To continue our engagement against influenza we need further global efforts to understand viral mechanisms, host-pathogen interactions and immunological pathways. It was the aim of the 2nd International Influenza Meeting to bring together experts from all over the world to discuss and exchange most recent research results and to create new collaborations.
The meeting took place at the University of Muenster. More than 180 researchers of 16 countries participated in the meeting. The 2nd International Influenza Meeting was opened by Ursula Nelles, the Rector of the University of Muenster. Further welcome notes were given by Stephan Ludwig (University of Muenster, Germany), the coordinator of the FluResearchNet. Besides of opening the meeting he also used the opportunity to honour Christoph Scholtissek, a pioneer in influenza virology, who celebrated his 80th birthday in December 2009.
The key note lecture was given by Robert G. Webster (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA), who described the role of avian influenza viruses in the genesis of pandemic influenza. The meeting continued with plenary talks of Andrea Ammon (ECDC, Stockholm, Sweden) and Pagbajabyn Nymadawa (Mongolian Academy of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) indicating the global challenge of H1N1 pandemic influenza.
Further sessions about pathogenesis, virus cell interaction, innate immunity, and vaccines & antivirals were opened by Ervin Fodor (University of Oxford, UK), Ruben Donis (CDC, Atlanta, USA), Hans-Dieter Klenk (University of Marburg, Germany), Jürgen Richt (Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, Kansas State University, USA), Ilkka Julkunen (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland), and Otfried Kistner (Baxter, Biomedical Research Center, Orth, Austria). Within these sessions researchers presented most recent results - an interesting mixture between overview and actual research aspects, which offered the opportunity for scientific discussions. The sessions were flanked by poster presentations - 79 scientists presented their work by posters.