March 6th-7th we held a joint meeting of the 4th Infectious Diseases Research Meeting Initiative Scotland in combination with the WCAIR Spring Symposium. David Horn and Mattie co-organised with immense support from Catharine Goddard, WCAIR manager, and the BCDD Admin team (thanks Karen, Diane, Kirstie, Pamela, and Laura!). Special thanks to the Wellcome Trust and WCAIR for sponsoring this event and making it possible to host over 130 participants! (Wellcome ISSF funds from the School of Life Sciences)
IDRIS Meeting Programme
The meeting included talks from researchers at the University of Dundee, the University of Glasgow’s Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology, and the Edinburgh Infectious Disease Network at the University of Edinburgh. Thanks to Andy Waters and Keith Matthews for the support.
Alan Fairlamb shares the history of the DDU
Manu de Rycker
There were opportunities to tour the DDU and proteomics facilities, 1-minute “flash” poster talks, an evening poster session, dinner, and a public engagement showcase.
Proteomics and Mass Spec
High-throughout screening facility
Touring the chemistry labs
The main meeting was directly followed by a satellite meeting for postdocs and senior graduate students to meet and talk with early career researchers. Juan Quintana and Joana Faria from WCAIR, received a grant from SULSA to invite the ECR speakers to Dundee and organised the entire afternoon workshop. Well done!
We hope you all enjoyed your time in Dundee and we certainly learned a lot about the exciting new infectious disease research happening across Scotland. We hope this event sparked new collaborations, grants, and connections. See you at the next IDRIS!
Really thrilled to announce that our work to explore Cryptosporidium transmission has been funded by The Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust through a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship. To read more about our research, click the links below:
Synopsis of our work on Wellcome’s website
Dec 22nd article in The Herald (News, Page 2)
Dec 22nd mention in The Courier (Local Bulletin section)
Ross Bacchetti (PhD student), Mattie, and Beatrice Colon (postdoc) are excited to get to work!
(thanks to Ali Floyd for the photo)
September: Mattie and Beatrice attended the Molecular Parasitology Meeting in Woods Hole, MA and both gave talks! We also got to see old friends in the Striepen and Kai Zhang lab.
Beatrice presents her PhD work at MPM
Striepenite reunion at The Kidd
Got to catch up with my undergrad/PhD advisor, Kai Zhang, at MPM
October: The lab has arrived (welcome to Ross, Beatrice, and Jack!), so we went to Brewdog to celebrate! Dr. Lilach Sheiner from the University of Glasgow came to Dundee and gave a great talk about redox and organelle communication in Toxoplasma.
First lab trip to Brewdog!
Lilach Sheiner gave a great seminar talk at Dundee
November: Mattie gave a talk at ToxoUK, and attended the EMBO Lab Leadership course with Dr. Susan Wyllie and Dr. Mahima Swamy.
Dinner at ToxoUK
Susan Wyllie and Mattie attend EMBO Lab Leadership Course
December: Mattie gave a talk at the “London Molecular Parasitology Club” hosted at the Crick by Mike Blackman and Moritz Treeck. Thanks for the invite and the pizza! Ross performed with the Dundee Symphony and we enjoyed our first lab Christmas lunch!
We also started our first attempt at making transgenic Cryptosporidium in Dundee, so stay tuned for the new year!
This summer Mattie participated in MeBoP, the Middle Eastern Biology of Parasitism course in Bern, Switzerland. Organised by Dr. Lilach Sheiner and Dr. Omar Harb, MeBoP is a high-caliber scientific course that covers various aspects of parasitology from molecular biology and epidemiology to genomics, targeted for students in the Middle East as well as North and Sub-Saharan Africa. One of the greatest goals of the course is to provide an environment where young scientists from conflicted political areas are given the opportunity to focus on their mutual professional interests and goals, and to promote networking and the building of professional collaborations across these areas. The students were outstanding and it was a great honour and a lot of fun to participate!
Mattie was also invited by Dr. Julian Rayner to give a seminar at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this summer! It was inspiring to be at the home of the human genome project and to discuss ideas for future collaborations. Thanks for having me!
Check out this interview on Med Chem Net about the challenges of discovery for Cryptosporidium and the journey of developing new tools to study this parasite:
Mattie also contributed a post for the Defeat DD Blog (Defeat Diarrheal Disease, a part of PATH) about the impact of a new meta-data analysis of Cryptosporidium epidemiology:
Fecal room in progress
Waiting for the large fridge!
Large fridge has arrived!
Thanks especially to the support staff including the BCDD lab managers for help with ordering and getting the lab space ready!