Let’s Go Viral with Dasja Pajkrt

On October 7th 2022,  Dasja Pajkrt  gave her inaugural lecture at the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam. Last year,  on the 1st of November 2021she was granted the title Professor of Infectious Diseases. To celebrate her new well-deserved role, Dasja hosted an extravagant party for family, friends and colleagues at the Supper Club in Amsterdam.  

The Interplay Between Virus and Humans 

“It seems that there are 10 million times more viruses on this earth than stars in the universe” Dasja said at the beginning of her inauguration lecture. Viruses exist everywhere; they are in our seas and oceans and the air that we breathe. Although isolations and lockdowns can decelerate the spread of viruses, these actions do not fully prevent their spread. 

Dasja Pajkrt giving an inaugural lecture at the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam

In her lecture, Dasja emphasized the importance of vaccinations to stop viruses from mutating and spreading. She also encouraged doctors treating children with viral infectious diseases to know where viruses reside in the body. It is important to understand in which tissues and body fluids a virus spreads, as they are not always located where the symptoms are observed. 

Dasja also spoke about how translations derived from human organoids are much more accurate and reliable compared to those derived from animal testing. By using human organoids, we can understand which cells become infected and how surrounding uninfected cells contribute to this disease process. 

Before the lecture ended, Dasja thanked all of the professors who had guided her throughout her journey. She also shared a heartwarming gratitude towards her beloved mother, husband, and three children for their unconditional support. 

A Night to Remember 

In the evening, Dasja hosted a party at the Supper Club, an extravagant club located in the heart of Amsterdam. Welcoming Dasja’s guests were two ladies on stilts dressed in white feathers adorned with bright lights. 

Dasja Pajkrt posing with the ladies in stilts in front of the Supper Club

The Supper Club was not the only extravagant factor that night. Earlier this year, Dasja announced through her invitations that the dress code for her party was ‘extravaganza’. For months prior to the party, Dasja’s colleagues and friends had been planning their outfits for this party – and they did not disappoint. Dasja’s guests attended the party dressed in patterned suits, chic dresses, glitter on their faces, masks, gold chains, and colorful feathers wrapped around their shoulders. 

Upon entering the club, guests were greeted with upbeat music and dancers in bright, retro-style uniforms carrying electric guitars. The walls of the club displayed beautiful visuals that Dasja used during her inauguration lecture, bringing the world of art and science together. At the corner by the DJ booth, a painter stood in front of her easel as she captured this unforgettable day in a piece of art. 

(left: guitar dancers, right: painter capturing the party on her easel)

This extravagant party brought the eventful day to a close. The music was loud and the night was young. Everyone at the party danced while they celebrated Dasja’s inauguration.

Relive Dasja’s inaugural lecture and extravagant party by clicking on the button below: