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KNCV Symposium 24 September

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, at its Annual Symposium ‘Innovation is everything’, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation presented the White Paper ‘Dutch Research for global TB elimination.

Few people are aware that tuberculosis (TB) is still a global health threat. TB can be spread to anyone, mainly through coughing. Each year 9 million people fall ill with TB and 1.5 million die from it, making it the second infectious killer worldwide after HIV/AIDS. Antimicrobial-resistant TB is an increasing problem Eastern Europe and large parts of Asia.

There is a major need for innovations in TB control. The World Health Organization’s new End TB strategy calls for global elimination of the disease by 2050, but recognizes that this cannot be achieved without an effective vaccine, improved diagnostics, better treatment and strengthened and massively scaled up delivery of services. This requires strong investments in research at each step of the R&D chain.

The Netherlands has a top position in research and innovation for TB. Several Dutch research institutes are among the world-leading groups in various aspects of TB research, owing to their expertise, research capacity, international networks and product innovation. Together they can make major contributions to the global TB research agenda.

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and the Netherlands Tuberculosis Research Platform (NTRP) joined forces, resulting in the White Paper ‘Dutch innovation for global TB elimination’, which articulates four areas of cutting-edge research, wherein Dutch groups can make the difference in future years.

The program of the Symposium was as follows:

Welcome and Opening – Chair of the Day.
Myrthe Hilkens –journalist & former Member of Parliament.

Innovation for TB elimination – the KNCV Perspective
Kitty van Weezenbeek – Executive Director, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.

Keynote: Translational research for TB elimination: priorities,
challenges and actions.
Christian Lienhardt – Senior Research Advisor, WHO Global
TB Programme.

Presentation of the White Paper to the Ministry of Education, Culture and
Science.

The Dutch TB Research Landscape

Martin Boeree – Associate Professor, Radboud University Medical
Center, and Chair Netherlands Tuberculosis Research Platform.

White Paper Explained: Vaccines
Tom Ottenhoff – Professor of Immunology at Leiden University Medical
Center.

White Paper Explained: Drug resistance
Frank Cobelens – Scientific Director of KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation
& Professor of Epidemiology and Control of Poverty-related Infectious
Diseases at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam.