AMSMIC 2017: Panama

Join us in Panama in January 2017 for the Chairs Annual Meeting


October 21, 2016

Dear Colleagues & Guests:

I hope that you and your family will join us at the 2017 Annual Chairs Meeting of the Association of Medical School Microbiology & Immunology Chairs (AMSMIC) this January 18-21, 2017 in Panama. As you know, Panama is a transcontinental country in Central America situated between North and South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Columbia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half of the country's 3.9 million people. We will be dividing our time between two locations: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights (Jan 17-19) we will stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and on Friday Jan 20 we will move to the Westin Playa Bonita Resort on the Pacific coast (yes there is a beach) closer to Panama City.

I am very excited about the program. Topics include scientific talks on vector borne diseases and leadership challenges facing Chairs and Deans. One of our speakers is Dr. Sandra Lopez-Verges of The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI), Panamá, a virologist-immunologist interested in host-virus interactions. Her talk is entitled “Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika and other arboviruses in Panama". Dr. Lopez-Verges is also interested in improving scientific research in Panama by training young researchers, and she is looking forward to talking with you about opportunities for research and educational collaboration. We will also hear from Chris Karp, MD, Director, Global Health Discovery & Translational Science Program, Gates Foundation who will talk on "Bridging Barriers to Accelerate Discovery & Development of Novel Interventions for Globally Important Infectious Diseases” and Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief Executive Officer, ASM who will present "ASM as the Digital and Physical Forum for Microbial Sciences. A Conversation on the New ASM”. Another speaker, Dr. Timothy Burgess MD, MPH, Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy will talk about "Yellow Fever and Other Epidemics: Then and Now". I am very happy to welcome back Dr. J.J. McGowan, Deputy Director of NIAID who will speak on NIH funding outlooks. I am also excited about hosting a panel discussion on "How universities grow their IP for commercialization" and a workshop on “The Art of Science Communication” facilitated by Mary Woolley and staff members at ResearchAmerica!

We will also have a breakout session in which small groups will discuss specific topics and then reassemble to present summaries to the whole group. Topics will be solicited from registrants. We will also have presentations on medical education activities of AMSMIC, Capitol Hill lobbying efforts in which AMSMIC participated. We will have organized lunches for new department chairs and for women department chairs, both of which have been highly successful at the last several meetings. Click on the Agenda tab above for a complete agenda.

In addition to the “formal” presentations and discussions, we will have numerous opportunities to interact and network during our leisure time. Scientific sessions will be held during the mornings so that the afternoons are open for you and your spouse/guest, children, or other traveling companions to partake in a variety of recreational activities. On the Gamboa Resort property there is an aerial tram and lookout tower that provides views overlooking the Canopy and of the Chagras River, the Panama Canal, and an Embera Indigenous village. We will also tour the beautiful Orchid house, take the Gatun Lake Boat to Monkey Island and visit the Embera natives in their village. We will take a trip to the Miraflores Locks including a wonderful museum and observation decks overlooking the locks. After we move closer to Panama City we will take a walking tour to Casco Viejo (the beautiful old quarter with colonial Spanish architecture and trendy restaurants) and visit the Biodiversity Museum and a local craft market. The market sells indigenous handicrafts such as Emberá Indian baskets and masks, Molas, the reversed appliqué panels made by Kuna Indian women, tagua nuts or vegetable ivory carved into tiny figurines and Ngobe-Buglé dresses. Read more:

January in Panama is the start of the dry season, and the tropical climate ranges from 75 to 85 degrees F. Multiple flights are available from US airports to the international airport of Panama City, Tocumen International Airport. Airport transportation to Gamboa will be provided and takes approximately 50 mins. The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a beautiful resort in the rainforest where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. The resort offers outdoor adventures as well as a relaxing spa and restaurants. The Westin Playa Bonita is nestled on a beach on the Pacific Ocean and boasts luxurious accommodations, eight restaurants, balconies with stunning ocean or tropical evergreen forest views and a luxurious spa. At night you can see boats at anchor lining up to go through the canal on the next morning.

I hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most interesting, informative, and enjoyable meeting.



Sandra K. Weller, Ph.D.
President of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
President of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Event Contacts


Sheilah Jewart
Phone (407) 876-5973




Registration Fee Includes:
•Deluxe Accommodations at:
   Grand Hyatt Kauai
•(4) Buffet Breakfasts
•Closing Sunset Dinner
    Sail Na Pali Coast
•Registration Fee
•Taxes/Resort Fee
•Guest Tour

Before Oct 15:
Member-4 Nights @ $2,400
Non-Member-4 Nights @ $2,500
Member-5 Nights @ $2,950
Non-Member-5-Nights @ $3,050
Social Guest @ $700

After Oct 15:
Member-4 Nights @ $2,650
Non-Member-4 Nights @ $2,750
Member-5 Nights @ $3,200
Non-Member-5-Nights @ $3,300
Social Guest @ $700