Subject: IIDR eNews - September 21st, 2018

IIDR Newsletter - Issue 21
September 21st, 2018
Dr. Xu's research team discovers widespread drug-resistance amongst strains of Aspergillus fungi in Hamilton, Ontario

Dr. Jianping Xu’s research team at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) investigated the current pattern of drug resistance amongst Aspergillus strains in Hamilton to conclude that the medication currently recommended for the management of aspergilliosis is likely to result in treatment failure.

In The News
Changing the way we search for antibiotics - with a $200, 3D-printed box

The Printed Fluorescence Imaging Box - created by Dr. Shawn French of Dr. Eric Brown's lab - is capable of collecting massive amounts of data that will aid IIDR researchers in their quest to discover new antibiotics. 

Learn More >

IIDR trainee discovers how Streptococcus protects itself from competitor bacteria

One way in which Gram-positive bacteria compete with neighbouring bacteria is by secreting antibacterial toxins through the bacterial type VII secretion system (T7SS). Master's student Tim Klein of Dr. John Whitney's lab investigates components of this
 protein complex to discover the mechanism by which Streptococcus immune proteins protect cells from antibacterial toxins.

IIDR and Max Planck researchers uncover the loading mechanism of an antibacterial nanomachine

In many species of Gram-negative bacteria, the secretion and delivery of antibacterial effector proteins from one species of bacteria into another is mediated by the type VI secretion system (T6SS). PhD students Shehryar Ahmad of Dr. John Whitney's lab at the IIDR and Dennis Quentin of Dr. Stefan Raunser’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology leverage their combined expertise in biochemistry, genetics, and structural biology to investigate the critical first steps of toxin delivery by the T6SS. 

Kaushic lab studies the relationship between sex hormones, the vaginal microbiome and immunity in HIV-1 susceptibility in women

In a recent review in Disease Models & Mechanisms, Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Jocelyn Wessels of Dr. Charu Kaushic’s lab takes an extensive look at the current literature regarding various HIV-1 susceptibility determinants to propose viable correlations between the sex-hormone–microbiome–immunity axis and HIV-1 acquisition in women.

IIDR Trainee Day 2018 – Register Today!

Trainee Day, an annual event hosted by the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR), has become the ideal forum for recognizing and celebrating the innovative work being done by the Institute’s students and postdoctoral fellows. This year's event will take place on Friday, November 9th, from 9:00am to 6:00pm in CIBC Hall, Rm. 319. All IIDR staff, students, and faculty are invited to register at their earliest convenience through the IIDR Trainee Day Website.

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 (the “microbiome”) 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
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 to learn more. Remuneration will be provided for all participants.
Vacancy for a Senior Scientific Researcher Position in GenenTech's Department of 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 about the position and how to apply here.
Two Microbiology Postdoc Positions Available at Université de Sherbrooke

Two postdoctoral positions are available in the laboratory of Dr. François Malouin for work on the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of new experimental antibiotics. The position will commence in October 2018 for a duration of 18-20 months, and with the possibility of renewal. Interested candidates can contact Prof. Malouin via
Vote Research2Reality as Canada’s Favourite Science Site!

Research2Reality has been short-listed for the People’s Choice Awards for "Canada’s favourite science online" - an award presented through Science Writers and Communicators of Canada and Science BorealisResearch2Reality (R2R) shines a spotlight on world-class scientists who are engaged in innovative & leading-edge research in Canada. Further, R2R celebrates the success & impact of researchers who are shaping the new frontiers of science. You are able to vote up to 4 times here. Polls will close on Sept 23, 2018.
CARD Update - September 2018

The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database has been updated. CARD Prevalence, Resistomes & Variants has been expanded to 79 pathogens, 75,000+ resistomes, & 145,000+ AMR allele sequences with the addition of Brucella suis, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Yersinia pestis bacteriaCheck out the updates through the CARD website here

BiochemRocks Summer 2018 Edition Released

The Summer 2018 issue of BiochemRocks is now available in digital format! Check it out here.

Events & Seminars
! McMaster's ID / IIDR Rounds Resume for Fall / Winter 2018 - 2019
Wednesday, October 3rd, 8:00am - 9:00am, HSC 1A1
The IIDR is pleased to announce that this year's monthly ID / IIDR Rounds will commence on Wednesday, October 3rd. Our first seminar will be presented by IIDR Principal Investigator Dr. Charu Kaushic and Dr. Phillippe El-Helou, Head of Service of Infectious Diseases at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Their talk, entitled "HIV susceptibility in Women: Role of the Vaginal Microbiome" will take place from 8:00am to 9:00am in HSC 1A1. Subsequent rounds occur on the first Wednesday of every month, and are open to all IIDR members and trainees.
Public Lecture: "Infectious models reveal a unique role for caspase-7 after cytotoxic lymphocyte attack"
Tuesday, September 25th, 11:30am -12:30pm, HSC 4E20

As part of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences seminar series, Dr. Brian Coombes will be hosting Dr. Edward Miao, Associate Professor from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).
Developing Clinical Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnostics Workshop
Wednesday & Thursday, September 26th & 27th, McMaster Innovation Park

The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (FPC-BEAM) is hosting a workshop on the challenges of developing clinical diagnostics in specific fields. The two-day workshop will bring together various stakeholders for presentations, panels, and open forums to discuss the ideal POC diagnostic, POC development, and the support systems needed to bring these diagnostic healthcare solutions to market. View the detailed schedule and register here.

The 6th Annual Metabolism, Obesity & Diabetes Research Symposium
Friday, September 28th, 8:30am - 2:30pm (with reception to follow), McMaster Farncombe Atrium

This one-day research symposium will bring together experts studying the fields of metabolism, obesity and diabetes and is sponsored by the McMaster Centre for Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research (MODR) and Obesity Canada (OC-SNP). Lunch and refreshments will be provided, with a reception to follow. Find out more about the event and register here.
Symposium - "New Therapeutic Strategies to Combat Antibacterial Resistance"
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018, 9:00am - 6:00pm, The New York Academy of Sciences, NY

Every year in the U.S. alone, approximately 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 people die as a direct result. This symposium, presented by The Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group at The New York Academy of Sciences, will focus on the current challenges that basic and translational researchers are facing to fight antimicrobial resistance. The symposium will go further to offer perspectives on emerging therapeutic strategies that address this global health threat. View the schedule and register here
9th Annual Innovation Showcase - "The Future is Here"
November 7th, 8:00am - 4:00pm, McMaster Innovation Park

Innovation Showcase provides the opportunity to connect the innovative research of faculty and students to industry and entrepreneurs who are equally passionate about transforming research into products and services. The 9th annual Innovation Showcase will focus on biomedical technologies, highlighting the role and impact of McMaster research in shaping the future of healthcare. This event is hosted by the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) – supporting innovation, commercialization and community engagement. Abstract submissions are open in September via View the detailed schedule and register here

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Christy Groves
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Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research

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