Subject: IIDR eNews - March 4th, 2020

IIDR Newsletter - Issue 35
March 4th, 2020

McMaster University COVID-19 Update

March 4, 2020

McMaster University is continuing to closely follow the global outbreak of COVID-19. 
To keep the community informed as the situation evolves and new information becomes available, McMaster will be updating its COVID-19 update pageFrequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found here.

IIDR Insights on the Novel Coronavirus

Here’s how scientists think coronavirus spreads from bats to humans

Scientists don’t really know why, but bats usually don’t get sick from the viruses inside them. A recent genetic study, however, found that the coronavirus in bats and the one making humans sick are a 96% match.

Why vaccines aren’t made in time to help with outbreaks

Time and funding are the biggest hurdles for scientists trying to develop vaccines during an outbreak, including the coronavirus. Dr. Charu Kaushic is featured in this CBC The National story on the challenges of creating a vaccine during viral outbreaks like coronavirus.

Who is most susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19?

Many of those who have succumbed to COVID-19 had underlying health conditions or were over age 60. Dr. Matthew Miller helps us to understand how the virus can also affect younger, seemingly healthy individuals.

Innovative Research

The McArthur Lab develops a tool to combat the current coronavirus outbreak

Dr. Andrew McArthur and PhD candidate Jalees Nasir led the development of a new bait capture tool that simplifies the process of isolating and analyzing the virus that causes COVID-19. The tool has been shared with the international health sciences community to help determine how this virus is spreading and whether it is evolving.
Antibiotics discovered that kill bacteria in a new way

Nature study led by PhD candidate Beth Culp of Dr. Gerry Wright's research team identifies a new group of antibiotics with a unique approach to attacking bacteria, making it a promising clinical candidate in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Learn More >

Researchers uncover the hidden antibiotic potential of cannabis

An ACS Infectious Diseases study led by Drs. Eric Brown, Maya Farha and Omar El-Halfawy has identified an antibacterial compound made by cannabis plants called cannabigerol (CBG) that may serve as a lead for new drug development.

Upcoming Events

Inaugural Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Research Symposium
March 12th, 2020

The Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University is launching its Inaugural Research Symposium on March 12th, 2020 at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre. The purpose of the symposium is to highlight and celebrate the outstanding scientific work of BBS graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and technicians. Learn more about the event and register here.
103rd Canadian Chemistry Conference - Therapeutic Interventions to Combat Bacterial Resistance
May 24th - 28th, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The University of Manitoba will be hosting the 103rd Canadian Chemistry Conference on the latest developments in antibacterial research, with a focus on small molecule-based and materials-based interventions. Find out more about the conference here (the symposium is listed in the Program section under Technical Sessions in the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry section). 

INternational Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to HuMans (INCDNCM)
June 1st - 3rd, Toronto, Ontario

The annual International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Humans seeks to increase knowledge and awareness of zoonotic disease within the medical and public health communities. The conference will bring together zoonotic disease decision makers, researchers, laboratory personnel, industry partners and surveillance professionals from around the world. Find out more information here
70th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists (CSM 2020)
June 22nd - 25th, Guelph, Ontario

The conference theme this year is ‘Microbes for Life’ and will focus on microbes in health and agriculture. All three sections of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists traditional pillars will be equally represented, including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Infection and Immunity, and Molecular Genetics and Cellular Microbiology. Find out more about the conference and how to 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. Find out more 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

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

MDCL 2235 | McMaster University
(905) 525-9140 x 22448
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