October 15, 2019

Approximately 250 virologists from more than 30 institutions across the Midwest converged on the Ohio State University campus this past weekend for the 1st Midwest Virology Symposium 2019. The three-day inaugural meeting held on October 11-13 was organized by the OSU’s Infectious Diseases Institute - Viruses and Emerging Pathogens (VEP) Program Co-Directors Drs. Shan-Lu Liu and Jacob Yount.

Attendees included more than 80 faculty members, as well as postdocs, graduate students, staff scientists, and undergraduate students.

The Keynote address was delivered by Dr. Terence Dermody, Physician in Chief, Scientific Director, Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics of University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. He spoke on “The Amazing Assembly Mechanism of a Viral Nanomachine.”

Nineteen distinguished virology faculty from the Midwest area, 5 of them from the Ohio State, were also invited to speak at the meeting.

The meeting received a total of 134 abstracts, 43 of which were selected for short or flash talks. All 43 short/flash talk presenters were offered travel awards, which covered the cost of their registration. The 1-minute flash talks were given in rapid succession by two groups of 11 trainees each, and were a fun and well-received in addition to the traditional scientific conference format.

The scientific program was held in Jennings Hall and poster sessions were held in the Biomedical Research Tower’s Lobby.  An opening night banquet reception was enjoyed in the Buckeye Reading Room of the Thompson Library.

The meeting was administratively assisted by IDI Business Manager Mr. Rick Shaffer and Marketing and Communications Program Assistant Ms. Katie McAfee. Dr. Mark Peeples, a Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State and an Investigator at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute, along with Dr. Michael Oglesbee, Director of the OSU IDI, participated in organizing the meeting. Dr. Oglesbee also delivered an inspiring welcome speech discussing the value of scientific networks and collaboration in advancing scientific research.

The meeting was co-sponsored by IDI, The Office of Research in Provost’s office, the College of Medicine, The Center for Retrovirus Research, the Department of Veterinary Biosciences, the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, the Department of Microbiology, as well as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccines and Immunity. The journal “Viruses” sponsored the meeting’s Keynote address.

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