2021 Virtual Research Retreat

We are excited to announce the 2021 Department of Pediatrics Research Retreat program. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be hosted virtually on Friday, April 16, 2021 from 12:00 noon-5:00pm. Outlook calendar invites for all Research Week events have been sent to all Pediatrics faculty and trainees.

Download the full schedule of events here.

A user guide for general attendees can be downloaded here. A user guide for poster presenters can be downloaded here.

Please contact Rachel Vitolo at rachel.vitolo@vumc.org with any questions.

Keynote Speaker

Terence S. Dermody, MD is the Vira I. Heinz Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief and Scientific Director at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He completed an internal medicine residency at Presbyterian Hospital in New York and fellowships in infectious diseases and molecular virology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh in 2016, Dr. Dermody was Dorothy Overall Wells Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program and Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dermody is a virologist with interests in viral pathogenesis and vaccine development. He has published more than 250 articles, reviews, chapters, and editorials and has been recognized for his research accomplishments by the Vanderbilt Ernest W. Goodpasture Faculty Research Award, an NIH MERIT Award, and the American Society for Microbiology D. C. White Research and Mentoring Award.

Dr. Dermody’s keynote address is titled “A Viral Trigger for Celiac Disease.” Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals exposed to dietary gluten. Although 30-45% of the United States population has the CD risk alleles (HLA haplotypes DQ2 and DQ8), only 1% of the population develops the disease. Therefore, unidentified triggers of CD must exist to cause the initial insult that breaks oral tolerance to gluten and establishes lasting pathogenic immune memory. Dr. Dermody and his colleagues discovered that reovirus, which most often causes asymptomatic infections, can block the development of oral immunological tolerance to a newly introduced food antigen in mice. Studies of the mechanism suggest a function for inflammatory phagocytes and natural-killer cells in oral tolerance abrogation. These findings indicate that seemingly innocuous intestinal viral infections can disrupt intestinal immune homeostasis and potentially illuminate new targets for CD prevention and treatment.


Research Week Schedule

Virtual Poster Session

Abstract Book (PDF)

User Guide for General Attendees

User Guide for Poster Presenters