This autumn, 95 scientists and students from the Rocky Mountain area, along with invited speakers from Colorado, California, Montana, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Maryland, and India, attended the 19th annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Virology Association that was held at the Colorado State University Mountain Campus located in the Rocky Mountains. The two-day gathering featured 30 talks and 13 posters—all of which focused on specific areas of current virology and prion protein research. The keynote presentation reviewed new tools for microbial discovery and diagnostics. This timely discussion described the opportunities new investigators have to expand the field of microbiology into chronic and acute diseases, the pitfalls of sensitive molecular methods for pathogen discovery, and ways in which microbiology help us understand disruptions in the social fabric that pose pandemic threats at least as real as Ebola or influenza. Other areas of interest included host factors that influence virus replication, in-depth analysis of virus transcription and its effect on host gene expression, and multiple discussions of virus pathology, epidemiology as well as new avenues of diagnosis and treatment. The meeting was held at the peak of fall Aspen colors, surrounded by five mountains >11,000 ft (3.3 km), where the secluded campus provided the ideal setting for extended discussions, outdoor exercise and stargazing. On behalf of the Rocky Mountain Virology Association, this report summarizes 43 selected presentations.
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