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9th HKU-Pasteur Virology Course Best Student Award: Jana’s trip to Institut Pasteur in Paris

Last year Jana McCASKILL, PhD student at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI) investigating novel therapeutics for acute respiratory viral infections was awarded best student of the 9th HKU-Pasteur Virology Courses on Zoonoses. She won a one-week trip to Institut Pasteur, Paris, France offered by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau.

After receiving the award, Jana said “I am very honoured and excited to win this award. The HKU-Pasteur virology course was a phenomenal learning opportunity and I will treasure the friends and contacts I made during my time in Hong Kong.” She added that the visit to Institut Pasteur would give her “the chance to share and develop my research and will enable me to return to UQDI with new knowledge, experiences and collaborations.”

As she travelled to Paris on April 2013, Jana is sharing with us her travel impressions.

My week at the Institut Pasteur

"From April 13th until 19th I had the unique opportunity to spend a week at the Institut Pasteur in Paris funded by the French Consulate of Hong Kong and Macau. I arrived in beautiful Paris bright and early on the morning of Sunday 14th April after a long trip from Brisbane, Australia. My early arrival gave me the chance to be touristic and explore the city for the day, seeing the sights of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and Musée d'Orsay.

I was met on Monday morning by Noël TORDO, director of the Antiviral Strategies unit at Institut Pasteur and my host for the week, for my first look at the Institut Pasteur. From Monday to Thursday my schedule was busy with meetings with virologists from all different areas of the Institut. I was fortunate to have discussions with many scientists and Unit leaders, including members from the CECCALDI, DESPRES, LAFON, REY, GESSAIN, BARRE-SINOUSSI, WAIN-HOBSON, SALEH, van der WERF, FAILLOUX, TORDO, and VIGNUZZI laboratories. During these discussions I learnt about the diverse range of research being conducted within each Unit.

On Friday I attended France’s virology conference the XVe Journées Francophones de Virologie, which was held at the Institut Pasteur. Virologists from all areas of France were in attendance and I was able to discuss their work during the poster session and at dinner on Thursday night. During the day on Friday I was also fortunate to visit the Pasteur museum and learn the history behind the Institut. My week concluded with meeting members of the international student contingent and exploring more of Paris on Saturday before my departure.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Noël TORDO and all the members of Institut Pasteur who donated their time to ensure my trip was comprehensive and extremely memorable. I would also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the French Consulate of Hong Kong and Macau who graciously funded my journey."


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