International Symposium of Staphylococci and Staphylococcal Infection32 years ago scientist from all over the world started to meet biannually to present discuss progress in Staphylococcal research. This year the 16th symposium took place in Chicago, hosted by the University of Chicago. During the last three decades public interest in this field grew, in particular through the increased development of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and epidermis, and more than 300 delegates attended the conference. Through VacTrains support I was able to show my first poster to a scientific audience there.
The 4 day program covered a range of subjects including pathophysiology, “omics” (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics), regulation as well as therapeutic and prophylactic interventions. Leading experts in their field gave an introduction in the morning, followed by talks given by experienced researchers and junior professors about cutting-edge results straight from the bench. Early-stage researchers were then given the chance to present in the afternoon poster sessions (more than 250 in just 4 days!).
“Vaccines against S. aureus disease” was the topic of Thursday morning, emphasizing the importance of this preventive approach. Some potential antigens as well as efficacy models were showcased and delegates from industry gave an update on clinical trial outcomes of vaccines in their pipelines.
In between presentations and talks, one was given plenty of opportunities to network with experts from industry and academia, talk to them over lunch, coffee or a gala dinner. Current issues and challenges were discussed and I gained a lot of inspiration and ideas for my own PhD project – which I could think about while discovering the vibrant metropolis the following weekend.