Attending conferences and symposia as pediatric infectious diseases fellows is usually an exciting and intellectually stimulating experience. Seeing advances in research presented, learning about varying topics from around the world, and meeting leaders in the field make any large gathering of infectious diseases physicians a great learning opportunity.

As a 3rd year fellow, after having the privilege of attending more than 10 conferences as a trainee at this point, I looked forward to the PIDS Transplant Symposium and Research Conference this year just a little more than all of the others. It has the added benefit above all others I’ve attended of being smaller, more manageable in size and schedule, and being specifically focused on the needs of fellows and early career infectious diseases physicians.

After learning from the presenters at the conference, I was then able to come back and share with my section at Tulane in New Orleans the numerous topics I had learned in my time in Memphis. I was able to discuss with them Dr. Ann Leen’s research on infusions of activated T-cells for preventing transplant-associated viral infections, present Dr. David O’Connor’s findings on Zika virus infection in a Rhesus Macaque model, and review Dr. Miriam Laufer’s research on malaria. Over the course of 1 of hour-long weekly section conferences, we also briefly discussed neonatal tolerance in solid organ transplantation, how the microbiome can affect bone marrow transplant patients, and the lack of effect of treatment of schistosomiasis in pregnant women.

The PIDS Transplant Symposium and Research Conference in Memphis has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me as a trainee, and my entire section has been very interested in learning from the topics presented each year, even if they are not in attendance. This wonderful learning opportunity from PIDS and St. Jude has benefited our entire group of Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialists at Tulane in New Orleans, and I know I will continue to look forward to attending and learning in the future!