Columbia University’s Dept of Microbiology & Immunology

twiptwimWe had the pleasure of visiting Columbia University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology and meeting with several renowned researchers in the field. Drs. Racaniello, Despommier, Kornfeld, and Moscona gave a tour and presentations. We saw refrigerated viruses kept in sub-zero temperatures and roundworms preserved in jars. Students were able to ask a multitude of questions, and we learned that the lab had recently received the Zika virus for research. Dr. Racaniello showed us his office/studio where he records and hosts his weekly podcasts with some of his colleagues: TWiV, TWiM, and TWiP. We also observed his “wall of polio” where trays of defunct polio virus reside. Viruses are amazing, and although they’re not living organisms, they ensure their continuity by finding human hosts. Many thanks to Dr. Racaniello and his team for sharing their lab and their time with us. We loved the fun magnets as keepsakes and his “Virus” license plate!

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