Spring Travels

Before covid-19 closed most of the world to travel, we made a few visits to conferences and to visit collaborators. Unfortunately, the pandemic also meant that travel after April for the remainder of the year would be much restricted. We’re looking forward to seeing the parasitology community in online conferences, and in 2021!

Mattie went to Tucson, Arizona to visit some collaborators at the University of Arizona. Curtis Thorne’s group (a fellow Texan) develops technology to study intestinal organoids in 2D in plates. It was great to chat about how we could collaborate in the future.

Fantastic mural on the main drag in Tucson, Arizona. Great collection of cactus in a neighbourhood yard. The view from Curtis’ office.

Mattie also visited Sterling Labs, home of the famous “Sterling Iowa II” C. parvum strain. Thanks Debbie and her group for chatting with me about all things Crypto.

Mattie visited Sterling Labs, in the newly renovated Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Arizona. Thanks for chatting with me Debbie!

While in Arizona, Mattie also got to see the sights: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Taliesin West!

Horseshoe Bend, the Colorado River.
A slot canyon outside of Page, Arizona. Erosion of the Navajo Sandstone creates beautiful shadows.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s “summer camp” where he trained the next generation of architects.

At the end of January, Mattie and Emma attended the Keystone Meeting: Tissue Organoids as Models of Host Physiology and Pathophysiology of Disease in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was amazing to hear work from Thad Stappenbeck, David Sibley discuss the air-liquid-interface model for continuous culture of Cryptosporidium, and Mary Estes about norovirus. Mary also taped a great podcast episode with the American Society for Microbiology.

Emma gave a poster about her work to adopt ALI in the Pawlowic lab!

Thanks to the meeting organisers and the Crypto group for lots of new ideas, feedback, and inspiring science.

The last day of the conference was Emma’s birthday! We celebrated with a walk around Vancouver that included this great sunset.

Mattie also got to visit the Striepen lab for a quick visit. It was meant to coincide with the PATH biannual Symposium on Innovative Therapeutics for Cryptosporidium, which was the first meeting to be canceled due to covid-19. Thanks to Boris and the group for great discussions, sharing new and exciting data, and a delicious Ethiopian food dinner.

Jennie brought me my favorite beer from Athens, and Alexis shared her most recent crotchet project with me. Science friends are the best!

When Mattie returned from the USA, we closed the lab 3 days later. Scotland is fairing well in the fight against covid-19 at the moment and we are especially grateful for our outstanding Tayside NHS.

We are hoping to reopen the labs soon and resume research!

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