The 5th International Symposium on Ranaviruses

4 – 6 June , Townsville, Australia

The RANA 2019 Program is Out

Everything you wanted to know about speakers, keynotes, workshops, schedules and what to do while in Townsville.

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Welcome to Townsville in June!

Welcome to Townsville in June for scientific collaboration around ranaviruses and interaction with the local wildlife. The weather in June is a pleasant max of 25°C and blue skies most days and the venue for the conference is at the James Cook University, Douglas Campus. There will be two days of presentations and workshops and a one-day field trip. We invite you to stay for a little while longer and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest in the region as well.

We look forward to catching up with old friends and colleagues and meeting new ones.

Alicia, Narges, Wytamma, Neville and Ellen

It's Time to Explore the Tropics

Where in the World?

Tropical northern Queensland is uniquely different to the rest of Australia, and possibly the world.

The UN’s World Heritage Convention agrees. Both the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforests are included on the World Heritage List for their natural values.

Nowhere else in the world do two World Heritage regions exist side by side.

The Douglas Campus

The James Cook University Douglas campus is located at the foot of Mount Stuart. The open campus is integrated with the local flora and fauna with natural spaces and walking tracks between buildings. The Raintree and Endeavour rooms that we have booked for the conference are at the level of the treetops and the lunches and other refreshments, which will be served on the large balcony, offer a view into the gigantic raintree nearby. To put things in perspective, we have planned several guided walks through the campus with local guides. The conference venue is on the first floor of building 112.  Type in 112 in the search field in the interactive map:

The Program

We have planned sessions with presentations on different topics as well as workshops on biosecurity, necropsy of Australian wildlife, phylogenomics and modelling. This year we have decided to also have an option for talks and/or posters on iridoviruses. Further Information will be added as it becomes available.

For fieldtrips, you can choose between visiting the Billabong Sanctuary and see Australian wildlife close up, or to join us for a trip into the rainforest with local indigenous rangers to catch freshwater turtles in the creek.

Click to learn more


Abstract Submission Date EXTENDED: MONDAY 18 March, 2019

Abstracts should be formatted in accordance with the example below. Presenter’s name should be underlined and text must be a maximum of 250 words (excluding title, authors and affiliations) and in MS Word format.

Submissions should be sent to
PLEASE INDICATE if you prefer to give an oral presentation or a poster in your email with your submission.

Inquiries about abstract submission should be made to Dr. Duffus and Dr. Forzan, Co-Chairs of the Scientific Committee at

Inquiries about the symposium should be made to Dr. Ellen Ariel (


All visitors require a visa to enter Australia. Visa type depends on your country of citizenship, processing times range from 24 hours to 30 days.

Visit the Australian Government Dept. of Home Affairs website (link: and choose either “holiday” or “attend an event”, then enter your country of citizenship, and you will be directed to the type of visa you should apply for.


1. Tran1, D-H. Chen2, Y. Liu1,J. Wu3, C. Wah2, and C. Hew1, 3
1Mechanobiology Institute Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 2Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. 3Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV), a major pathogen in grouper aquaculture, was first isolated in 1998 from brown-spotted grouper. In the past decade, we carried out the viral genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and lipidomic studies, dissected its molecular compositions and revealed its gene expression profiles. Our results show that the complex virion contains a dsDNA genome of 140,131 bp, at least 44 structural proteins and 220 lipid species. How these molecules are assembled to form a viral particle is unknown. Recent advances in cryoEM/ET technology and computational power have made it possible to examine the structure and morphogenesis of large complex viruses in three dimensions. We took more than 1000 frames with an FEI Titan Krios microscope and selected about 6000 particles for 3D reconstruction. A subnano resolution map was obtained, which reveals: 1) hexamers and pentamers distributed on a T = 247 icosahedral lattice; 2) an irregular lipid bilayer between the capsid shell and viral core; 3) anchor proteins located between the capsid shell and the inner lipid bilayer. High-pressure freezing and freeze substitution were used to prepare SGIV-infected cells for electron microscopy. The viral capsid precursors first appear as closed membrane structures, then develop into headphone shape structures and capsid shells. We identified viral intermediates showing that the viral DNA is packaged into viral capsid during capsid formation. Knockdown of MCP disrupts the viral morphogenesis and diminishes the production of viral particles, while knockdown of viral DNA core protein leads to reduction of viral titer and deformities in viral particles.

Accommodation and Transport

The university is located 13 km away from the city center. Should you book accommodation along the Ross River route close to the university, we will arrange a shuttle bus for pick-up and drop-off.

Nearby accommodation options are:

Itara and Jacana apartments at Riverway:

Cedar lodge motel:

Riverview Tavern:

There are also numerous hotels in the city and these options are described in the section on what to do in and around Townsville. If you chose accommodation in the city, then it would be best to rent a car, as the public transport in Townsville is not well developed. We have a limited number of parking permits for campus. Please let us know if you need one.

In and around townsville

Townsville and its surrounds—prepare for an experience of a lifetime!

Whether you’re heading west, south, north or east, there’s so much you can do, you’ll be amazed.

Reef HQ, Castle Hill, The Strand, Cape Pallarenda, Town Common,  and the Botanic Gardens in Townsville.

If waterfalls and waterholes are your thing, head to Alligator Creek (no alligators down under, only crocs but not in the listed attractions here), Crystal Creek, Rolling Stone, Wallaman falls and so much more.

For a breathtaking rainforest experience head to Paluma (only 65 km north of Townsville).

Wish to escape for a day and walk along isolated beaches, then do not miss Magnetic Island where you’ll be able to view Koalas in their natural habitat.

And let’s not forget the Great Barrier Reef is at our doorstep!

For detailed information on what and where in and around Townsville, click here to download our brochure (PDF).


Register Now!

Register early so that we can reply to your queries, request or concerns in a timely manner. 

Thank you. 

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