Experimental Biology 2014

Experimental Biology is an annual, multidisciplinary scientific meeting comprised of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors. General topics include anatomy, biochemistry, nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. This year the conference was held in sunny San Diego, California from April 26th to 30th at the San Diego Convention Center. Although I have previously attended this conference, I am always surprised at the breadth and quality of scientific research presented at this meeting. For example, this year topics ranged from developing new methods for use in organ transplant to the use of zebra fish as models for understanding the process of wound healing.

I cannot emphasize enough how important my attendance at Experimental Biology has been. At this meeting, I’ve had meaningful discussions that are now leading to future research projects in our lab.
My PhD research has focused on the intestinal parasite Giardia duodenalis and its ability to dampen specific intestinal inflammatory responses. I was fortunate to give a talk about my research in a session sponsored by the American Society of Investigative Pathology or ASIP entitled “Host Pathogen Interactions: Fungus and Protozoa” which I also co-chaired with fellow HPI member Jeanie Quach. I was also invited to present this research during a special ASIP networking session. Questions following my talk have resulted in our lab investigating long-term implications of attenuated acute intestinal inflammatory responses that occur as a result of Giardia infection. Discussions with fellow researchers at the ASIP networking session could help us develop a new model that we could use to understand Giardia’s ability to attenuate acute intestinal inflammatory responses. In addition to presenting my research, I also attended numerous sessions that could produce potential future research projects in our lab and made important friendships and contacts that may result in future collaborations or post-doctoral research positions.

I have been privileged to attend several Experimental Biology meetings throughout the course of my graduate studies. I would like to thank Host-Parasite interactions for sponsoring my trip to this conference, as I believe it has made me a better scientist.

James Cotton

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