The World Vaccine Congress is the World’s Largest Vaccine Business Development, Research, Technology Show and Conference. That’s amazing! This year was the 14th Annual World Vaccine Congress and it was on March 24-26 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Even though the conference was only three days, it was very informative. The World Vaccine Congress is a place where you will hear what is happening in the vaccine research field at all different levels: Industry, Biotech, Pharma, Government/Regulatory, NGO, Academic/Research, Investors in many parts of the world USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Asia and much more! Many of the top leaders in vaccine research were there.
Besides attending the conference I volunteered as a Networking Genie and my job was to show people how to navigate the Free World Vaccine Nation App. The great thing about the World Vaccine Congress App is that it is not an agenda only app, it is a networking tool app. When you register for the conference you can upload a professional head shot and bio for others to see. You can see the sponsors, companies, tweet and see who is attending the conference. Also, the app shows you an agenda and who will presenting at each meeting. Another great feature is that the app is available for attendees and presenters for a year. Many of the conferences I have been to are using apps now. What do you think of apps for conferences? Do you use them? I think apps are convenient because you have the information at your fingertips.
In between volunteering and networking I made sure that I was able to use my time efficiently. There were so many meetings and so many people I wanted to meet. I like the fact that the meetings were broken up into different tracks because it made it easier to navigate the meetings I wanted to attend. Also, in between volunteering as a Networking Genie I was able to network and attend the Gala Dinner & BiE awards. It was good to see the leaders in vaccine research being honored for their discoveries and work.
Overall, I enjoyed the conference, especially the meetings held in the Emerging & Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and New approaches to Leading Targets Tracks because they talked a lot about malaria and other infectious diseases vaccine research. I enjoyed being surrounded by vaccine researchers and talking to them about their research. I have been to many professional conferences before and met a few people who are doing similar things that I want to do but never really met so many people who are doing exactly what I want to do. It was so inspirational and encouraging because one day I will be in that position. My goal is to become a Principal Investigator in Vaccine Development, specifically Malaria Vaccines. I want to learn as much as possible about malaria and vaccines. Anyone else interested in vaccine research, specifically malaria vaccines?
In addition to volunteering and networking at the conference, I was able to narrow down my research goals. In this post and myIDP tool post I talked about how I am preparing myself for a career as a vaccine researcher. I am a toxicologist and want to transition into the malaria vaccine field. In the near future, I am applying for a Ph.D. Program and I have been thinking about the road I want to take to achieve my goals. There are many ways to get into a vaccine research career. I could do a Ph.D. Program in Microbiology/Immunology, Epidemiology or Virology or even something else. There are so many options! Since I have a background in toxicology I want to diversify myself and learn more about infectious diseases in order to develop vaccines. Therefore, I am now leaning toward a Ph.D. Program in: Infectious Disease Epidemiology or Microbiology/Immunology Ph.D. Programs. Any vaccine researchers out there? If so I would like to learn about your pathway?
If you are a vaccine researcher are you going to the World Vaccine Congress next year? Next year is the 15th Annual World Vaccine Congress and it will be held April 7-9, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Washington D.C.
P.S.: If you are in or planning to visit the Washington, D.C. area on April 26 and 27, 2014 the USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Bill Nye, ‘The Science Guy’ will be there. If you are around the area you should come. This is a great event for the family. Check out the website to learn more.
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