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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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WHAT'S NEW  ::  CSM & Microbiology

CSM & Microbiology

June 14, 2013
CSM President June 2013 Newsletter

Dear CSM members,

2013 Annual Conference and EDAR Satellite Symposium at Carleton University

It is almost time for the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance Satellite Symposium and the 63rd Annual Conference (AC) of the CSM to begin. The line up of speakers looks great and the combination of the preconference symposium, organized by Ed Topp and the AC, organized by Ashkan Golshani and his team will provide us with a solid 5 days of fantastic science.

Check out the web site ( CSM ) for information on the conference and things to do while you’re visiting Ottawa – it’s a great city full of interesting things to see and do.

Highly Accomplished Microbiologists

Three major CSM awards are conferred upon Canadian microbiologists at different stages of their research careers and we have a slate of highly deserving CSM award winners for 2013. The Armand-Frappier Outstanding Student Award will be presented to Dr. Salim Islam, who just defended his PhD, from the lab of Dr. J. Lam at the University of Guelph. Dr. Islam will be receiving his award following his research presentation on Tuesday afternoon at the AC. The CSM Fisher Scientific Award, which recognizes early career researchers for outstanding contributions and exceptional career potential, will be presented to Dr Josh Neufeld, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo, following his talk on Wednesday afternoon at the AC. The CSM Murray Award for Career Achievement will be presented to Dr Gerry Wright, Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences and Associate member of the Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, & Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University. Dr. Wright’s research presentation is Monday afternoon at the AC. Be sure to attend the awardees’ talks to learn about their outstanding achievements. Congratulations to all!

CSM Executive/Council positions

The CSM AC is brought to you by dedicated members of the CSM and their students and I’d like to remind you that you too can help out the Society by putting forward you name for consideration as a volunteer member. We still have openings for:

Committee member: CSM Murray Award for Career Achievement
Representative: Biological & Chemical Defence Committee of DND
Our current rep, Julia Foght will be stepping down within the next couple of years and we would like to start the process of finding a replacement as completing the required security clearance can take a while.

Going into 2013-2014 the executive will be doing its usual shuffle with Daniel Dubreuil from the Université de Montréal moving to the President’s chair, while I shift to Past President. Charles Dozois, Director of the INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier Centre, will take over the 1st VP job. Ayush Kumar continues to do an excellent job as Secretary-Treasurer and Russell Hynes is expertly handling the Meetings Secretary role. Josie Libertucci, having finished her MSc in Calgary, is now relocated to McMaster to work on her PhD and will continue as the Graduate Student Representative. Thanks to all for their excellent service to the CSM over the past year.

CSM and the Canadian Journal of Microbiology

CSM has worked with Canadian Science Publishing (CSP), a not-for-profit publishing enterprise now overseeing the NRC Research Press journals, to bring a package of benefits to our members in association with the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (CJM). CSM members now enjoy a substantially discounted rate of $1,000 (down from the standard fee of $3,000) for OpenArticle (the journal’s open access publishing option), as well as the waiving of all colour figure charges; these benefits are in addition to a discounted subscription rate for the CJM. CSP is also a generous sponsor of the CSM Murray Award for Career Achievement, provides space in CJM for Society news and announcements, and publishes review articles from the CSM award winners. I feel that the CJM is a valuable resource to Canadian microbiologists and I would encourage you to support the journal by submitting quality articles for publication.

Dr. R. A MacLeod

Dr. Robert (Bob) Angus MacLeod, former President (1976-1977) and long term member of the CSM, passed away on May 6th, 2013 at the age of 92. Dr. MacLeod obtained Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Chemistry at U.B.C and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. In mid 1949 Dr. MacLeod joined the Biochemistry Department at Queen’s University for 2 years, followed by an appointment as a Department of Fisheries Research Scientist in Vancouver until the late 50’s. The Department of Microbiology at Macdonald College of McGill University then enticed Dr. MacLeod to join them, where he continued his research on nutrition and metabolism in marine bacteria, collaborating with and mentoring numerous Canadian microbiologists, and served for several years as Department Head. Dr. MacLeod was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1972. A very interesting review article written by Dr. MacLeod (Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 1985. 39:1-20) called “Marine Microbiology Far from the Sea” details his scientific findings and highlights his “conversion” to and involvement in microbiology in Canada. The members of the CSM would like to pass on our condolences to Dr. MacLeod’s family.

CSM Advocacy Roles

The CSM continues to actively participate in the development of the procedures that need to be put in place in order to support the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA). These procedures are being put in place to ensure safe and secure handling of biological materials in Canada and have the potential to make a significant impact on research in microbiology. I would encourage you individually to be involved, especially those of you working with BSL 2-4 pathogens, as the implementation of the HPTA will impact your research practices.

The current stage, Phase III, of the development of the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA) is directed at trying to identify any potential operational challenges to the implementation of the HPTA. The deadline for responding to a survey addressing implementation issues has been extended until June 28, 2013. If you wish to fill out the survey, please use the following email to request the relevant documentation: hpta.lapht.consultations@phac-aspc.gc.ca

The CSM also continues to participate in the Partnership Group in Science and Engineering (PAGSE). PAGSE members met with Dr. Suzanne Fortier to express our deep concerns over the discontinuation of NSERC’s support of funding for major research equipment. PAGSE was asked to participate in the re-design and harmonization of the Canada Graduate Scholarships program and PAGSE continues to organize presentations by outstanding scientists to members of parliament via Bacon and Eggheads events among other activities.

Recognition of Graduate Student research excellence

The CSM is very pleased to acknowledge substantial sponsorship from 2 sources to support the Graduate Student Award programs administered by the CSM. The family and colleagues of the late Dr. Terry Beveridge and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph have worked with the CSM to transfer the Terry Beveridge Memorial Scholarship Fund for administration by the CSM in support of graduate student activities. As a MSc student of Terry’s, I can certainly attest to his strong support of his graduate students and his support of the CSM. It is of special significance to me to be able to launch the Beveridge Poster Competition at the upcoming AC. 

A second generous sponsorship has been pledged by a group affiliated with the 8th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME-8) that has supported the CSM student awards on a year by year basis for a number of years. The CSM executive and the Atlantic Canada Society for Microbial Ecology is in the process of establishing the terms of reference for the disbursement of these monies. This funding will be used in support of Graduate and Undergraduate Student awards and activities affiliated with the CSM.

The CSM is fortunate and thankful to have received these sponsorships that will allow the Society to support student member activities for the next 10-15 years.

In closing…

A reminder that next year the CSM will be held jointly with the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) congresses in Montreal from July 27 to August 1. More info is available at this year’s AC or at IUMS 2014. Mark your calendars now for this major microbiology event.

Hope to see you at this year’s 63rd CSM conference,

Regards, Nancy Martin

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