McGill Summer Institute 2016: An Infectious Series of Presentations
And that’s a wrap! The 2nd annual Summer Institute on Infectious Diseases and Global Health has ended after two weeks of exciting discussion covering a variety of topics including TB, HIV, worms, malaria, and more worms. With the addition of two courses to the Summer Institute arsenal, the conference turned out to be very busy!
Being a member of the organizing team for the Summer Institute, I had the opportunity to observe the mechanics of what goes on front and back stage. As participants got to hear from an extensive lineup of top-quality researchers and diagnostic industry specialists, the Institute’s top-notch organizing committee worked tirelessly to ensure operations went as smoothly as possible — easier said than done. Between organising the catering, and dashing between classrooms pretending to be an AV specialist, I managed to slip into a few lectures to get a feel for what the Summer Institute is all about.
The 2016 edition of the Summer Institute offered 5 different week-long courses:
1. Global Health Diagnostics
2. TB Research Methods
3. Advanced TB Diagnostic Research
4. Molecular & Genetic Epidemiology *New*
5. Tropical & Parasitic Diseases (including Ultrasound and Microscopy tutorials) *New*
All the courses provided lectures in varying format, including tech pitches from industry specialists, clinical case studies, panel discussions, and small group sessions. During breaks, participants from all different courses had the chance to mingle, and discuss the hottest topics in global health research (all while drinking record amounts of coffee!)
Some personal highlights from the Summer Institute:
• Having my entire abdomen, from bladder to heart, examined via ultrasound in front of the Tropical and Parasitic Disease Ultrasound class, held at the Glen Site
• Being reassured that everything in my ultrasound was normal (phew!)
• Seeing my global health-fanatic McGill professors Drs Pai and Gyorkos debating diagnostics and treatment centre stage
• Making new friends and connections at lunch
• And finally, being introduced to so many accomplished global health professionals, and hearing the energetic debate these people brought to the conference
Boasting about 400 participants from 46 different countries, the Summer Institute was a huge success. The conference fostered a welcoming environment for global health experts and novices alike, to engage in academic discussions centred around pertinent global health issues the world faces today. See the Summer Institute 2016 Dashboard for a brief overview of the conference statistics.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of such a fast-paced and information-packed two weeks! Taking part in the conference gave me valuable insight into the many different facets of global health, and allowed me to envision which stream I would like to pursue as I move towards my own post-graduate education.
Patrick Bidulka is a recent graduate from the undergraduate pharmacology program at McGill University. Now working at the GHP office, Patrick is excited to be immersed in the field of global health. His interests include infectious diseases, learning languages, and ‘The Office’.