Subject: IIDR eNews - December 17th, 2019

IIDR Newsletter - Issue 33
December 17th, 2019
In The News
Fuelling the Fight Against AMR

More than 300 researchers, students, industry professionals, and members of the public attended the 2019 Gairdner Symposium last month. The event began with a panel discussion on the findings of a new report from the CCA, and followed with scientific and public talks, poster presentations, and open discussions. Visit the event website to learn more about the event and view pictures from the Symposium.

When Antibiotics Fail: A Discussion at the 2019 Gairdner Symposium

Missed the livestream discussion on the mounting cost of AMR and the global search for solutions from the 2019 Gairdner Symposium on November 14th? A video of the session is now online.

Scientists Develop Superbug-resistant, Self-cleaning Plastic Wrap

New research, led by PhD student Sara Imani of Dr. Tohid Didar's and Dr. Leyla Soleymani's labs, gave rise to the development of a self-cleaning plastic wrap that repels everything that comes into contact with it - including viruses and bacteria. 

Potent Antimicrobial Shows Promise in Fighting Staph Infections

Dr. Omar El-Halfawy and Dr. Eric Brown have discovered a potent antimicrobial that is "a promising starting point" in the fight against methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA.

Justinianic Plague Not a Landmark Pandemic?

An international team of scholars, including the IIDR's Dr. Hendrik Poinar, found that the effects of the Justinian Plague (541-750 CE) probably didn't wipe out the Roman Empire and half the world's population, as was previously thought. The PNAS paper's findings have been covered extensively in media outlets including CNN, ScienceNews, and The Telegraph, among many others.

Introducing the New Braley Centre Collaboration Hub!

Great ideas are born when people work together. Drop by MDCL 2316 to check out the new David Braley Collaboration Hub - an open (yet super cozy!) workspace designed to accommodate group and team information sharing. This dedicated space is open to all members of the IIDR and DBCAD, allowing our members, trainees, and guest speakers to connect face-to-face, brainstorm openly, and generate ideas creatively.

The IIDR Holiday Party Wraps Up 2019

This weekend's IIDR Holiday Party was a great success, as trainees and members came together to celebrate yet another exciting year at the IIDR. A special shoutout to our fantastic band The Null Hypothesis, our fabulous performers, our epic party planner Christina, and - of course - all of our attendees. Together, we raised a record-breaking $1500 that will go towards student scholarships awarded at next year's Trainee Day on November 13th.
Take Time to Get a Flu Vaccine.

Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults, and prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. Follow the Miller Lab’s lead (seen here at their "Annual Miller Lab Flu Vaccination Party" !) and get your flu shot this season.
Braley Fellows Make Breathing Breakthroughs 

Earlier this week, Fellows of the new Braley Fellows Program went to Queen’s Park to participate in Lung Association - Ontario's lobby day. With the help of lung health expert Dr. Dawn Bowdish (who works extensively with the Lung Association - Ontario to raise awareness of lung health and money for lung research), the students talked to MPPs, policy makers, patients and advocates about the importance of vaccination, infection prevention, and finding new antibiotics.
BASEF Call for Judges: Friday, March 27th, 2019

The Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) is looking for Science Fair Judge volunteers for their 60th annual fair, being held at Mohawk College in Hamilton on Friday, March 27th. The IIDR is a proud sponsor of BASEF, which is one of the oldest continuously running regional science fairs in Canada. BASEF give grades 7 to 12 students the chance to showcase their hard work on science, engineering and math related projects. Visit the BASEF website here for more information on how to volunteer as a judge.

! Wednesday, January 8th: ID / IIDR Combined Rounds

Presenters: Dr. Zain Chagla and Dr. Arinjay Banerjee
Title: "Emerging viruses at the animal-human interface and directions for future treatments"
Time: 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Location: MDCL 1309

More than 75% of emerging human pathogens have an animal origin. These include viruses like ebola virus, and SARS and MERS coronaviruses. In this seminar, Drs. Chagla and Banerjee will combine their expertise to present on past and present ebola virus outbreaks, research that is being done at the IIDR on wildlife reservoirs of these viruses, immunological lessons from these studies, and the development of novel treatment and vaccine strategies.

Inaugural Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Research Symposium

The Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences is launching its Inaugural Research Symposium on March 12th, 2020 at the David Braley Health Sciences Center. The symposium will feature posters and oral presentations to which all BBS graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are invited to submit abstracts. Learn more about the event and register here.

Take the U21/PwC Innovation Challenge 2020

Apply your knowledge to real-world situations in the U21/PwC Innovation Challenge. McMaster PhD and Masters students have an opportunity to showcase their critical thinking skills and share their ideas with leaders in graduate career development in this online competition. The Challenge, organized by Universitas 21 (U21) and partner PwC, allows students to respond to contemporary work-related issues (set by PwC) in a three-minute video. View the competition handbook here
The World’s Challenge Challenge 2020

The WCC is a global competition open to all undergraduate and graduate McMaster students. Participants will make a 5 – 7 minute presentation in teams of 2 to 4 members on a solution to a specific global issue as identified in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. First, second and third placing teams at McMaster will receive $1500, $1000 and $500, respectively. The winning team will move on to compete against other schools at the International World’s Challenge Challenge held from June 8-11, 2020 at Western University in London, Ontario. Find out more here

#IAmInnovation Twitter Contest

Calling all undergraduates, MSc students, PhDs and postdoctoral fellows in CFI-funded labs at universities, colleges, research hospitals and research institutions across Canada!

The CFI wants to hear how working in state-of-the-art facilities and with cutting-edge equipment has supported your research and allowed you to make a difference. 
Show how CFI-funded infrastructure has helped you and your research by tweeting an image or video of how you work with CFI-funded equipment or in a CFI-funded research space. Remember to follow and tag @InnovationCA, and include the hashtags #IAmInnovation and #Contest in your Twitter submission! Learn more here.
Endowed Research Chair
Application Deadline: January 30th, 2020

The University of Manitoba invites applications for the Endowed Research Chair in Immunology of Infectious Diseases. The successful candidate will be eligible for a tenure-track or tenured position in the Department of Immunology at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, with an anticipated start date of May 1, 2020 or soon thereafter. It is expected that the candidate will establish an original, innovative, extramurally-funded research program addressing fundamental immunologic mechanisms in health and disease including, but not limited to, infectious, inflammatory, malignant or metabolic diseases and/or novel methods and technologies for immunotherapy. Email Dr. Aaron J. Marshall, Professor and Head, Department of Immunology at for more information. 

Assistant / Associate Professor
Application Deadline: December 31st, 2019 

The Department of Microbiology at Cornell University is currently seeking to fill a tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor position in molecular microbiology. The individual will establish an innovative, high-profile research program that addresses key concepts and questions in contemporary bacterial physiology and/or cell biology. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to) molecular studies of cell growth and division, metabolism, genome stability, mechanisms of horizontal transfer/gene exchange, gene regulation, bacterial stress responses and microbial interactions with their biotic and abiotic environments. The ideal program will embrace a combination of molecular, genetic, physiological and/or data-intensive approaches to develop a mechanistic understanding of microbial biology.The full job listing can be found here.

Assistant / Associate Professor (3 Positions)
Review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.

The Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM) at Rutgers University, in conjunction with the departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Neuroscience & Cell Biology, and Pharmacology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School seek outstanding candidates for tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor to fill three new faculty positions. Successful candidates will be provided with competitive start-up packages, access to high performance computing clusters and other core resources, and modern laboratory space at CABM, and will be expected to develop and maintain strong, externally funded research programs, and participate in collaborative projects with other Departments and Institutes on the campus. Find out more here.

Postdoctoral Fellow

The McCormick laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario is looking to recruit an enthusiastic and motivated postdoctoral associate to study the genetic regulation of super-antigen toxins in Staphylococcus aureus.The successful applicant will be expected to lead and contribute to original research related to toxic shock syndrome caused by S. aureus, to assist in supervision of graduate and undergraduate students, to write and published research and review articles, to assist in grant writing, and to attend at least one international meeting per year. For more information, please contact Dr. John McCormick at

Have Something Exciting to Share?

Send your story to:
Christy Groves
Communications Coordinator
Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research
David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery

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(905) 525-9140 x 22448
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