This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BioMalPar|EVIMalaR conference at EMBL!

This wonderful programme detailing advances in malaria research originally started as a conference organised by BioMalPar, which was a Network of Excellence supported by the EU's Sixth Framework Program (FP6). In its innagural year, the conference gathered over 250 scientists and brought together the efforts of 17 major leading European centres from seven European countries and three African Partners. Starting in 2010, the BioMalPar Symposium was funded by EVIMalaR (European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research), which is a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) Network of Excellence (NoE) project funded by the European Commission. EVIMalaR itself is different from BioMalPar, but it continues various initiatives, such as this annual meeting at EMBL. EVIMalaR is Europe’s biggest malaria research institute, involving 84 research groups from around the world and undertakes world-leading research into the malaria parasite and identifying targets for new drug therapies.

This year offered an excellent opportunity for over 380 scientists to share ideas and develop new worldwide collaborations. The scientific aims of the network remain to address, in an integrated, collaborative manner, fundamental questions of the biology of the malaria parasite, its vector, and the disease, allowing optimal exploitation of the resulting knowledge to impact on public health. New insights were featured through the use of poster sessions; 45 speaker abstracts and 183 poster abstracts were showcased this year. This meeting provided an enriched environment for researchers at all stages of their career to interact with international leaders in the field.

   

BioMalPar-EVIMalaR 11       BioMalPar-EVIMalaR 50   BioMalPar-EVIMalaR 125       BioMalPar-EVIMalaR 144

*photos courtesy of Julie Forbes, Button Blue Photography

An oversubscribed dedicated Career Development and Gender session was included this year which allowed for engagement in animated and highly interactive debates and discussions and to share career experiences and challenges. Keynote speakers with an expertise in current career and gender issues relating to scientists and academia were also invited to speak. In addition, networking, training and mentoring were explored and further key topics included; career opportunities, development and progression, career mobility and funding, gender balance and enhancing employability and cultural comparisons and prevailing societal constraints.

A special symposium highlighting the success of the past 10 years of both BioMalPar and EVIMalaR was held which attracted 200 participants preceded by a celebration dinner and Scottish ceilidh held at Heidelberg Castle. During the duration of the conference, an audio-visual installation by Deborah Robinson that aimed to bring public awareness to the current and historical events associated with malaria was on display at Heidelberg Castle.

Special tributes where given to Professor Maria Troye-Blomberg (University of Stockholm, below left) for her lifelong work in the field of malaria research, and to Dr Faith Osier (KEMRI, Kenya, below right) who received the Promising Young African Scientist Award. 

2_EVIMalaR Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 Professor Marita Troye-Blomberg

    EVIMalaR Promising African Scientist Award 2014 Dr Faith Osier

*photos courtesy of Julie Forbes, Button Blue Photography

The meeting has gone from strength to strength. “The annual BioMalPar|EVIMalaR meeting has attained international recognition as one of the finest annual parasitology meetings for the malaria community and should continue to provide a venue for scientists from all over the world to come and share their work.”  External Advisory Board Report.

After 10 years and without the support of the FP7 funding we are now seeking funding to support this excellent meeting in the future.  BioMalPar 2015 is our goal.

http://www.evimalar.org/news/biomalpar-evimalar-conference-may-2014.html