What are viruses and how do they make us sick?
March 21, 2015
An interactive session led by Dr. Sarah McDonald
Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Viruses are microscopic germs that invade our bodies and replicate inside of our own cells. Oftentimes, viruses can make us very sick in the process, causing anything from a mild common cold to life-threatening conditions like cancer. But, have you ever wondered: How do viruses make us sick? How do vaccines work to prevent us from being infected? Why do we have vaccines for some viruses, but not others? In this session, we will discuss these intriguing questions and learn how scientists are racing to keep "one-step-ahead" of disease-causing viruses.
Dr. Sarah McDonald is an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. McDonald received her B.S. in biology at Florida State University and her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University. She performed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health under the mentorship of Dr. John Patton, where she learned detailed aspects of rotavirus biology. Dr. McDonald now leads her own research team and is focused on discovering how rotavirus replicates and reassorts is segmented RNA genome.
After the interactive session the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Virginia Tech community.