Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Spirochetes, Biology of
Gordon Research Conference

Spirochete Biology in the Host and in the Wild


January 21-26, 2018


Ventura Beach Marriott
Ventura, CA Site Information


Jenifer L. Coburn

Vice Chair:
Scott Samuels

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 24, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Please note: The online application form for 2018 meetings will be available in April.

Meeting Description

Spirochetes constitute a deeply-branching phylum of bacteria originally defined by their helical or sinusoidal shape, double membrane ultrastructure, and periplasmic flagella. The agents of Lyme disease, syphilis, leptospirosis, relapsing fever, periodontal disease, and intestinal spirochetosis pose enormous and growing global threats to human and animal health. Pathogenic spirochetes are renowned for their ability to rapidly disseminate and cause extensive tissue damage by eliciting inflammatory responses, and to establish persistent infection. To reflect the diversity of research in the spirochete world, the 2018 BoS GRC has an exciting program that will cover topics from fundamental aspects to the research frontiers of spirochete biology. The conference will include presentations on ecology, evolution, epidemiology, genomics, pathogenic mechanisms/virulence attributes, and the role of the host immune response in clearance and in pathogenesis.

For consideration for oral presentation of poster abstracts (poster talks), please complete your application by October 31, 2017.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Spirochetes, Biology of" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Session Titles

The Conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The Conference Chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by July 1, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Spirochete Biology: Insights and Vistas
  • Fundamentals of Spirochete Biology
  • Bacterial-Host Interactions: Virulence Attributes
  • Ecology and Epidemiology
  • Bacterial-Host Interactions: Explorations
  • Spirochetes vs. Host Defenses and Responses
  • Emergence and Evolution
  • Dissemination and Persistence
  • Frontiers in Spirochete Research: The Next Big Questions
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