The significance of these IWOP meetings on the progress of basic and translational scientific knowledge in the area of OI protists that are not available in mass culture cannot be overstated. Several international and other collaborations have been catalyzed by these workshops; they have served a valuable function as a forum for teaching and learning (e.g. diagnostic errors have been corrected and experimental designs inproved). Workshop proceedings available in a single publication are popular and always on someone's desk or "disappear." In the case of some articles, these publications represent the only sources of information that are available in the literature. Participants at all IWOP meetings have included a large proportion of students, post-doctorals, and young investigators; IWOP registration fees for students have generally been greatly reduced, sometimes about 1/2 of that for other participants. The majority of travel assistance awards made from funds generated for IWOP are provided to such young scientists and members of underrepresented ethnic groups, females, and physically handicapped individuals.
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