ICE-ing on the Cake!

Sep 28, 2015

What a nice move!

Especially since the United States is busily restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Think entomology. Think ICE. Think ICE'ing on the cake. Think ICE'ing on an entomological cake.

When the 2016 International Congress of Entomology (ICE 2016), co-chaired by a UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal takes place next year in Orlando, Fla., it truly will follow the theme, “Entomology without Borders.”

One of Cuba's leading entomologists will deliver an invitational lecture on the mosquito that transmits dengue, announced Leal, professor of biochemistry and chemical ecology at the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology

Juan Andrés Bisset, head of the Vector Control Department at the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine and an advisor to the Cuban Public Health Ministry, will speak on “Aedes aegypti Management Strategies for Dengue Control in Cuba.” He studied at UC Riverside with G.P. Georgiou in 1986.

“When I received my first passport as a Brazilian citizen, it was stamped ‘not valid' for Cuba,” recalled Leal. “That sparked a curiosity about that country. After I become an entomologist and a U.S. citizen, my curiosity shifted toward entomology in Cuba. Fast forward to today: The International Congress of Entomology could not justify its theme, ‘Entomology without Borders,' if we did not have at least one delegate from Cuba.”

“We are absolutely delighted to host Dr. Juan Bisset.”

Added ICE 2016 co-chair Alvin Simmons, U.S. Department of Agriculture research entomologist: “We are dedicated to providing a premier congress experience for 7,000 to 8,000 international attendees. This includes fostering an environment of scientific breadth and all-inclusiveness. So, it is quite fitting for participation from Cuba to be a part of this historical event.”

The conference, expected to be the world's largest gathering of entomologists, takes place Sept. 25-30, 2016. Bisset will speak from 4:30 to 5:30 p. m. Tuesday, Sept. 25. Many mosquito researchers, including those from the University of California, are expected to attend.

In an email to Bisset, Leal called attention to a recent editorial in Science magazine “Science in U.S. Cuba relations” (May 15, 2015).

“ICE 2016 will be a historic global event, as this conference will return to the United States after a 40-year hiatus,” Leal told him. “We are expecting the participation of 7,000-8,000 delegates, including Dr. Peter Agre (Nobel Laureate, 2003 - a strong advocate for science diplomacy, particularly Cuba-US relations) and Dr. Jules Hoffmann (Nobel Laureate, 2011),   Dr. John Hildebrand, and many other distinguished scholars."

Bisset is heavily involved in the control of vectorborne diseases, including diseases transmitted by several mosquitoes, such as Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles albimanus, and Aedes aegypti. He focuses his main research on ecology, dynamic population of insects, insecticide resistance, and resistance mechanisms.

The recipient of some 18 international and national awards, Bisset has been published his research in 106 scientific papers. Since 1990, he has participated in more than 45 technical activities as an adviser on malaria and dengue vector control in Latin American countries, and is a frequent lecturer in Cuba and other countries.

ICE is held once every four years in different countries around the world. Next year it will be held simultaneously with the annual meetings of the Entomological Society of America, the Entomological Society of Canada, and other organizations.

“Each Congress provides a forum for scientists, researchers, academia, technicians, government, and industry representatives to discuss the latest research and innovations in the many diverse fields of entomology, to share expertise in their specific fields of interest, and to present their research and products,” said Richard Levine, ESA's communications program manager, in a news release. “The week-long meetings allow participants to meet others from around the world with similar focus areas and to form important networks to collaborate and share knowledge, with an overarching goal of supporting and protecting the world's population through better science."

For more information about ICE 2016, access