2024 InFORM Agenda

The InFORM conference agenda is designed to include interactive sessions and time to connect with colleagues from around the country. All sessions are open to everyone attending the conference.

Open Sessions: These are preconference sessions that offer additional opportunities to learn and collaborate before the conference officially kicks off on January 22, 2024.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

1 – 3 pm: Open Sessions (see below for details)
3 – 3:30 pm: Break
3:30 – 5:30 pm: Open Sessions (see below for details)
5:30 – 7:30 pm: Dinner on your own
7:30 – 8:30 pm: Welcome - Evening Reception

Monday, January 22, 2024

7:30 – 8:15 am: Sunrise Sessions
8:30 – 10 am: Welcome and Keynote
10 – 10:30 am: Break
10:30 - 11:45 am: Plenary Session 1
11:45 – 12 pm: Award Presentation
12 – 1:30 pm: Lunch on Your Own
1:30 - 3:15 pm: Plenary Session 2
3:15 – 4 pm: Break and Poster Session 1
4 – 5:15 pm: Plenary Session 3
5:15 – 5:30 pm: Award Presentation
5:30 pm: Adjourn Day 1

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

7:30 – 8:15 am: Sunrise Sessions
8:15 – 8:30 am: Break
8:30 – 10 am: Discipline Specific Sessions
10 –10:30 am: Break
10:30 am – 12 pm: Discipline Specific Sessions
12 – 1:30 pm: Lunch on Your Own
1:30 – 3:15 pm: Discipline Specific Sessions
3:15 – 4 pm: Break and Poster Session 2
4 – 5:30 pm: Discipline Specific Sessions
5:30 - 6:30 pm: Networking

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

8:30 - 10 am: Plenary Session 4
10 – 10:30 am: Break
10:30 – 11:30 am: Plenary Session 5
11:30 am – 12 pm: Closing Remarks
12 pm: Adjourn Day 3
1:30 - 5 pm: Open Session (see below for details)

Open Sessions

January 21, 2024

Open Session 1: Back-to-Basics: Complaint-Based Outbreaks, 1 - 3 pm

Enteric outbreaks, like those caused by norovirus, may be detected through consumer complaints rather than laboratory detection methods (e.g., PulseNet). This session will provide a back-to-basics style overview of how to detect, investigate, and respond to complaint-based outbreaks.

Open Session 2: Environmental Assessment Learning Lab, 1 - 3 pm

This session will use a real-life outbreak example to walk participants through the process of identifying outbreak contributing factors and environmental antecedents. An environmental assessment is a process conducted during outbreak investigations to determine how and why pathogens entered the outbreak environment and spread to make people sick. Identifying the how (contributing factors) and the why (environmental antecedents) are key elements of an outbreak investigation and are crucial to ensure that appropriate corrective actions are implemented to prevent future outbreaks. This session will provide hands-on learning exercises to help identify the root causes of outbreaks.

Open Session 3: Wet Lab, 1 - 3 pm

Description to be announced.

Open Session 4: Health Communications, 1 - 3 pm

1:00–2:00pm: The Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network’s Outbreak Analytics Team: Sharing Our Story, Analyzing Outbreaks, and Informing Prevention

2:00–3:00pm: Food and Drug Administration Perspectives on Outbreak Investigations and Maintaining Food Safety and Defense During Disasters, Emergencies, and Special Events of National Significance

In 2019, FDA/CORE launched the Outbreak Analytics (OA) Team. The OA Team’s mission is to publicly communicate specific foodborne illness outbreak response efforts, conduct analytical work aimed at highlighting patterns in adverse public health events, and share expertise with intra- and interagency food safety collaborations. Conducting outbreak analyses and broadly communicating outbreak investigation findings enhances CORE’s abilities to anticipate, address, and learn from outbreaks, with the goal of guiding and supporting preventive measures to reduce the frequency and limit the impact of future foodborne outbreaks. OA will highlight key work in analytical and publication efforts that would be of great interest to the outbreak response community.

Open Session 5: Whole Genome Sequencing - The Experience in Latin America and The Caribbean Region, 1 - 2 pm

Although the region of Latin America and the Caribbean has always been characterized by its strength and joint work, given the speed with which laboratory methodologies have evolved both for the diagnosis and for the surveillance of food pathogens, during the last years, it has been a challenge to be able to migrate towards the new paradigm of genomics.

Open Session 7: National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) Training, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

The National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) is a web-based platform used by health departments in the United States to report all waterborne, foodborne, and enteric disease outbreaks to CDC. In early 2023, CDC released a new NORS user interface (“NORS 3.0”), which reflects a revised, streamlined NORS form and allows reporting of fungal disease outbreaks. The CDC NORS Team will provide a walkthrough of NORS 3.0 and demonstrate key features of the system, including the NORSDirect data upload function. The training session will also include an open Q & A portion.

Open Session 8: PulseNet 2.0, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

This session will discuss the following topics: introduction to the PulseNet 2.0 platform, analyzing data in PulseNet 2.0, interpreting and reporting sequence data, Questions and Answers related to analysis of PulseNet Data. At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to: Understand the process of analyzing sequences using PulseNet 2.0.

Open Session 9: Overview of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Traceback and How Epidemiology Drives Decision Making, 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Traceback provides valuable information during foodborne outbreak investigations to determine if there is a link between illnesses and a specific food product. This presentation will describe how FSIS conducts traceback and the importance of epidemiologic information in prioritizing and directing traceback activities.

January 24, 2024

Open Session: System for Enteric Disease Response, Investigation, and Coordination (SEDRIC), 1:30 - 5 pm

This training will dive into all things SEDRIC, including basic platform uses for day-to-day surveillance and outbreak response activities, as well as advanced features and analytic tools for seasoned users. We will split the session into 3 main categories: Basic Tools and Functions, New Surveillance Pathogens, and Advanced-Use cases/scenarios.