From the containment of disease spread to the impact of viruses on crop life, the American Society for Virology met on the University of Minnesota campus in late July to share the latest research on the myriad ways viruses impact life. Fifteen hundred scientists and students from across the country and world made their way to Minneapolis for the four-day conference.
"Everyone participating got to see 20 different keynote presentations as well as choose from a huge smorgasbord of short talks and poster presentations,” says Reuben Harris, Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. Harris was a lead organizer of the international conference.
“Viruses are everywhere in the biosphere from bacteria to all animals. It is important to study these for fundamental reasons (important and novel molecular mechanisms) but also to figure out all of their tricks so we can better combat them in the future, which is our goal at ASV."
Beyond hearing from speakers themselves, undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States came to present their own research through podium and poster sessions and build connections with researchers at other institutions and industries. In addition to sharing new findings in virology research, the annual conference also gives aspiring researchers a chance to network with potential future employers and explore careers in the field.
"There is a vibrant and diverse virus research community, and there are many more things to do and many career possibilities ranging from basic and clinical science to biotechnology," says Harris. –Lance Janssen