By Sharmin Begum
The XVII international seminar on Amebiasis 2015 (13th October to 16th October) was held in Campeche, a city in Mexico. This was my first conference in Latin America. I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to give a 15 minute talk about my research work there. To attend the meeting I started my journey early in the morning on October 12th, the day before the conference started. After a long day’s journey, I reached at Campeche City at night and the warm weather refreshed all my tiredness from the long journey. I took a taxi to the hotel where the conference was arranged. The hotel room was spacious with a nice sea-facing balcony. The following day, I registered for the conference and walked around the city along with my lab mates. At night there was an inauguration program with a great talk by Dr. Brett Finlay about the role of microbiota in asthma. After the inauguration program there was a cocktail party to meet different people from different parts of Mexico and the USA. It was great socializing with people and there was good food, music and dancing. As the name reflects, this conference was mainly focused on Amebiasis and the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, which reflects the area of my research interest.
On the first day of the conference, the seminar started at 9:00 a.m. with the oral session on Cell Biology of Entamoeba histolytica. After that, there were two more sessions on Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of the parasite. There were some good talks on amebic exosomes, role of amebic cysteine proteinase EhCP112 on the epithelial cell tight junctions. After each session, there was allocated time for discussion about the talks, research and also many valuable comments from the attendees. At the end of the oral session, there was a poster session on Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Immune mechanism of Amebiasis. Two of my other lab mates presented a poster on their research work plus there were many other interesting posters. I had a great chance to look at different posters and talk to people about their research. At dinner, I enjoyed some special traditional Mexican foods with different people and it was nice to hang out with them.
On the second full day, the seminar started in the morning with an oral session on Genetics and Regulation of Gene Expression and continued with other two sessions on Pathogenic Mechanisms and Human Disease and Molecular Epidemiology. There were some good talks on amebic pathogenesis, amebic cell killing, and development of colonoid models. The seminar on day 2 ended with the second poster session. For the dinner, the organizer arranged a seafood dinner at a restaurant called “La PaLapa del tio Fito” where I had my first chance to eat shark and other seafood.
On the morning of the last day, my supervisor Dr. Kris Chadee gave a talk on Immune Mechanisms in Amebiasis. After his talk, I had the opportunity to give an oral talk on my research in front of all the experienced people on Amebiasis. During the discussion time, I received some good feedback and comments from the audience; I believe these will help me to go forward in my research work. Also on the last day of conference, Dr. Bill Petri and Dr. Cecilia Ximenez gave the closing remarks and announced the next Amebiasis meeting in 2017. During the evening, the organizers arranged a farewell dinner at the hotel. It was a lot of fun with delicious food, live music, and dancing.
After having so much fun I left for Calgary the next early in the morning. I am already looking forward to the next Amebiasis meeting. I would like to give my heartiest thanks to HPI NSERC CREATE for providing funding for me to attend such a memorable and knowledgeable conference.
PhD Candidate (From Dr. Kris Chadee lab)