Scientific Sessions

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Session 1: Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology

Immunology is the study of the immune system. The immune system is how all animals, including humans, protect themselves against diseases. The study of diseases caused by disorders of the immune system is clinical immunology. The division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at Medanta is a medical super-speciality to deal with arthritis, and other connective tissue disorders or autoimmune disorders. It is broadly perceived for magnificence in the fundamental and clinical research and diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The impeccable combination of doctors and latest technology at Medanta makes sure that the disease is treated from the root cause.

Session 2: Auto Immunity and Auto Immune Diseases

Autoimmunity is the system of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an "autoimmune disease". An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells. An autoimmune disorder may result in the destruction of body tissue, abnormal growth of an organ, Changes in organ function. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. Areas often affected by autoimmune disorders include Blood vessels, Connective tissues, Endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas, Joints Muscles, Red blood cells, Skin It can also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ function. There are as many as 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Many of them have similar symptoms, which makes them very difficult to diagnose. It’s also possible to have more than one at the same time. Common autoimmune disorders include Addison's disease, Dermatomyositis, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Multiple sclerosis, Myasthenia gravis, Pernicious anemia, Reactive arthritis. Autoimmune diseases usually fluctuate between periods of remission (little or no symptoms) and flare-ups (worsening symptoms). Currently, treatment for autoimmune diseases focuses on relieving symptoms because there is no curative therapy.

Session 3: Immunology and Skin Diseases

Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the: physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities immune deficiency, and transplant rejection; the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. Immunology has applications in numerous disciplines of medicine particularly in the fields of skin diseases, organ transplantation, oncology, rheumatology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, psychiatry, and dermatology. Chronic skin disease like eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea are not curable, but they can be managed using drugs and by paying close attention to your lifestyle. This session discusses more about immunology and skin diseases.

Session 4: Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial disease any of a variety of illnesses are caused by bacteria. Improved sanitation, vaccines, and antibiotics have all decreased the mortality rates from bacterial infections though antibiotic-resistant strains have caused resurgence in some illnesses. In the early 21st century, tuberculosis, which is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis was among the deadliest infectious diseases worldwide. Bacteria cause disease by secreting or excreting toxins as in botulism, by producing toxins internally which are released when the bacteria disintegrate as in typhoid, or by inducing sensitivity to their antigenic properties as in tuberculosis. Other serious bacterial diseases include cholera, diphtheria, bacterial meningitis, tetanus, Lyme disease, gonorrhea, and syphilis. This session discusses more about bacterial diseases and infections.

Session 5: Immune Responses to vaccines

An immune response is triggered when the immune system is alerted that something foreign has entered the body. Triggers include the release of chemicals by damaged cells and inflammation, and changes in blood supply to an area of damage which attracts white blood cells. Vaccination utilises this secondary response by exposing the body to the antigens of a particular pathogen and activates the immune system without causing disease. The initial response to a vaccine is similar to that of the primary response upon first exposure to a pathogen, slow and limited. Subsequent doses of the vaccine act to boost this response resulting in the production of long-lived antibodies and memory cells, as it would naturally following subsequent infections. The aim of vaccines is to prime the body, so that when an individual is exposed to the disease-causing organism, their immune system is able to respond rapidly and at a high activity level, thereby destroying the pathogen before it causes disease and reduces the risk of spread to other people.

Session 6: Microbial Pathogenesis

Microbial Pathogenesis is aimed at exploring cutting-edge research in cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying infection such as virulence, microbial adherence, antimicrobial resistance, host resistance, host defence mechanisms, and host-pathogen interactions. It places special focus on disease progression and transmission; molecular or genetic factors underlying pathogenesis; host-mediated pathogenesis; immune responses to infection; immune deficiencies; cell signalling in pathogen mediated immune response; pathogen-associated microbial patterns (PAMPs); multi drug resistance etc. Studies enhance understanding of microbial pathogenesis such as whole genome sequencing of pathogens; pathogen proteome analyses; pathogen gene-regulatory networks; and large-scale clinical and epidemiological studies, are highly valued. This session discusses more about microbial pathogenesis.

Session 7: Haematopoiesis and Immune System Development

Haematopoiesis is the synthesis and development of Blood cells. Occurs during embryonic development and throughout adulthood to produce and replenish the blood system. Cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells that reside mainly in the bone marrow, a major site of adult haematopoiesis. The blood system contains more than 10 different blood cell types with various functions: Leukocytes represent many specialized cell types involved in innate and acquired immunity. Erythrocytes provide O2 and CO2 transport, whereas megakaryocytes generate platelets for blood clotting and wound healing. Immune System Development: Our immune system defends people against germs and microorganisms. The immune system consists of lymphoid organs that can be divided into the primary and secondary immune systems as well as the myeloid and lymphoid cells, these arise via haematopoiesis. The primary lymphoid organs are the bone marrow and thymus. These are the sites at which haematopoiesis occurs and immature lymphocytes grow, develop, and differentiate. The secondary, or peripheral, lymphoid organs primarily consist of the spleen and lymph nodes and play roles in antigen presentation and adaptive immune response initiation.

Session 8: Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases of animals that can cause disease when transmitted to humans. Infectious diseases are disorders caused by pathogenic organisms such as viruses, bacteria, or fungus. They are normally harmless but under certain conditions, some organisms can be fatal and can cause death too. Types of infectious diseases include Anthrax, Acinetobacter, Aspergillus, Bird Flu, C. Difficile, Chagas Disease, Campylobacter, Chikungunya, Cholera, Cyanobacteria, Cystitis top name a few. This session discusses more about infectious diseases and their prevention methods and treatment interventions.

Session 9: Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiology help with study design, collection, and statistical analysis of data, amend interpretation and dissemination of results. Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies, and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences. Major areas of epidemiological study include disease causation, transmission, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, forensic epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. This session discusses more about epidemiology. 

Session 10: Medical Microbiology

Medical microbiology also known as clinical microbiology is the study of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, which cause human illness and their role in the disease. Medical microbiology studies development and progress of the infectious disease in a patient and in human population epidemiology. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch are the founders of medical microbiology. Louis Pasteur is famous for his experiments when he disproved the theory of spontaneous generation. He offered method for food preservation called pasteurization and vaccines against anthrax, fowl cholera and rabies. Robert Koch contributed to the germ theory of disease and provided that specific diseases were caused by specific microbes. It is a branch of medicine and microbiology; and includes five sciences: bacteriology, virology, parasitology, immunology and mycology. This session discusses more about medical microbiology.

Session 11: Cancer Immunotherapeutics

Immunotherapy also called biologic therapy is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body's natural defences to fight the cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. This can be done in a couple of ways:1)Stimulating your own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells2)Giving you immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins. Some types of immunotherapy are also sometimes called biologic therapy or biotherapy.

In the last few decades immunotherapy has become an important part of treating some types of cancer. Newer types of immune treatments are now being studied, and they’ll impact how we treat cancer in the future. Immunotherapy includes treatments that work in different ways. Some boost the body’s immune system in a very general way. Others help train the immune system to attack cancer cells specifically. Immunotherapy works better for some types of cancer than for others. It’s used by itself for some of these cancers, but for others it seems to work better when used with other types of treatment.Many different types of immunotherapy are used to treat cancer. They include: Monoclonal antibodies, Adoptive cell transfer, Cytokines & Treatment Vaccines BCG etc.

Session 12: STD & STI

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. It is the most commonly used term for the collection of medical infections that are transmitted through sexual contact. People who become infected don't always experience any symptoms nor have their infection develop into a disease. STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, and many people mostly the medical community have begun transitioning from STD to STI in an effort to clarify that not all sexually transmitted infections turn into a disease. For instance, the vast majority of women who contract HPV or human papilloma virus will not develop the resulting disease cervical cancer. In fact, most cases of infection will clear up within two years. This session discusses more about STDs and STIs.

Session 13: Viral Infections

Viruses are very tiny germs. They are made of genetic material inside of a protein coating. Viruses cause familiar infectious diseases such as common cold, flu, warts, and severe illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, smallpox, and Ebola. Viruses invade living normal cells and use those cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. This can kill, damage, or change the cells and make you sick. Different viruses attack certain cells in your body such as your liver, respiratory system, or blood. For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases. This session discusses more about viral infections and diseases.

Session 14: Vaccines Immunology

Vaccines Immunology (also called biologic therapy or biotherapy). Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s, enhancing, or suppressing immune system to fight diseases such as cancer, Tuberculosis. To enhance the immunity Childhood Vaccines like Chicken pox vaccines, Polio Vaccines were given for the children.  The materials either made by the body or in a laboratory that restore immune system function. This can be done in two ways. Stimulating your own immune system to work better, faster or smarter to attack cancer cells. The therapies seek to treat diseases spanning oncology, respiratory medicine and allergy, dermatology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious disease, neurobiology and nutrition. Immunotherapy also sometimes called biologic therapy or biotherapy. Active agents of immunotherapy are collectively called immune-modulators. Market Analysis: Global revenue for immunotherapy vaccines was nearly $28.8 billion in 2011.This market is expected for cancer vaccine to increase from $49.6 billion in 2020. In the case of USA $12.3billion in 2011, but it will increase half of the percentage by the end of 2017.

Session 15: Immunotoxicology

Immunotoxicology is the study of immune dysfunction. Immunotoxicology is due to exposure of an organism to foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not normally naturally produced by or expected to be present within that organism. Immune dysfunction may result in the reduction of the activity of the immune system. Immunotoxic substances, such as chemicals, pesticides, or drugs, can have adverse effects on the functioning of the immune system. The known effects include increased susceptibility to infections or tumors as a result of humoral and/or cellular immunity being compromised (immunosuppression), autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, and development of allergies.

Session 16: Diabetes Immunology

Immunology is the study of the immune system, which is responsible for protecting the body from foreign cells such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. Immune system cells called T and B lymphocytes identify and destroy these invaders. The lymphocytes usually recognize and ignore the body’s own tissue (a condition called immunological self-tolerance), but certain autoimmune disorders trigger a malfunction in the immune response causing an attack on the body’s own cells due to a loss of immune tolerance. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas. This attack begins years before type 1 diabetes becomes evident, so by the time someone is diagnosed, extensive damage has already been done and the ability to produce insulin is lost.

Session 17: Food Microbiology

Exciting developments in Food Microbiology has been the availability and application of molecular analyses that have allowed scientists to address microbial food safety questions beyond merely determining whether particular pathogens are in a food. Such global analyses are allowing scientists to ask deeper questions regarding food-borne pathogens and are currently leading the way to ascertaining the genes, proteins, networks, and cellular mechanisms that determine the persistence of strains in foods and other environments, determine why certain strains are more commonly isolated from foods, and determine why certain strains are more pathogenic. Such molecular tools are also making it possible to more fully determine the microflora present in foods along with pathogens, and to assess the effect that the food microbiota has on the death, survival, and pathogenicity of food borne pathogens.

Session 18: Antimicrobial Agents

Antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth. Antimicrobial medicines can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. Atibiotics are used against bacteria and antifungals are used against fungi. Agents that kill microbes are called microbicidal; while those that merely inhibit their growth are called biostatic. The use of antimicrobial medicines to treat infection is known as antimicrobial chemotherapy, while the use of antimicrobial medicines to prevent infection is known as antimicrobial prophylaxis. The main classes of antimicrobial agents are disinfectants nonselective antimicrobials such as bleach, which kill a wide range of microbes on non-living surfaces to prevent the spread of illness, antiseptics are applied to living tissue to reduce infection during surgery and antibiotics which destroy microorganisms within the body. This session discusses more about antimicrobial agents. 

Session 19: Antibodies- Engineering & Therapeutics

Antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, are large Y-shaped proteins which function to identify and help remove foreign antigens or targets such as viruses and bacteria. Antibodies are produced by specialized white blood cells called B lymphocytes (or B cells). When an antigen binds to the B-cell surface, it stimulates the B cell to divide and mature into a group of identical cells called a clone. The mature B cells, called plasma cells, secrete millions of antibodies into the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Every different antibody recognizes a specific foreign antigen. This is because the two tips of its “Y” are specific to each antigen, allowing different antibodies to bind to different foreign antigens.Antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to the presence of an antigen. Antigens are large molecules, usually proteins, on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, and foreign particles. Any substance capable of triggering an immune response is called an antigen. The antibody recognizes a unique molecule of the harmful agent, called an antigen, via the variable region.

Antibody engineering has become a well-developed discipline, encompassing discovery methods, production strategies, and modification techniques that have brought forth clinically investigated and marketed therapeutics. The realization of the long-standing goal of production of fully human monoclonal antibodies has focused intensive research on the clinical employment of this potent drug category.

Session 20: Animal Models and Clinical Trials

The development of human vaccines continues to rely on the use of animals for research. Regulatory authorities require novel vaccine candidates to undergo preclinical assessment in animal models before being permitted to enter the clinical phase in human subjects. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in reducing and replacing the number of animals used for preclinical vaccine research through the use of bioinformatics and computational biology to design new vaccine candidates. However, the ultimate goal of a new vaccine is to instruct the immune system to elicit an effective immune response against the pathogen of interest, and no alternatives to live animal use currently exist for evaluation of this response.

Session 21: Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous like from within body molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties they are considered pharmaceuticals. Pharmacology encompasses drug composition and properties, synthesis and drug design, molecular and cellular mechanisms, organ/systems mechanisms, signal transduction/cellular communication, molecular diagnostics, interactions, toxicology, chemical biology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. This session discusses more about pharmacology.

Session 22: Microbial Immunology

The number of mechanisms that have evolved in microbes to subvert the immune response seems limitless. Tubercle bacilli have found a novel way to coat themselves with the C3 complement protein and invade macrophages by interactions with complement receptors. The Research Group Microbial Immunology investigates the interactions between Candida and the host, aiming at a better understanding of the interactions that lead to pathophysiological alterations. We furthermore strive to understand which process in pathogenesis lead to the development of clinical symptoms and lethal disease. To address these questions, the study focuses on microbiological and immunological methods as well as molecular biology in combination with various infection models including the better understanding of the processes during infection.

Session 23: Transplantation Immunology

Transplantation is an act of transferring cells, tissues, or organ from one site to other. Graft is implanted cell, tissue or organ. Development of the field of organ and tissue transplantation has accelerated remarkably since the human major histocompatibility complex (mhc) was discovered in 1967. Matching of donor and recipient for mhc antigens has been shown to have a significant positive effect on graft acceptance. The roles of the different components of the immune system involved in the tolerance or rejection of grafts and in graft-versus-host disease have been clarified. These components include: antibodies, antigen presenting cells, helper and cytotoxic t cell subsets, immune cell surface molecules, signaling mechanisms and cytokines that they release. The development of pharmacologic and biological agents that interfere with the alloimmune response and graft rejection has had a crucial role in the success of organ transplantation. Combinations of these agents work synergistically, leading to lower doses of immunosuppressive drugs and reduced toxicity. Significant numbers of successful solid organ transplants include those of the kidneys, liver, heart and lung.

Session 24: Vaccines against Drugs

Drug addiction is a serious problem worldwide. One therapy being investigated is vaccines against drugs of abuse. The antibodies elicited against the drug can take up the drug and prevent it from reaching the reward centres in the brain. Few such vaccines have entered clinical trials, but research is going on apace. Many studies are very promising and more clinical trials should be coming out in the near future.

Session 25: Pathogenesis: Host Pathogen Interactions

The host-pathogen interaction is defined as how microbes or viruses sustain themselves within host organisms on a molecular, cellular, organismal or population level. This term is most commonly used to refer to disease-causing microorganisms although they may not cause illness in all hosts. Because of this, the definition has been expanded to how known pathogens survive within their host whether they cause disease or not. On the molecular and cellular level, microbes can infect the host and divide rapidly causing disease by being there and causing a homeostatic imbalance in the body or by secreting toxins which cause symptoms to appear. Viruses can also infect the host with virulent DNA, which can affect normal cell processes transcription, translation, protein folding, or evading the immune response. This session discusses more about host pathogen interactions.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of the function of genetic science in drug response. A computational advance in Pharmacogenomics has proved to be a blessing in studies. A  large number of studies within the biomedical sciences relating to Pharmacogenomics as of late stems from combinatorial chemistry, genomic mining, technologies, and high throughput screening. So as for the sector to grow rich data businesses and business have to work more closely together and adopt simulation techniques

Session 26: Coronavirus
The Novel Coronavirus disease is a recently emerging infectious disease. In humans, coronavirus cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal effects. In older people, and those with underlying medical problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease are more prone to serious illness. The Coronavirus spreads primarily through discharge from the nose or through droplets of saliva when an infected person sneezes or coughs. So it’s very important to practice respiratory etiquette.  As of now there is no specific treatment and medication for novel coronavirus.
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