The threat of avian flu and new developments in the search for an effective vaccine are expected to be the main focus of discussion when some of world’s leading scientists gather in Scotland next week.
The University of St Andrews is hosting the 4th European Meeting on Viral Zoonoses from June 2nd to 5th, an event that will bring together over 80 virologists and associated specialists to hear experts from Holland, France, Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Scotland.
Zoonoses are diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between animals and man and the St Andrews congress will discuss the progress of latest work to address important zoonotic viruses including avian flu, bunyaviruses, flaviviruses and rhabdoviruses. Key elements of that work are taking place in Scotland.
St Andrews scientists are at the forefront of a recently announced £4.3million research effort to combat the threat of a global flu pandemic and the University’s Molecular Virology Unit in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences is also spearheading attempts to find new drug therapies for a range of diseases, including cancers and viral haemorrhagic fevers.
Scotland has a strong and growing reputation for the breadth, quality and significance of its portfolio of virology research and events like this are important not just to share knowledge but to spawn new thinking.
“We are delighted St Andrews is to be hosting this congress”, said Professor Richard Elliott, who will chair the event. “We will be hearing about new developments in avian influenza research but we are also expecting to learn more about the recent discovery of new viruses transmitted from monkeys to man in Africa, the same route which led to the worldwide spread of HIV and AIDS.”
The 4th European Meeting on Viral Zoonoses takes place at the Gateway Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, June 2nd to 5th 2007.
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Ref: Virology conference 010607
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