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News : Congratulations to this year's Annual Conference Poster Prize winner

14 May 2018

Earlier this year Journal of General Virology awarded a prize for the best virology poster at the Society's Annual Conference in Birmingham.

Judged by the journal's Editorial Board and presented by Deputy Editor-in-Chief Paul Duprex and Editor-in-Chief Mark Harris, this year's winner is Elizabeth Elder for her poster entitled 'Human cytomegalovirus US28 antagonises PYHIN proteins: effects on interferon and apoptosis during latency'.

Following the conference, we caught up with Elizabeth to ask her about her work.

Who or what inspired you to be a scientist?
While I have always enjoyed science, the experience that drove me to want to be involved with scientific research was a summer placement when I was 17. I worked on fruit fly spermatogenesis with Professor Helen White-Cooper at Cardiff University, and loved every minute of it.

What are you currently working on and what area of your research excites you the most?
I study human cytomegalovirus latency, a process which enables this common pathogen to persist in its host for life. I am currently very interested in the early events during infection of monocytes, and how the virus manipulates the host cell to support latency.

How would you explain your poster to a child under 10?
Viruses are tiny particles which can make us ill in lots of ways. How do they do this? How do some viruses stay with us for the whole of our lives? I explore one way a virus enters our bodies, causes small changes, and hides in us for our lifetime.

What would you be doing in your career if you weren't a scientist?
I would be a professional chocolate taster!

Winners of a journal poster prize are awarded a cash prize and one year's free membership to the Microbiology Society. Other conferences that the journal will be presenting a prize at this year include NSV2018, the 10th Blizard Institute HIV Symposium and this years Society Focused Meeting on Avian Viruses.

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