ASTDA Members Update – Summer 2017

ASTDA Awards

The 2017 ASTDA Awards were presented at a well-attended luncheon at the IUSTI/ISSTDR World Congress. Recipients were chosen from an outstanding group of nominees by the Awards Committee (Bobbie Van Der Pol, Anne Rompalo, Joan Chow, Lindley Barbee, Laura Bachman).

Jo-Anne Dillon PhD – Distinguished Career Award (Presented by Dr. Marc Steben)

Dr. Dillon received a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Queen’s University. Dr. Dillon is also an Associate of the Royal Conservatory Toronto (A.R.C.T.). Dr. Dillon has worked for Health and Welfare Canada as Chief of the Antimicrobials and Molecular Biology Division, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control (1975-1989). She was the founding Chief of the National Laboratory for Sexually Transmitted Diseases with Health Canada (1989-1994). She was also Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa (1994-2000), and from 2001 until her appointment at University of Saskatchewan as Dean of Arts and Science, Dr. Dillon served as inaugural Director of the Centre for Research in Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnology at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include public health of STDs, antimicrobial resistance, molecular epidemiology and bacterial cell division mechanisms.

Lisa Manhart PhD MPH – Achievement Award (Presented by Dr. King Holmes)

Dr. Manhart is one of the world’s leading experts on the epidemiology and public health significance of Mycoplasma genitalium. Dr. Manhart has an MPH in International Health from Tulane and a PhD in Epidemiology and Post-doctoral Fellowship at University of Washington. Lisa’s work showcases a variety of diverse disciplines utilized in STI research, including sociobehavioral research and clinical epidemiology, and her publications reflect both the breadth and the depth of her expertise.

Christine Khosropour PhD MPH – Young Investigator Award (Presented by Dr. Bobbie Van Der Pol)

Dr. Khosropour holds a B.S. degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Wisconsin, an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University, and completed doctoral and post-doctoral work in epidemiology at the University of Washington. She is currently assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington.

IUSTI/ISSTDR HIV/STI World Congress

The HIV/STI World Congress took place July 9-12, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The meeting agenda was filled with outstanding scientific and policy-related presentations by experts from around the world.

ASTDA and ASTDA members were highly visible. Here are just a few examples:

  • ASTDA members successfully competed for an NIH R13 conference grant to support a pre-conference entitled “HIV research perspectives in Latin American Women.”
  • The ASTDA Breakfast allowed an important discussion on “Connecting human and sexual rights to STI/HIV prevention.”
  • Jeanne Marrazzo (past ASTDA president) presented the second IUSTI Prestigious Lecture entitled “Update on vaginal microbiome research.”
  • The ASTDA Awards Luncheon featured a discussion of genitalium by Achievement Award recipient Lisa Manhart and a summary of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in N. gonorrhoeae by Distinguished Career Award recipient Jo-Anne Dillon.

ASTDA and IUSTI

ASTDA now officially functions as the North American Region of IUSTI; Kees Rietmeijer is the Regional Director. The ASTDA Executive Committee also moved to include IUSTI Full Membership as an automatic benefit of ASTDA Membership.  Although details are being finalized, ASTDA members now will automatically become full IUSTI members (an opt-out option will be available).

The Chair of the Canadian Branch of the IUSTI North America Region is now a member of the ASTDA Executive Committee.

ASTDA has never been explicitly limited to the United States. However, these actions mark concerted efforts to formalize connections of ASTDA with an international community that is working to improve sexual health and wellbeing through science, clinical services, advocacy, and policy directed at STI prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases – our flagship journal – continues to be one of the leading venues in the world for cutting-edge basic and clinical science related to STD. Dr. Bill Miller has continued the long tradition of excellence, with record numbers of submissions and outstanding quality of a truly diverse journal that is important to everyone working in the area.

Negotiations have been finalized for renewal of the contract with Wolters-Kluwer for publication of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The new contract continues the substantial support from Wolters-Kluwer and adds new initiatives to broaden readership, additional editorial office support, and support for the publication of abstracts for the biennial National STD Prevention Conference.

We recognize some ongoing issues in terms of maintaining updated contact information for members, receipt of renewal notices, and receipt of ASTDA communications in general. Some of these are problems we can fix, and are working to do so.

Career Development Awards

ASTDA currently is supporting one recipient through a 2-year cycle of support. The Executive Committee will review available funds and funding priorities in January 2018. A general announcement will be circulated at that time.

Upcoming meetings of interest

  • National Coalition of STD Directors – Washington DC November 14-17, 2017
  • 2018 IUSTI World Congress – Dublin Ireland June 27-30, 2018.
  • 2018 STD Prevention Conference – Washington DC August 27-30, 2018.