Setting our sights on infectious diseases.

WCAIR opens its doors to the public and scientists from across the globe this weekend.

From the 12-15th May, the University of Dundee’s Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) is running an international research conference. ‘Setting our Sights on Infectious Diseases’ encapsulates the philosophy of the Centre.

At the conference, scientists from around the world will join us in Dundee. Together, we will look at innovative ways to speed up the drug discovery process for infectious diseases. This includes from the initial start of a drug discovery programme through to clinical studies. Professor Ian Gilbert of WCAIR said “our focus will be on diseases that mostly affect low- and middle-income countries. Creating successful medicines for these diseases faces many challenges. We will be looking across many different diseases to see how learnings from one can help solve problems in another.”

The conference has attracted over 150 participants from all continents of the wold. ​The conference has generous support from the Wellcome Trust through the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research, which has made this meeting possible. We’ve also received support from Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Novartis and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, to enable young scientists from the countries most affected by the diseases to attend the conference. We hope they’ll take back new ideas and solutions to speed up research in their own labs.

This is an exciting time for everyone at WCAIR. We have just launched our first art-science exhibition, ‘Para-Site-Seeing: Departure Lounge’. Created by artists Rod Dillion and Jen Southern, the show lets you be the deadly Leishmania parasite.  You can explore the parasite’s trips on microscopic and global scales. The collaborative process of the artists included work with WCAIR researchers, as well as creatives from around the world. We’ve made an installation that includes photography, video of a Leishmania-eye view around the lab, and even poetry. The exhibition is open every Saturday until the end of August in the School of Life Sciences LifeSpace gallery.

On Saturday 11 May, from 12-3pm, WCAIR scientists will be on hand with lots of fun, hands-on activities to explore the research going on in the Centre. There will also be tours of the Drug Discovery Unit at 12.30 pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm. These purpose-built laboratories house world class facilities for drug discovery.