What a great start to fall 2018! It was an absolutely fantastic experience to attend the first annual International Equine Symposium in Calgary in September 2018. Rachael, Tanya and I each presented different equine projects that we have been conducting in Ontario and the feedback was really fantastic. It was a great way to interact with equine practitioners, researchers and students and wrapped up with an absolutely wonderful evening at Spruce Meadows to watch the 6-bar jumping event. We can’t wait to return next year to share updated results!
Every year in early December the Veterinary Epidemiology community comes together in Chicago for the Conference for Research Workers in Animal Disease (CRWAD). This year our group contributed three oral presentations (Rachael Milwid, Melanie Cousins, and Kelsey Spence) and one poster presentation (Rachael Milwid) at the conference. I also served as the session moderator for the Modeling and Network Analysis session along with Kristen Davenport from Colorado State. Rachael presented two different projects related to her work on equine contact networks and Melanie presented her work on the development of a mathematical model for Campylobacter in Ontario. Since Kelsey is in the UK, I presented her longitudinal study of equine movement patterns. All of our projects were very well received by the audience and the Department of Population Medicine was well represented with a very large group of attending graduate students.
This week Dr. Salah Uddin Khan, Dr. Victoria Ng (Public Health Agency of Canada), and I had the great pleasure of attending the first CIHR Health Systems Impact Fellows Cohort Retreat in Toronto. Salah was awarded this prestigious postdoctoral award in the summer and began his fellowship in collaboration with the National Microbiology Laboratory this fall. The goal of these fellowships is to train PhD graduates in a way that focuses on both research and core competencies (such as project management, leadership, and change management) so that they can progress in their careers as leaders within the Canadian Health System. This was the first cohort retreat and it was a really excellent experience for both the fellows and their academic and organizational sponsors. I met many really interesting fellows who I expect will go on to do great things for the Canadian Healthcare system. One of the really amazing things about the inaugural HSI cohort? 80% of the fellows are women! I am looking forward to the next retreat in spring 2018.
We are currently recruiting undergraduate students interested in helping out with a large equine research project that will be running from November until the Christmas break 2017. No horse experience is necessary. This is a great opportunity for students interested in a career in veterinary medicine to learn more about veterinary research and get some experience working in a large animal (equine) environment. You will be providing technical and logistical support to the study coordinator, Dr. Tanya Rossi. Please contact Dr. Amy Greer in the Department of Population Medicine to learn more about this opportunity.
Some people might think that it is unusual that my research group accepts students from diverse academic training backgrounds like epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, computer science or biology. However, I feel very strongly that this diversity enhances the ability of our research group to address important infectious disease questions by allowing students to interact across traditional disciplines. This interaction enriches the research experience of students here in my research program. This month in The Scientist magazine there is an article which describes the "next step" that some universities are taking in this regard by offering truly interdisciplinary advanced degree programs. You can read more about it here.
The York University, Centre for Disease Modeling (CDM) is offering a bi-lateral exchange program for students. Canadian students currently affiliated with the CDM (including my graduate students) can study at a leading institution in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam. Students from any university within Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey or Vietnam also have the opportunity to come to Canada and study under the supervision of a CDM faculty member (right now there are 4 CDM affiliated faculty accepting students). It is possible that I will accept students through this program who have research interests that are in line with my own.
How does it work?
Design a collaborative research project with your home supervisor and a reseacher in one of our partner countries
Placements are for 3-6 months, taking place at any point during the year
Up to $5,000 in support for student travel expenses
Open to senior undergraduate and graduate students
Please discuss this opportunity with your home supervisor before applying
Applications are due on February 15, 2014
*View a list of CDM faculty members accepting applications. Please indicate which member you would like to work with in your application.
*The program is funded by Mitacs Global link. More information on the program guidelines and eligibility criteria is available on Mitacs' website https://www.mitacs.ca/globalink/globalink-research-award