Subject: IIDR eNews - July 10th, 2018

Issue 19 - July 10th, 2018
Dr. Magolan Gives a Crash Course in Organic Chemistry

"Jakob Magolan is here to change your perception of organic chemistry. He teaches us the basics while breaking the stereotype that organic chemistry is something to be afraid of."

International Team Identifies Patterns of C. neoformans Melanin Production Variation and its Potential Impact on Fungal Pathogen Virulence

Melanin plays an important role in C. neoformans survival during infection. However, little is known about the patterns of melanin production variation and its potential effects on virulence. This study, led by IIDR trainee Himeshi Samarasinghe of Dr. Jianping Xu's lab, is the first of it’s kind to look at the relationship between natural genetic variation and virulence trait expression in a human fungal pathogen.

STEM Girls Experience A Day In The Life Of A CMCB Scientist

YWCA Hamilton’s STEM Girls Club enjoyed a day of laughter and science within the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. Read more about the after-school program and their exciting afternoon at the CMCB.

Xu Lab Reveals the Rapid Adaptation Potential of the White-Nose Syndrome Pathogen

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is considered to be the deadliest disease of any mammal in history, resulting in more than 6 million deaths among North American bats. In a study led by PhD student Adrian Forsythe of Dr. Jianping Xu’s lab, the geographic variation among strains of the WNS pathogen was examined, as well as the potential evidence for their adaptation along geographic gradients of eastern North America.

Research Participants Honoured at Bowdish Lab Donor Appreciation Day

To express their gratitude for their participants’ support, the Dr. Dawn Bowdish's research team hosted their first ever Donor Appreciation Day this month. Participants of past and current studies in the Bowdish Lab were invited to McMaster to learn more about the importance of their contributions to scientific research.

C. difficile: The Role of Colonization and Phages

Dominik Mertz, MD, MSc & David Speicher, PhD

In this month’s ID/IIDR Combined Rounds, infectious disease experts Dr. Dominik Mertz and Dr. David Speicher present their most recent research findings regarding C. difficile colonization and phages, respectively.

Learn More >

Karen Mossman Appointed Acting Vice-President, Research

Dr. Karen Mossman will serve as Acting Vice-President, Research for a six-month term from July 1 - December 31, 2018, during Rob Baker's administrative leave. Professor Jim Dunn has been appointed Acting Associate Vice-President (Research) for the same time period.

Read the full post within McMaster University’s Daily News.

Dr. David Speicher Achieves Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Status at 2018 Spring Conference

Congratulations to IIDR trainee Dr. David Speicher for achieving Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) status at this year's 2018 Spring Conference. The Distinguished Toastmaster award is the highest award presented by Toastmasters International - an educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. For achieving a superior level of success in these areas, David was presented a DTM plaque, medal, and pin. Learn more about this award at
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 Canadian Institutes of Health Research – 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, learn more by visiting Remuneration will be provided for all participants.
The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database - Update

This most recent release of CARD includes improved curation of chloramphenicol acetyltransferases. Resistome and sequence variant predictions have additionally been expanded to 76 pathogens, 70,000+ resistomes, and 130,000+ AMR allele sequences. Resistome Gene Identifier version 4.1.0 has also been released, fixing under-reporting of protein variant model SNPs for a small number of cases. Updating to RGI 4.1.0 is highly recommended. Visit the CARD website here.
The Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences Annual Picnic Highlights

Trainees from labs across McMaster's Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences enjoyed an exciting day at the park this month, filled with delicious food, games, and relaxation. View the IIDR Facebook Album to see photos from this years picnic, including highlights from the 2018 BBSGSA "Biochemistry Olympics". A special shoutout to Wright Lab team #2 members for taking home first place!

Upcoming Events & Seminars
! Establishing a Visualization Design Space - A Case Study in Infectious Disease Genomic Epidemiology
July 13th, 10:00am - 11:00am, MUMC-HSC 4E20

Dr. Andrew McArthur will be hosting data visualization expert Ana Crisan to the IIDR on Friday. Ana is a CIHR Vanier Scholar and a PhD candidate in her final year of studies in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Ana studies how heterogenous types of public health data can be integrated and visualized. Read Ana's full biography and talk abstract here.
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Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR)

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