World Melioidosis Conference 2013: Highlights from a memorable week

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Bangkok (Thailand) 30 September 2013 - Over 300 of the world’s leading medical researchers and experts in melioidosis from 22 countries gathered together in Bangkok for the 7th World Melioidosis Congress 2013 (WMC 2013).

Organized by a tireless team led by Dr. Wirongrong Chierakul, Chairperson of WMC2013 Organizing Committee and Dr. Direk Limmathurotsakul, Head of Microbiology at MORU, WMC 2013 was hosted by MORU and the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, and held 18-20 September at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel.

WMC 2013 social highlights included a well-attended welcoming opening evening cocktail and a live performance from Survival Games by B-Floor, Thailand’s vanguard physical theatre company. Commissioned by the Wellcome Trust as part of their worldwide “Art in Global Heatlh” campaign, Survival Games playfully explores evolution, survival, the scientific research process and the battle between mankind and rapidly mutating diseases.

Directed by Teerawat Mulvilai and Nana Dakin, Survival Games was created after B-Floor artists investigated first-hand malaria and melioidosis research efforts at MORU and Shoklo Malaria Research Unit.

One of WMC 2013’s most talked-about activities was a two-day pre-congress workshop 16-17 September in Ubon Ratchathani province, where nearly 500 cases of melioidosis occur every year. The enormously successful and jam-packed two-day event was attended by an excited party of 32 participants and a dozen international melioidosis experts from nine countries.

WMC 2013 concluded with a gala dinner – and a touching video tribute to Vanaporn Wuthiekanun, Senior Microbiologist, and a MORU colleague since 1982.

For more photos of faces and scenes from WMC 2013, go to the WMC 2013 Facebook page.