Subject: IIDR eNews - March 5th, 2019

IIDR Newsletter - Issue 25
March 5th, 2019

In The News
Bugs Vs. Superbugs: Insects Offer Promise In The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

Insects—long known to spread diseases—could potentially help cure them. Global AMR expert Dr. Gerry Wright weighs in on the innovative new research supporting bugs as valuable sources for novel antimicrobials.

Will ID Drug Discoverers Ever Find Their 'Little Blue Pill'?

Check out Dr. Eric Brown and Maya Farha's Behind The Paper article for their recent review regarding repurposing drugs for antimicrobials.
 Learn More >

Facts About Faeces with Dr. David Speicher

Why are C. diff infections so common in hospitals? How does a faecal transplant work? Listen in to CFMU's The AlmaMAC to Learn More >

Recycle More! Recycle Now!

Kaushal Baid, a PhD candidate in Dr. Karen Mossman's lab, shares his thoughts on the importance of recycling in labs with Health Science Inquiry
Learn More >

The IIDR Welcomes Toyota Tsusho Canada to McMaster

Dr. Lori Burrows led delegates through the IIDR’s CMCB to highlight the university’s various initiatives in antimicrobial and infectious disease research.
 Learn More >

McArthur's Team Helps Develop New Tools to Fight Superbugs

Researchers from McMaster, Dalhousie, Simon Fraser, and PHAC develop new surveillance strategies to help identify and track problem genes. Learn More >

"We need all of us with our differing expertise and experiences.”

Dr. Arinjay Banerjee
 explains how multidisciplinary collaborations are key in solving complex, real-world problems. 
Learn More >

Reports & Publications
Finding New Applications for Old Drugs

Effectively tackling the antibiotics crisis requires innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. In their latest review in Nature Microbiology, Drs Eric Brown & Maya Farha cover the art of discovering new antimicrobial purposes for existing drugs.

Lubricant-Infused Coating Found to Suppress Biofilm Formation

Dr. Tohid Didar’s biomedical engineering team implement an innovative strategy to prevent bacterial adhesion on oxygen sensors in wastewater. Learn More >

Distinguishing the Flu From Other Viral Infections

IIDR Drs. Mertz, Smieja, and Loeb help create and validate prediction models to distinguish influenza from other viruses. Learn More >

Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions

Dr. Brian Coombes' and PhD student Caressa Tsai looks at the role of the host in driving phenotypic heterogeneity in SalmonellaLearn More >

Investigating the influences of gut-derived serotonin signalling 

Members of the Farncombe Family Institute demonstrate a novel role of gut-derived serotonin in shaping microbiota composition and susceptibility to colitis.
 Learn More >

A Note to PIs: A friendly reminder to please forward your most recently updated CV (preferably updated to Dec 31st, 2018) to The purpose of this request is to update our institute’s overall metrics for the 2018 calendar year.
McArthur’s Joint ‘ARETE’ Project Selected in Genome Canada Competition

Congrats to Dr. Andrew McArthur’s team on their successful Genome Canada Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (B/CB) Competition project, Antimicrobial Resistance: Emergence, Transmission, and Ecology (ARETE). The joint project was selected as one of 37 projects to be supported by Genome Canada as a result of three funding competitions, and aims to better understand antimicrobial resistance by identifying which genes contribute to resistance and tracking how they spread in the environment. Read more about this project here.

Dr. Jianping Xu Nominated for 2018's Ultimate Zoomer

The IIDR’s Dr. Jianping Xu was recognized this winter with a nomination for Zoomer Magazine’s 2018 Ultimate Zoomer. Nominees come from all walks of life and are recognized for ‘reinventing aging in their own way’. Dr. Xu competes with Canadian Masters Athletics (CMA), trains six times a week, enters more than 20 races a year, and race walks 12 kilometres an hour. The professor of microbiology and father of four says he stays young because he’s not afraid to fail. Stay tuned for the Ultimate Zoomer winner announcement on April 8, 2019. 
Wright Lab Supports Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton

Through the generous support of IIDR members and trainees, Dr. Gerry Wright's lab raised over $400 in support of families residing within Hamilton’s Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC). The raised funds allowed the team to “Adopt-A-Meal” at the Hamilton charity house, which is an initiative within the RMHC’s “Meals that Heal” program that provides the families of children being treated at McMaster Children’s Hospital with the nourishment they need to be strong for their child. With the support of communities like the IIDR, the ‘Meals that Heal’ program at is able to provide families with home-cooked meals 365 days a year.

BASEF Call for Judges: Friday, March 29th, 2019

The Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) is looking for Science Fair Judge volunteers for their 59th annual fair, being held at Mohawk College in Hamilton on Friday, March 29th. 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 register as a judge.
*CARD Update - February 2019

The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database has been updated. This update includes the curation of new MCR proteins, OXA & IMP β-lactamases, and macrolide phospho-transferases (MPHs). Additional nomenclature updates have been made for MPHs and drug-resistant dihydrofolate reductases (dfr), and classifications for ADC β-lactamases and 500+ draft virulence ontology (VIRO) terms have been added. CARD Resistomes & Variants will be updated shortly based on this new release, with the addition of Brucella abortus, B. ovis, B. canis, and B. mellitensis surveillance. Check out the CARD website here.

Events & Seminars
*ID/IIDR Combined Rounds: "Applying genomic surveillance to the clinic - lessons on late onset infection prevention in the NICU”
Wed., March 6th, 8:00am - 9:00am, HSC 1A6

Dr. Andrew McArthur and Dr. Sarah Khan will be presenting at this month's ID/IIDR Rounds on Wednesday, March 6th. Dr. McArthur is a member of IIDR, an associate professor within McMaster's Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Cisco Research Chair in Bioinformatics. Dr. Khan is an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and the associate medical director for Infection Prevention Control at Hamilton Health Sciences. Tea, coffee and cookies will be served at 7:45am. Please note the room change to HSC 1A6 for the remainder of the term. Or, watch the presentation through the live link here.
Women & Their Microbes 4th Annual Conference: Microbiome Management in Pregnancy
Wed., March 6th, McMaster Centre for Continuing Education & Thurs., March 7th, David Braley Health Sciences Centre​
The Biointerfaces Institute at McMaster invites you to attend an upcoming scientific conference by Women & Their Microbes, with the theme of “Microbiota Management in Pregnancy”. The conference will open with a clinical half-day on March 6th that focuses on practice-changing microbiome science. March 7th will feature a full research day with top level academics and clinicians presenting their cutting-edge science. Find out more about this year's conference and how to register here.  

Deymstifying Medicine - Graduate Student Talks
Mon., March 11th, 4:15pm - 5:15pm, HSC 1A6

Dr. Katie Moisse is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Science at McMaster University. She is set to give a presentation called "ALS, from the lab to the mediaat the March 11 Demystifying Medicine series. Learning objectives include: to discuss how one research project can change and evolve with new discoveries in the field; to discuss how career aspirations can change and evolve with experience; to critically evaluate the role of science communication in advancing disease research; and to identify strategies for communicating research to diverse audiences. Find out more about this seminar series here.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada's 24th Annual Gutsy Walk
Sun., June 2nd, Confederation Park (Edgewater Pavilion) 585 Van Wagners Beach Rd., Hamilton

Cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are only steps away! Join Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on Sunday, June 2nd for their 24th Annual Gutsy Walk to walk, jog, or run towards a future free from Crohn’s and colitis. Learn more about this year's walk here.
Jobs & Opportunities
III Call for Advisory Board Members

The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity is looking to fill three positions on its Institute Advisory Board (IAB), as part of the CIHR 2019 IAB membership renewal cycle. While recruiting for those positions, the Institute is looking at filling gaps in the Board membership. Therefore, they encourage you to apply if you are:
  • an early career investigator
  • a virologist or microbiologist
  • a researcher in health services, or in social, cultural, environmental, and population health (pillars 3 and 4)
  • a community representative.
Find out more about the the CIHR and application guidelines here.
Junior Group Leader / Professor in Microbiology & Senior Professor in Microbiology

The VIB / KU Leuven Center for Microbiology in Leuven, Belgium is announcing 2 job positions in a stimulating international research environment with excellent peers that will help to support the new group leader, a state-of-the-art laboratory space and access to VIB core facilities. They are interested in applications from any microbiology-related discipline, including synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, metabolomics, systems biology, metagenomics, genomics & applied microbiology. Each position comes with an attractive salary and benefits scheme and an annual research stipend of at least 200k euro per year, plus full PI rights to tap into the Belgian and EU funding and fellowship schemes. Interested candidates can request additional information from the VIB Center For Microbiology at info[dot]vibcfm[at]kuleuven[dot]be.

Faculty Position

The Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy (GCBA) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center invites applications for for a tenure-leading, Assistant/Associate Professor position at the interdisciplinary area of ‘Bioinformatics and Human Microbiome’ to start Fall 2019. The incumbent will complement the existing strengths in genomics, metagenomics, infectious diseases, and bioinformatics at UNMC. They are seeking a dynamic faculty member who interfaces with crosscutting disciplines such as cancer, neuroscience, infectious diseases, precision medicine, etc. to integrate the human microbiome research applications. To find out more about this position, please contact babu.guda[at]unmc[dot]edu or visit the posting here.
Post-Doctoral Fellow or Research Scientist

IIDR member Dr. Zeinab Hosseini-Doust is looking for a postdoctoral fellow or research scientist to conduct phage display experiments including library construction and screening for high affinity binders, and troubleshooting technical problems. Qualifications include a PhD in Molecular Biology or related field and experience in Molecular Biology. Required Skill Set: Experience with RNA isolation, RT-PCR, cDNA, and Molecular Cloning, construction of cDNA libraries, DNA sequencing, bacterial and/or yeast expression and purification of proteins, strong organizational, documentation, and record keeping skills, and observational and troubleshooting skills. Experience with  bacteriophage work and phage display is a plus. In order to be considered, please send your resume and a brief cover letter to doust[at]mcmaster[dot]ca.
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Stephanie DeWitte-Orr and her team within the Department of Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University are seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow for an approved, 1 year MITACS Accelerate funded project, beginning April or May 2019. The individual will study how long double-stranded RNA modulates innate immune responses at the cellular level. Qualifications: PhD in the Biological Sciences; namely, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology or related field. Required Skill Set: Experience with cell culture, molecular biology (qRT-PCR, multiplex arrays) and microscopy (confocal, fluorescence). Strong organizational and record keeping skills are required, as well as someone who is a team player and has effective communication skills. Experience with the following is a plus: mouse husbandry and tissue isolation. In order to be considered, please send a current curriculum vitae including a publication list, the names of three references and a brief cover letter to sdewitteorr[at]wlu[dot]ca.
Participants Needed for CIHR-Funded Tuberculosis Booster Vaccine Study

The research team of IIDR's Dr. Fiona Smaill and Dr. Zhou Xing is looking for healthy participants who were born outside of Canada to enroll in their CIHR–supported tuberculosis booster vaccine study. The purpose of this Phase 1, open-label clinical trial is to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of their adenovirus-based tuberculosis vaccine, administered by aerosol. If interested in participating in the study, visit their website to learn more. Remuneration will be provided for all participants.
Call for Research Participants: Dr. Dawn Bowdish’s Lab

Dr. Dawn Bowdish's team at McMaster University is looking for male volunteers over 40 years of age to participate in a research study. The purpose of their study is to investigate how age-related changes in immune responses alter the microbes that live in our nose and mouth and whether this could explain why some older adults get more respiratory infections such as colds, the flu, and pneumonia. Find out more about the study and how to volunteer here.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr.’s Michael Organ and Christopher Boddy from the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular SciencesUniversity of Ottawa are looking to recruit a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in biocatalysis and protein engineering to participate in an interdisciplinary project centered around the development of an enzyme-transition metal tandem catalysis system. Candidates with expertise in automation and the ability to work closely with synthetic organic chemists are preferred. If interested, please send a CV and letter of interest to organ[at]uottawa[dot]ca and cboddy[at]uottawa[dot]ca.
Senior Scientific Researcher, Infectious Diseases

The Infectious Diseases Department at Genentech, based in South San Francisco, CA, is seeking a talented Senior Scientific Researcher to execute projects aimed at discovering novel therapeutics for infectious diseases with high unmet medical need. This is a laboratory-based position with responsibilities that include elucidation of the mechanisms of host-pathogen/microbiome interactions, discovery and validation of candidate targets, evaluation of antimicrobial compounds, and assay development. Learn more here.
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Christy Groves
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Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research

MDCL 2235 | McMaster University
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