PeerJ Award Winner at ICCST-15

The International Conference on the Chemistry of Selenium and Tellurium (ICCST) is a well-established conference series dealing with all aspects of the chemistry involving selenium and tellurium, from small molecules to biomolecules and materials. Meetings are held triennially with the first edition in 1971 in New York City. Video footage of the history of the ICCST (1971 – 2016) by founder Professor Wolfgang Günther and covering 12 conferences in 10 countries can be seen here.

The 15th International Conference on the Chemistry of Selenium and Tellurium (ICCST-15) took place in Brazil for the second time. This edition occurred between November 28 and December 2, 2022 in Florianópolis, and was dedicated to Prof Günther who passed away last year.

The ICCST-15 has continued the tradition of previous editions of this Conference, offering a scientific program with the latest developments in Selenium and Tellurium chemistry, from applications in organic and inorganic synthesis to material sciences, biological systems, theoretical, spectroscopic, and mechanistic studies. It was a very successful conference, with a total of 196 participants (including 60 from abroad) and more than 120 posters. The scientific program included 18 flash presentations of students and young researchers and 27 invited lectures. 

Eder Joao Lenardao, International Advisory Board

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Vanice Poester Post-doctorate student, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your research interests?

I am a researcher from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the extreme south of Brazil. I had a title of Bachelor’s in biological science from the Federal University of Rio Grande in 2014.  I then obtained my master´s and doctorate degrees in 2017 and 2021 respectively. My research interests are focused in the medical mycological area, studying infectious diseases caused by fungi pathogens, mainly applied to sporotrichosis.

What first interested you in this field of research?

The research field always instigated me and motivated my curiosity, I was enchanted with mycology in my graduation obligatory internship, mostly by the applied research and those that put together animals, humans, and the environment (one-health) as a unique health. In my academic trajectory, I was blessed to find amazing people and researchers (mainly my advisor Melissa Xavier) that advised me and aided my growth in the research field. For me, making science is a return to society of all the knowledge invested in me, and I am motivated by applied science that direct return to people, animals, and environmental information that can increase the quality of life and better the now reality. Applied to the mycology field, I believe that spreading information to the population and researching new drugs and diagnosis methods contributes to the increase in animal and human patients’ diagnoses, treatment, and with favorable outcomes, and it is what motivates me.

Can you briefly explain the research you presented at ICCST-15?

We evaluated an organoselenium compound (the diphenyl diselenide) in the treatment of experimental sporotrichosis by Sporothrix brasiliensis in a murine model. This fungal species is the agent of sporotrichosis, an implantation subcutaneous mycoses, recognized as an emergent and neglected disease, associated with cat-cat or cat-human transmission, with thousands of cases in several regions of Brazil. Feline and zoonotic sporotrichosis is a severe public health problem in our country. Our awarded study reinforces the potential of diphenyl diselenide as an anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis agent and antifungal, and future studies are instigated.

How will you continue to build on this research?

We aimed to continue our studies focused on new potential antifungals to treat sporotrichosis. We plan to evaluate other dosages of diphenyl diselenide to optimize its activity and continue to do studies with other new compounds, as well as with repurposing drugs.

 

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