The 2nd Symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology (CSV2018) was held in June 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, as a featured event marking the 200th anniversary of Dalhousie University. CSV2018 attracted 175 attendees from across Canada and around the world, more than double the number that attended the first CSV symposium two years earlier. CSV2018 provided a forum to discuss a wide range of topics in virology including human, veterinary, plant, and microbial pathogens. Invited keynote speakers included David Kelvin (Dalhousie University and Shantou University Medical College) who provided a historical perspective on influenza on the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic; Sylvain Moineau (Université Laval) who described CRISPR-Cas systems and anti-CRISPR proteins in warfare between bacteriophages and their host microbes; and Kate O’Brien (then from Johns Hopkins University, now relocated to the World Health Organization where she is Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals), who discussed the underlying viral etiology for pneumonia in the developing world, and the evidence for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a primary cause. Reflecting a strong commitment of Canadian virologists to science communication, CSV2018 featured the launch of Halifax’s first annual Soapbox Science event to enable public engagement with female scientists, and the live-taping of the 499th episode of the This Week in Virology (TWIV) podcast, hosted by Vincent Racaniello (Columbia University) and science writer Alan Dove. TWIV featured interviews of CSV co-founders Nathalie Grandvaux (Université de Montréal) and Craig McCormick (Dalhousie University), who discussed the origins and objectives of the new society; Ryan Noyce (University of Alberta), who discussed technical and ethical considerations of synthetic virology; and Kate O’Brien, who discussed vaccines and global health. Finally, because CSV seeks to provide a better future for the next generation of Canadian virologists, the symposium featured a large number of oral and poster presentations from trainees and closed with the awarding of presentation prizes to trainees, followed by a tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and an evening of entertainment at the historic Alexander Keith’s Brewery.
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