Biology of Spirochetes (GRC) - The Science of Spirochetology and Spirochete Disease Pathogenesis
The Spirochetes are a deeply-branching phylum of bacteria initially delineated by their serpentine shape and periplasmic flagella. Their unusual cellular ultrastructure, motility mechanism, metabolic pathways, and gene regulation has evoked the maxim spirochetes do it differently. Pathogenic spirochetes include the agents of Lyme disease, leptospirosis, syphilis, relapsing fever, periodontal disease, digital dermatitis, and intestinal spirochetosis that pose immense, and growing, global threats to human and animal health. Since 1994, the biennial Biology of Spirochetes Gordon Research Conference has served as the foremost forum for researchers who study this diverse and successful group of bacteria. The highly interactive format emphasizes cutting-edge, unpublished scientific research at the forefront of spirochetology followed by open, collegial discussions and has generated productive, often lifelong, collaborations between investigators representing a wide spectrum of backgrounds, interests, and experimental approaches. The conference also provides a welcoming atmosphere for trainees and early career scientists to introduce themselves and their research to the spirochete community and to interact with established investigators in the field. Critical to our mission of enhancing career development is the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on the weekend preceding the Gordon Research Conference, which provides a relaxed, yet stimulating, setting for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to present their work, discuss their findings, and build collaborations. The 2020 meetings will cover topics from fundamental science to translational research at the frontiers of spirochete biology.