The 6th edition of the IDIGH Program Research Day took place virtually last Friday, May 20, 2022. This edition was directed by Céleste Pilon and Harshita Patel, two students of the program, respectively at the PhD and MSc levels.

Throughout the year the trainee committee planned for a hybrid edition. However, despite all of their efforts, the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 implemented new restrictions. The impact on the hospital setting and functionality was too great to hold this edition with more than 100 registered participants to attend in a fragile environment at the MUHC.

The trainee’s determination along with the financial support of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of McGill University (Rose Wiselberg Foundation), kept the event in full swing and proceeded to present a completely virtual version allowing the trainees of the program to take advantage of this important research communication platform.

During his opening speech, Program Director Erwin Schurr gave a brief review of the year and the main themes of the IDIGH Program. He pointed out that the number of publications was consistently increasing and funding for the program’s researchers was reaching a record year, even during the pandemic. He also congratulated the student committee for remaining active during the past two difficult years in organizing events such as Research Day.

The IDIGH research community as a whole was virtually united with approximately one hundred participants taking part in the event. Several students presented both oral and poster presentations showcasing their latest research and developments. Invited guest speaker Dr. Soren Gantt, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine, gave an engaging presentation focused on the silent cytomegalovirus pandemic. He then generously participated in a period of networking with our students following his talk.

The Research Day presentations were peer-reviewed. We thank Cédric Yansouni, Giovanni DiBattista, Erwin Schurr and Kaitlin Winter for the evaluation of the oral presentations as well as Emily MacLean, Angela Karellis, Kaitlin Winter, Mathieu Mancini and Marina Birck for the evaluation of the poster presentations. After careful deliberation, Tho-Alfakar Al-Aubodah (Ciro Piccirillo lab) was awarded first place in the Phd student category. Irmak Becktas (Ciro Piccirillo lab) in the MSc and undergraduate student category. The three best posters were those of Ashley Ste-Croix (Ciro Piccirillo lab), George Dong (Martin Olivier lab) and Yulia Alexandrova (Cecilia Costiniuk lab). Congratulations to all the winners! Alexandra de Pokomandy (Associate Program Leader) announced the prizes and singled out the highly appreciated effort of all members of the program’s trainee committee for putting this event together.