Successful workshop on respiratory viruses of humans and animals held at Moredun Research Institute

About 40 staff, post-docs and students attended the Edinburgh Infectious Diseases workshop on respiratory viruses in animals and humans at the Moredun Research Institute on Thursday 11 April 2013. 

The participants heard an excellent selection of talks from Edinburgh Infectious Diseases members in loosely thematic three sessions on Influenza, animal respiratory viruses and human respiratory disease.  The range of topics covered amply illustrated the wide range of interests and expertise in Edinburgh, and the strength of work being carried out here.  We were particularly grateful to Ken Baillee for stepping in at the last moment to replace one of the speakers who, most ironically, was suffering from a respiratory infection, and was unable to attend. 

  • Tony Nash (Roslin) “Taming of the flu: a tale of two halves”
  • Paul Digard (Roslin) “Molecular biology of influenza virus pathogenicity”
  • Karen Bryson (Roslin) “Influenza infection: Beyond the respiratory tract”
  • Bernadette Dutia (Roslin) “Lack of an IFN  gamma response ameliorates influenza virus infection”
  • David Griffiths (Moredun) “Retrovirus induced lung cancer in sheep”
  • Sarah Howie (Centre for Inflammation Research) “Lungs and other mucosal surfaces Allergy, chlamydia and HPV infection”
  • Kate Templeton (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh) “The recent changes in respiratory viral diagnosis and future challenges”
  • Colin Sharp (Roslin) “Torque teno virus: a respiratory pathogen?”
  • Ken Baillee (Roslin) “Ancient and modern viral infections:  the host perspective”
  • Adam Hill (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh) “Bronchiectasis - breaking the vicious cycle of infection and inflammation”
  • Harish Nair (Centre for Population Health Sciences) “Estimating the global burden of acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory viruses in young children”
  • Jürgen Schwarze (Centre for Inflammation Research) “Host Responses to RSV”

We were very fortunate to have Geraldine Taylor from the Pirbright Institute to speak about her major contributions to the development of vaccines against human and bovine respiratory syncytial viruses - “Respiratory syncytial viruses: Challenges and opportunities for control”.  This lecture was open to all members of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases and was well attended by staff at the Moredun Research Institute and the Roslin Institute.

The programme allowed plenty of time for comments and discussions during the formal sessions, and also more informally over lunch and at the poster presentations.  In particular the interactions between clinical and research staff were very valuable and helped link related researchers to explore possible avenues of collaboration. 

From the feedback we collected (23 of out 43 participants responded!), over 90% liked the workshop very much and found the opportunities for networking with colleagues very useful.  Participants also said that they would like to come to similar workshop events in future and that the venue for such events should vary between different campuses.

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