Subject: IIDR eNews - July 14th, 2020

IIDR Newsletter - Issue 38
July 14th, 2020
IIDR Insights on COVID-19

Tracing the spread of COVID-19

Medical researchers and supercomputers are turning genetics labs into virus detective agencies. IIDR bioinformatics expert Andrew McArthur discusses the incredible implications of this new Genome Canada initiative. Learn More >

Scientists call for pandemic investigations to focus on wildlife trade

July 10 - The World Health Organization sent scientists to China to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak. Arinjay Banerjee comments. Learn More >
ID/IIDR COVID-19 Rounds - July 2020

July 8 -
 In our second COVID-19 Seminar of the summer, infectious disease researchers Zain Chagla, Michelle Kho, Hooman Derakhshani, and Hannah Stacey gives a fantastic overview of four important studies related to the pandemic. Watch Video >
Is COVID-19 airborne? Experts say term is incorrect for describing transmission

July 8 - “There is probably some degree of small aerosols that would carry COVID-19 in average day-to-day contact, but it’s probably very minimal,” says Zain ChaglaLearn More >
Residents need to mitigate risk to keep COVID-19 from 'roaring back'

July 7 Dominik Mertz states what the right decisions look like in this new normal, where the threat of COVID-19 remains a part of daily life. Learn More >
Understanding immune responses to SARS-CoV-2

July 6 Charu Kaushic, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, discusses what we currently know about the  interaction between the virus and the host immune response. Learn More >
What we know – and don’t know – about masks

July 2 - In this Globe and Mail opinion piece, co-author Mark Loeb discusses the debate over wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Learn More >
Listen as we talk about bats

June 29 - Bats have a bad reputation as disease carriers or as the alter ego for vampires in folklore. Karen Mossman and Arinjay Banerjee do not see them in the same way. Learn More >

McMaster scoops up $20M more for COVID-19 research

June 25 - McMaster has garnered $20 million in new funding for 17 COVID-19 research projects from the CIHR and their funding partners. Learn More >

All your social circle and bubble questions, answered

June 22 - Social circles allow for some normal social interaction, but they’re also super confusing. Zain Chagla helps us understand what social circles are, how to form one, and more. Learn More >

Why overuse of antibiotics in COVID-19 could have lasting impact in health care

June 21 "The biggest concern is for those who have COVID-19 who maybe don't need an antibiotic," says Eric BrownLearn More >

U.S. seeing surge in new cases, but experts don't see a preview for Canada

June 21 - "Let the cases drop a little bit and then open the door,” says Zain Chagla, who states that everything he has seen from the U.S. indicates they simply opened up too fast. Learn More >

Canada's pandemic lockdown worked, says infectious disease doctor

June 19 - "The fact that Canada has only seen a fraction of the illnesses and deaths projected in early worst-case scenarios is testament to the success of preventative measures,” explains Zain ChaglaLearn More >

Mandatory mask laws are spreading in Canada

June 17 - Mark Loeb speaks to CBC News about the evidence on universal mask wearing. Learn More >

What past pandemics can teach us about COVID-19

June 9 - Hendrik Poinar draws on ancient DNA analysis, anthropology, and history to discuss what past pandemics can teach us about COVID-19. Learn More >

Is it safe to hug a friend or loved one at this point in the pandemic?

June 8 - Could COVID-19 be spread through a hug? Matthew Miller talks about the risk of spreading the virus when you are in close contact with others. Learn More >

Karen Mossman to be McMaster’s new vice-president, Research

June 4 - Karen Mossman has been named McMaster's new vice-president, research. Mossman joined McMaster in 2001 as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, and has since served as the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, associate vice-president, Research and this past year as the acting vice-president, Research. Read more in McMaster University's Daily News.
IIDR Members Receive Top Awards from the CSM

June 4Lori Burrows and John Whitney have both received prestigious awards from the Canadian Society of Microbiologists. Burrows was honoured with the Murray Award for Career Achievement, the Society’s premier award for established researchers, and Whitney received the 2020 Thermo Fisher Scientific Award, which recognizes new researchers in the microbiological sciences. Read the official announcement from the CSM here, and watch their award lectures below. 
Congratulations from the IIDR on these well-deserved honours! 

2020 CSM Murray Award Lecture

2020 Thermo Fisher Award Lecture

Reports & Publications
COVID-19 and Antimicrobial Resistance: Parallel and Interacting Health Emergencies

A team of infectious disease experts, including the IIDR's Dominik Mertz, Lori Burrows, Dawn Bowdish, and Gerry Wright, delve deeper into the connections between the slow-(AMR) and fast-moving (COVID-19) public health crises of our generation.

Read the publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Genotyping SARS-CoV-2 through an interactive web application

Isolation, Sequence, Infectivity, and Replication Kinetics of SARS-CoV-2

Jobs & Opportunities
Postdoctoral Research Fellow 

Area of research: Genomics (SARS-CoV-2)
Closing date: Open until filled 
Expected start date: July 2020

Working with Dr. Robyn Lee and Dr. Andrew McArthur, the candidate will take a lead role in genomic epidemiology studies of SARS-CoV-2 in Canada. The Fellow will use a combination of bioinformatics, phylogenetics, and epidemiologic methods to investigate transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in long-term care facilities, and potentially in other vulnerable populations in Ontario. Contact Dr. McArthur for more information.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Area of research: Quantitative COVID research
Closing date: October 2020
Expected start date: N/A

The research group of Drs. Ben Bolker, David Earn and Jonathan Dushoff at McMaster University is looking for a post-doc to help with COVID-forecasting projects. This is a good opportunity to work on projects designed to inform public-health decision-making. The ideal candidate would have expertise in epidemiological modeling, statistical modeling of dynamical systems, and R programming. Find more information here.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Area of research: Biosensing
Closing date: Open until filled
Expected start date: July 2020

In close collaboration with multi-national companies, Dr. Tohid Didar's lab at McMaster University is accepting applications for two Postdoctoral Research Fellows. Learn more through the following links:

The IIDR is now on LinkedIn! Connect with one another and learn more about the institute on our new company page
Christy Groves
Communications Coordinator

Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research
David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery

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