By Chaya Patel, Student Professional Development Support Fund Recipient
This summer I had the opportunity to attend the International Herpesvirus Workshop on the beautiful campus of University of British Columbia in Vancouver. While herpes is not many people’s idea of a good time, the conference was filled with engaging talks and exciting events. The ‘Herpetic Legion’, a band of multi-talented virologists, rocked the house with infectious music one night. On another evening, we learnt about the rich heritage of the Musqueam people while exploring the Museum of Anthropology. These events gave us the opportunity to reactivate old friendships and contract new collaborations and projects.
I also presented some of my work, “Maternal vaccination with a replication-defective HSV-2 prevents neonatal herpes morbidity and mortality”, during the satellite and poster sessions. While the talk did not quite go “viral”, the audience members were given a teaser for the keynote talk, given by none other than my advisor, Dr. David Leib. His talk certainly raised questions of epidemic proportion and subsequently elicited lytic discussions.
The conference certainly left us with a contagious motivation to get back to the bench. Thank you to the GSC student support fund, M2P2 training grant, and my advisor for making my participation in this conference possible!