This year’s 29th Annual Symposium on Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Models for AIDS, which takes place from October 25-28 in Seattle, has about 50% more registrants than last year, and the number of international registrants has doubled, said David Anderson, conference chair and director of the Washington National Primate Research Center. It could be the beautiful location, but Anderson said part of the reason is that NHP research is becoming more collaborative. “I think part of why we have an increase in attendance this year is because science is getting bigger, more complex and getting characterized by partnerships,” he said, adding that one example is systems biology which involves “pulling people from a lot of different areas together.”

Thomas Hope of Northwestern University started today’s meeting with a talk about his studies of how fluorescently labeled HIV particles enter the mucosal barrier of the macaque reproductive tract. One important topic is to study if and how the menstrual cycle affects this process, Hope said. “[This is] becoming an interesting and important topic that many groups need to consider in prevention science and pathogenesis and transmission,” he said.