The 27th Annual Philadelphia Infection and Immunity Forum is scheduled to take place at Drexel University College of Medicine on Friday, December 7, 2018. The event is organized by the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch & Student Chapter of the American Society for Microbiology.
The event brings microbiologists, parasitologists, immunologists and virologists from the greater Philadelphia area together to share their research, network with colleagues and hear outstanding scientists present their cutting-edge research in many areas relevant to the discipline of microbiology. The event also hosts vendors from a number of biotechnology companies who provide sponsorship to the forum.
In addition to platform presentations and poster sessions, the forum will host three keynote speakers: Thomas E. Wellems, MD, PhD, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on "Genetic Studies of Plasmodium Malaria Parasites"; Stacy M. Horner, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, on "New Regulators of the Host Response to RNA Virus Infection"; and Michael C. Abt, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, on "Immune-Microbiota Interactions Regulate Host Defense Against C. difficile."
Amanda Platt, who is in the third year of the Microbiology and Immunology doctoral program at Drexel University College of Medicine, serves as the president of the student chapter that is responsible for organizing this event. She is joined by classmate Jennifer Connors, a second-year PhD student. The group leadership also includes two students from the University of Pennsylvania and one student from Temple University.
Both Platt and Connors say the highlight of the event each year is the speakers. Connors is especially interested in those who come from outside of academia, because she hopes to pursue work in the government or in industry.
"I’m always excited for the speakers from the National Institutes of Health because I feel like, in academia, we tend to stay in academia," Connors explains. "However, there are a lot of people who go outside of academia and do government or industry work. I love having those outside speakers to hear about their experiences and perspectives."
"The event also creates the opportunity for students to network with these professionals, which can be a great experience," adds Platt.
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