Spotlight: 2023 IDCRC Annual Meeting

2023 IDCRC Annual Meeting

From April 24 to 26, the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) hosted its Annual Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland at the NIH Main Campus, bringing together 280 stakeholders from the IDCRC, Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU), and NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) partners in person and virtually. This year's program highlighted the numerous scientific accomplishments of the IDCRC and VTEUs and provided ample networking opportunities for members.

On April 24, attendees came in from across the country to kick off the meeting. The IDCRC team hosted a welcome reception, awards ceremony, and poster session featuring individuals across the network, including:

  • Tara Babu (University of Washington): Evaluation of a heterologous booster vaccine regimen: Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA booster vaccine following priming with Novavax NVX-CoV2373
  • Andrew Cox (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center): Natural killer cells constrain the development of a subset of follicular helper T cells during inflammatory responses
  • Daniel P. Croft (University of Rochester): Air pollution and neutralizing antibody titers to the AZD1222 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in adults
  • Srilatha Edupuganti (Emory University): Successful launch of a cluster-randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in reducing the incidence of arboviral infection in Brazil (EVITA)
  • Ann R. Falsey (University of Rochester): BioFire® FilmArray® pneumonia (PN) panel results compared to standard microbiologic testing and clinical adjudication in adults hospitalized with respiratory illness.
  • Sarah George (Saint Louis University): Serologic response to zika (ZPIV) vaccine modulated by prior flavivirus exposure
  • Lisa Jackson (Kaiser/University of Washington): Immunogenicity of a fifth-wave influenza A/H7N9 inactivated vaccine given with and without AS03 adjuvant (17-0075)
  • Angelica C. Kottkamp (New York University [NYU]): Establishing an observational Mpox vaccination study while the outbreak evolves
  • Sean C. Murphy (Kaiser/University of Washington): Malaria vaccine studies: from mice to non-human primates to humans
  • Erin G. Nicholson (Baylor University): Respiratory cytokine concentrations in the setting of respiratory viral infections in febrile infants 0-90 days
  • Lalitha Parameswaran (NYU): COVID-19 vaccine related attitudes and beliefs among Black and/or Hispanic respondents in Brooklyn, NY: lessons learned
  • Vanessa Raabe (NYU): Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of caregivers in regards to routine childhood vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational survey in New York City
  • Sasirekha Ramani (Baylor University): Human intestinal organoids recapitulate interference between poliovirus and rotavirus vaccines
  • Stephanie Rolsma (Vanderbilt University): Are we dosing correctly? Pharmacokinetics of cefepime in critically ill pediatric patients
  • Christina A. Rostad (Emory University): A phase 1, double-blinded, placebo controlled, clinical trial to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of HEV-239 (Hecolin®) vaccine in healthy U.S. adults
  • Erin M. Scherer (Emory University): Role of IgG glycans in COVID-19 inflammatory cytokine responses
  • Jennifer Whitaker (Baylor University): The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic unmasked the challenges faced by early-stage faculty in infectious diseases: A call to action

As a way to acknowledge the work of VTEU members who have made exceptional contributions to the IDCRC and VTEU missions, the IDCRC named our inaugural Annual IDCRC Award winners. The following members were presented with their awards at the meeting.

On day two, attendees were welcomed by IDCRC Leadership Group (LG) members, Drs. Monica Farley, Leadership Operations Center (LOC) co-director, LG Performance Evaluation co-chair (Emory), and Jeanne Marrazzo, LOC co-director, LG Performance Evaluation co-chair (University of Alabama at Birmingham). Dr. Kathy Neuzil, PI, LG co-chair (University of Maryland) provided an overview of the “IDCRC: State of the Network” and Dr. Emily Erbelding, DMID director, spoke to NIAID updates.

“It was terrific to get together in person to review and celebrate all that the IDCRC team has accomplished since our last in-person meeting in 2020. For me, the highlights were meeting the mentees, hearing about exciting science, and getting to know some of the VTEU teams I’ve met only on Zoom. It was energizing and inspiring,” said Marrazzo.

Expert Working Group (EWG) members gave 15-minute talks throughout the day on coronavirus, Mpox, emerging infections, malaria/tropical diseases, respiratory infections, enteric infections, and sexually transmitted infections. Concurrently, protocol team meetings and breakout sessions for early career investigators and coordinators took place.

“The early career breakout session offered the opportunity for lively discussion among our emerging faculty. Everyone benefitted from the panel discussion with sage advice from experts Drs. Abate, El Sahly, Neuzil and Marrazzo,” said Lara A. Danziger-Isakov, MD, MPH, Mentoring and Training Key Function Committee co-chair (University of Cincinnati).

The final day started with a welcome from Drs. Farley and Marrazzo and a brief presentation on the IDCRC’s plan for Network Evaluation. Then attendees had the opportunity to hear highlights from all VTEU PIs recapping their accomplishments and plans for the future. Additionally, select 2022-2023 Pilot Awardees and IDCRC investigators gave Highlighted Talks on their research efforts, including:

After three years as a network, and the progress this team has made in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much to celebrate and look forward to as the IDCRC continues to progress and excel. Drs. David Stephens, contact PI, LG chair, and Kathleen Neuzil wrapped up the meeting by expressing these reactions as well as sending gratitude to all that joined, and recognizing the efforts of the IDCRC admin team and specifically, Jodi Salim, IDCRC’s administrative director and Olivia Sparer, NIAID program officer for their hard work in planning this event.

The post event survey feedback echoed the same sentiment. Attendees “really enjoyed hearing about best practices and how other VTEUs addressed challenges. Learning what the EWGs are working on and their priorities moving forward was also very valuable.”

Attendees “had phenomenal conversations with multiple investigators, which enabled peer-to-peer networking. This meeting provided the opportunity to understand the diversity of projects incorporated within the IDCRC. Getting to know what everyone is doing as a single site and in collaboration as a network was invaluable.”

Seema Nayak, MD, director, Office of Clinical Research Resources, DMID, NIAID, NIH, shared, “it was great to see people reconnect, as well as learn about new possibilities for collaboration across the different teams.”

2024 Annual Meeting

Save the date! Next year’s annual meeting will take place from May 1-May 2, 2024. We look forward to seeing you there!