On March 5th 2020, the first AustroVirology Symposium took place at the St. Anna Children Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) in Vienna. This event was organized by Dr. Karin Kosulin (CCRI) and Dr. Andreas Bergthaler (CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) and brought together 75 virologists from 12 institutions across Austria.
The aim of this symposium was to capture the rich diversity of academic, clinical and industrial virological research and to provide a platform to meet colleagues and forge new collaborations. Kicked off by an inspiring Keynote Lecture about the co-evolution of phages and bacteria by Dr. Martin Polz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Vienna), 10 short talks covered diverse subdisciplines of virology which included structural biology, immunology, organoids, clinical diseases and biotechnological applications. The AustroVirology Symposium was concluded by an open discussion and a poster session with additional networking opportunities.
The successful AustroVirology Symposium gave a vibrant demonstration of the existing excellent virus research in Austria and fostered intense networking. Considering the current SARS-CoV2 epidemics and COVID-19, it was concluded that the virology research community continues to play an ever-important role for our understanding of basic biology, the fight of infectious diseases and the development of novel solutions such as innovative vaccines.