Earlier this month, members of the Parasites Without Borders team traveled from New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Glasgow, Scotland to Seattle, Washington for the ASTMH 71st Annual Meeting at the Seattle Convention Center, hosted October 30th through November 3rd by the American Society of Tropical Medicine. It was the first meeting held in-person in three years with the past two years going virtual because of the pandemic.
It was also the first time Parasites Without Borders took part at the annual meeting as exhibitors. It was an honor to get to meet so many new colleagues and see old friends. Our President, Daniel Griffin, MD, PhD, as well as PWB Directors Dickson Despommier, PhD, Vincent Racaniello, PhD, and Charles Knirsch, MD, MPH were all on-hand to sign copies of our “Parasitic Diseases” textbook, connect with former students, and attend sessions on important global health topics.
One of the highlights of the conference was the live recordings of This Week in Parasitism (TWiP) and This Week in Virology (TWiV) on Wednesday, November 2nd. We kicked off the morning with TWiP 210: Is there a doctor on board? with Aisha Khatib. TWiP hosts Vincent Racaniello, Daniel Griffin, and Christina Naula sat down with special guest Aisha Khatib, a University of Toronto professor and travel medicine expert, to talk about her training and career as well as delivering a baby on an airplane. Afterwards, the team solved the case of the Heartsick Guatemalan Septuagenarian.
Later that day, Vincent and Daniel sat down to record TWiV 951: Clinical update with Dr. Daniel Griffin. The scientists talked about Influenza incidence and vaccine effectiveness during the southern hemisphere influenza season in Chile, Nirsevimab for prevention of RSV infection in healthy late-preterm and term infants, severe Monkeypox in hospitalized patients, reinfections with different SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants, impact of community masking on COVID-19 in Bangladesh, and much more.
Back at our booth in the exhibition hall, the Parasites Without Borders team gave away copies of our textbook, “Parasitic Diseases” – prioritizing ASTMH Travel Awardees and students from LMIC. We also played an interactive game of “Guess that parasite” and gave away bags of gummy worms, PWB logo stickers, and plush parasites such as Toxoplasmosis, Leishmania, Trichomoniasis, and Giardia. There were some pretty impressive contestants among the ASTMH attendees.
Overall, we met some amazing folks from all over the world, including Ghana, France, Canada, Panama, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Italy, Spain, India, and the UK among others. We were also honored to be a Sponsor of this year’s event – helping to fund some of the Travel Awards that were given out. ASTMH reported that there were 4,753 total attendees with 4,195 attending in-person from 115 countries and 1,507 first-time attendees. We’re excited to see what the 72nd Annual Meeting holds. Will you be joining us in October 2023 in Chicago?
Sidenote: Remember, ASTMH recorded all sessions from the Annual Meeting, which will be available at the end of November 2022. In-person attendees will have free access to every session, Livestream registration will provide access to all Livestream sessions, and select sessions will also be for sale to anyone not registered.