BCEC Advocate Prof Michael Good brings streptococci symposium to Brisbane

streptococci
BCEC Advocate Professor Michael Good.

The Lancefield International Symposium on Streptococci and Streptococcal Diseases (LISSSD) will head to Brisbane in June 2025 thanks to the successful bid by driven by Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) Advocate Professor Michael Good and Associate Professor Manisha Pandey.

With more than 500 of the world’s foremost experts in the field of Streptococci and Streptococcal diseases are expected to attend, the Symposium will provide a global forum for Queensland’s ground-breaking research, leading to human vaccine trials for Strep A which is responsible for more than 500,000 deaths globally each year.

Professor Good, an international leader in immunology of infectious diseases and vaccine research, along with Associate Professor Pandey from Brisbane’s Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, have developed vaccine platforms and world-first candidate peptide-based vaccines, currently in clinical trials, which are a major milestone in the fight against Strep A disease.

Australia is deeply impacted by Streptococcal diseases, with the country’s Indigenous population recording the highest mortality rates in the world. Rheumatic Heart disease, the most severe form of the Strep A infections, is the cause of hundreds of deaths a year, with 90 per cent of those, Indigenous Australians.

“There has been a five-fold increase in Strep cases globally in the last two years and if our vaccine proves effective, we believe it has the ability to control the pandemic, particularly in remote overcrowded communities which have a lack of primary treatment and care,” said Professor Good.

With a key focus on prevention of Strep A disease in Indigenous communities and the necessity for their voice in these forums, Professor Good and Associate Professor Pandey hope to establish a lasting legacy for the conference.

Organisers also propose to utilise the Symposium to launch an inaugural conference on Rheumatic Heart disease, which would be anchored in Brisbane, eventually rotating around Australia and beyond, returning to its home city of Brisbane.

streptococci

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre General Manager Kym Guesdon said hosting the Symposium highlights the extraordinary contribution of the Centre’s Convention Advocates Partnership in pursuing human changing science.

“We are delighted to support our internationally renowned researchers in attracting these important meetings to Brisbane and Australia, particularly with Brisbane’s world leading expertise in vaccine development,” she said.

“It has been our honour to enjoy a decade-long relationship with key leaders in this field, including Professor Michael Good.”

BCEC recently held a gala dinner celebrating the achievements of all its Advocates, with Alison Gardiner, who has recently stepped into a new role of director of sales, strategy & partnerships, saying that the Advocates were involved in attracting another 18 conferences to Brisbane worth $18.2 million to the state since the last dinner 18 months ago.

“That now brings us to 153 conferences and $208.3 million in economic impact that we’ve achieved together through this partnership,” she said.

Gardiner emphasised the role business events will play in the many legacies leading up to and beyond the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

“This year feels like the start of a new era of the Advocates Partnership,” she said.

“The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games selection of Brisbane is part of a new IOC model for future host cities. And the key thing is that we will be judged on the sustainability of our Games, our city and our country.

“And this will not just be about our climate change achievements it will be about our social change, our community change…and business events have a key, often unsung, part to play in that.”

Gardiner said they are also working on identifying and getting to know the next generation of Advocates in game-changing areas such as quantum, AI, bioeconomy and energy.

“We need to find mechanisms to bring together the next layer of leaders coming up behind you and we look forward to talking to Griffith, QUT and UQ leaders on what that could look like, from post docs to senior researchers,” she said.