For this year’s VIROFIGHT General Assembly we have chosen beautiful Slovenia.
Although Prof. Roman Jerala and his team are based in the capital Ljubiljana, he proposed to hold our annual meeting in Bled, a town near the Austrian border known for its beautiful scenery near mountains and a glacial lake.
We started the meeting on Tuesday afternoon, 13 June 2023, with an informal welcome coffee in the backyard of our meeting venue Villa Plemjava. After everyone had arrived, we started the meeting with the administrative part on project management and recent work on dissemination, communication and exploitation. There were indeed several seminal topics to discuss, but as unfortunately not all GA members could attend, we had to postpone decisions to a later date. Nevertheless, it was a fruitful discussion and after the end of the two presentations we headed for our last agenda item on day 1: the project consortium dinner at Bled Castle.
The castle is beautifully situated on top of a hill and already during the walk we could guess the beautiful view you will have when you finally reach the castle. We enjoyed a great dinner in a very cosy atmosphere and the consortium could exchange scientific ideas but also beyond.
The next day we started early in the morning with the scientific presentations and updates on DNAorigami nanoshell design, coiled-coil protein origami, aptamer functionality and neutralisation assays. All participants contributed with their best practices and ideas to solve experimental challenges, and an exchange of samples and materials was organised. Overall, the sessions were very interesting and it was good to meet face-to-face again and have lively discussions about the current project topics. As far as the schedule is concerned, the VIROIFGHT project is on track, even though the preparations for the animal experiments will take some time, but these important and necessary experiments will start soon.
After a general summary and summing up words from our Coordinator Hendrik Dietz, we ended the meeting with lunch at the nearby Hotel Rose. Afterwards, everyone went home with fond memories of Bled and exciting new tasks for the project.
We would like to thank everyone for attending this General Assembly, but especially Roman Jerala and Martina Mohorčič from NIC for the warm welcome and perfect organisation of this meeting.