drug Development and Clinical Trials

  • Announcement – Vote for 2026 Venue (8 – 8:30am)

  • John Perfect - Crypto guidelines, Crypto guidelines everywhere nor any grade to link (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Vishal Goyal - DNDi: Sustained Release Formulations of 5FC and 5FU (9 – 9:20)

  • Hyun ah Yoon - Antibody Immunity in Cryptococcus (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10 – 10:30)

  • David Lawrence / Joe Jarvis - Evidence supporting widespread implementation of the AMBITION-CM regimen and Beyond (10:30 – 11)

  • Katharine Stott - Population Pharmacokinetics from the AMBITION-CM Trial (11:10 – 11:25)

  • Magali Ayala - Molecular mechanisms of synergistic interactions between antifungals and commonly prescribed small molecules for the treatment of cryptococcosis (11:30 – 11:45)

 

Lunch noon – 2pm

Optional Networking Session 1 – 2pm (Career Development)

 

Concurrent Sessions 2pm – 5pm

Concurrent Session 6A – Genetics and Reproduction    Basic Science Track

  • Rhys Farrar - The discovery of the VGV lineage of Cryptococcus and what we can learn from it (2 –2:20)

  • Megan McKeon - Maturation and Germination of Cryptococcus Spores (2:30 – 2:50)

  • Hiten Madhani - Molecular mechanisms of cryptococcal pathogenesis (3 – 3:20)

  • Break (3:30 – 4)

  • Paul Magwene - TBD (4 – 4:20)

  • Guilhem Janbon - Alternative transcription start site usage regulation in Cryptococcus (4:30 – 4:50)

 

Concurrent Session 6B – Ancillary Treatment Strategies    Clinical Science Track

  • Laura Nsangi - Risk Factors for Neurocognitive Impairment (2 – 2:20)

  • Mahsa Abassi - Improving Outcomes in Altered Mental Status (2:30 – 2:50)

  • Audience Discussion on Altered Mental Status (3 – 3:30)

Moderator:

Goal: Determine Clinical Best Practices and Research Agendas

  • Break (3:30 – 4)

  • Enock Kagimu – Overview of Data on Therapeutic LPs (4 – 4:15)

  • Panel Discussion: Scheduled Therapeutic LPs (4:15 – 5pm)

Moderators: Mahsa Abassi

Panel Members:

▪    David Meya

▪    Peter Pappas

▪    Tihana Bicanic

▪    Methee Chayakulkeeree

▪    Angela Loyse

 

Closing Reception 6:30 – 10pm

Friday, January 13, 2023

Concurrent Sessions 8:30am-noon

Concurrent Session 7A – Antifungal Drugs and Resistance       Basic Science Track

  • Tihana Bicanic - Antifungal resistance in Cryptococcus (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Evelyne Deplazes (Carter Lab) - Characterising the mechanism of Lactofungin: a novel antifungal synergent of amphotericin B (9 – 9:20)

  • Liliane Mukaremera - Cryptococcus cell wall modifications during antifungal drug treatment (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10 – 10:30)

  • Samantha Avina - Ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in Cryptococcus pathogenesis and vaccine development (10:30 – 10:50)

  • Luiz Martinez - Unraveling Cryptococcus neoformans mechanisms of brain invasion and colonization (11 – 11:20)

 

Concurrent Session 7B – Immunology and Pathogenesis    Clinical Science Track

  • Muse Davis - Roles for microglia and neurovascular cells in cryptococcal brain dissemination (8:30 – 8:50)

  • Simon Johnston - The biology of the macrophage Cryptococcus interface: From smooth to rough (9 – 9:20)

  • Carolina Coelho - Innate immune cell metabolism during C. neoformans infection (9:30 – 9:50)

  • Break (10 – 10:30)

  • Lena Heung - Monocytes and the host response to Cryptococcus (10:30 – 10:50)

  • Alexandre Alanio - Interplay between macrophages and C. neoformans VBNC cells (11 – 11:20)

  • Uju Onyishi (May Lab) - Reciprocal regulation of TLR4, TLR3 and Scavenger Receptor A1 (SR-A1) regulates unopsonised phagocytosis of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans (11:30 – 11:50)

 

Lunch noon – 2pm

Optional Networking Session 1 – 2pm

 

ICCC Adjournment ~12pm 

Working groups may additionally continue to meet in the afternoon