Hawai’i Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Education and Research Workshop

Hawai’i Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Education and Research Workshop
February 01, 2020, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
February 02, 2020, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
‘Iolani School 563 Kamoku St.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
For more information, please contact:
Rachel Wilson


Hawai’i is a hot spot for NTM pulmonary disease. To understand the environmental, host, and microbial factors driving the emergence of this lung disease in the Hawaiian Islands, National Jewish Health teams established one of the largest citizen scientist projects studying NTM including an outreach network of Hawai’i high school students, undergraduates, and their mentors from 11 different schools and involving more than 400 local students. Volunteers also included local adults and and family members, who acted as citizen scientists to help collect more than 2,000 household and non-household environmental samples from Oahu, Kauai, Hawai’i Island and Maui. National Jewish Health has partnered with local pulmonologists and infectious disease physicians to obtain matched respiratory NTM isolates and environmental samples from NTM patients. By understanding the diversity of NTM in these environmental and respiratory samples, potential source points of infection can be identified and mitigated.

To share this work and discuss key issues about NTM with the local community, National Jewish Health faculty and staff are hosting the Hawai’i NTM Research and Education Workshop at ‘Iolani School.

This FREE conference will: 

  1. Apprise and share with the students and mentors that have helped procure samples as well as the Hawai’i community, the step-by-step process of how NTM is sampled, processed and cultured, genomically identified, and to show how this data relates back to what is observed clinically, and

  2. Showcase the overwhelming scientific accomplishments that can be achieved when local communities, researchers, clinicians and patients work together to understand an under-recognized lung disease of public health importance.


A summary of this conference has been published in ScienceDirect Microbes and Infection, 2020.

View Summary


2020 Event Photos

Day 1

Day 2

FREE. Registration is closed.

Day 1 Programming (Sullivan Center, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

Who Should Attend:

Students and mentors who participated in this project; and, any person regardless of academic level who has an interest in microbiology, molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, or NTM lung disease.

During the morning session, local mentors will provide their perspectives on how these particular NTM-driven projects have enriched the academic rigor of student research at the high school and undergraduate level. Alumni of 'Iolani who participated in NTM research projects as high school students will return to share their specific experiences as citizen scientists and how studying NTM impacted the development of their academic careers.

Next,  National Jewish Health faculty and staff will provide seminars on NTM microbiology, genomics, clinical information and statistics.

The afternoon sessions will include tutorials and hands-on wet-lab and computer simulation demonstrations of the techniques and methods used in NTM research.

For the full program agenda, please click here.


Day 2 Programming (Seto Hall, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Who Should Attend:

Pulmonologists, infectious disease clinicians, hospitalists, family care practitioners, respiratory therapists, nurses, scientists, public health specialists, or anyone interested in NTM lung disease including NTM patients and their families.

We will bring together clinicians, researchers and local patients with NTM lung disease for seminars from patients, researchers and clinicians. Patients with NTM lung disease will present their struggles with these infections and local physicians will give their perspective on the struggles of Hawai'i clinicians in recognizing and treating NTM lung disease.

The faculty and staff from National Jewish Health will provide easy-to-understand, educational and up-to-date information to the audience regarding environmental reservoirs for NTM, immunology, treatments, genomics and statistics of NTM infections.

Breakout sessions at the end of the day will allow patients, clinicians and researchers to integrate and discuss NTM lung disease in Hawai'i.

For the full program agenda, please click here.

When and Where

This event will take place from Saturday February 1, 2020 to Sunday February 2, 2020 at ‘Iolani School, Honolulu, Hawai’i. Day 1 programming will be held in the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership. Day 2 programming will be held in Seto Hall.

Free parking will be available on campus. Complimentary golf cart transportation will be provided from parking lots to the Seto Hall for Day 2 programming for NTM patients and their family members.



Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days for registered participants.


Confirmed Speakers




For the full program agenda, please click here.


Conference Summaries


We would like to thank the following for their support:

  • Sullivan Family Foundation and ‘Iolani School
  • NTMiR
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Insmed
  • PMAG – Pacific Medical Administrative Group
  • Dr. Erlaine Bello
  • A Stitch Above

Portions of the work showcased at this conference was funded by National Science Foundation grant #1743587 Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program.