|May 30, 2011
CSM President Newsletter - May 2011 - By Dr. Ed Topp
Dear fellow microbiologists,
Andrew Lang and his LOC team are finalizing preparations for what will undoubtedly be a dynamic, stimulating and fun conference at Memorial University.
Please check out the conference website [http://www.mun.ca/csm2011/index.html] for information on the program, social activities and links for travel and tourism. Newfoundland is famous for its maritime climate, and the following site may help you decide what clothing to bring: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/AboutThisPlace/WeatherClimate.
A reminder that next year's conference will be held in Vancouver, so please block June 20-23/2012 on your calendars.
CSM Executive- Off with the old, on with the new
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Dubreuil from the Université de Montréal is joining the CSM executive as 2nd Vice-President. We very much look forward to Daniel's contributions to the management of your society in the coming years. Trevor Charles leaves the job of Past President. Thanks Trevor for your valued service to the Society. The Society will be in Ivan Oresnik’s capable hands as he takes over the Presidency at the AGM as I move to the Past President’s chair, and Nancy Martin will take over the 1st VP Job. Jess Boyd continues to do a stellar job as Secretary-Treasurer, and Jon Van Hamme has agreed to stay on for a transitional year as Meetings Secretary. Josie Libertucci from the University of Calgary takes over from Shannon Brooks as graduate student representative. Welcome Josie, and thank you Shannon! There will be a number of changes on council and with key committees as well, check the CSM website for names, and for opportunities for service.
Daniel Dubreuil is Professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Université de Montréal. He is also Adjunct Director of GREMIP, a multidisciplinary research group interested in the pathogenesis of important pig pathogens. The research carried out in his laboratory focuses on Escherichia coli heat-resistant enterotoxins responsible for diarrheal diseases in Man and animals. He received his B.Sc. (Agr., Hons.) in microbiology from Macdonald College of McGill University, and an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the department of Microbiology and Immunology of Université de Montréal. He then spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut Pasteur (Paris), and two years in the department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia before returning to the Université de Montréal.
The CSM Murray Award for Career Achievement
The CSM Award is the Society's Premier award for senior researchers. After several recent name changes over the last few years, the CSM Executive has decided to permanently name the award in honour of the Murray family. Professor R.G.E. Murray and his father E.G.D Murray had a seminal role in the genesis of the CSM, and both had storied careers in microbiology. The Society is honoured that Professor R.G.E. Murray has agreed to have the family name affiliated with the CSM Award, and the Executive is extremely pleased to announce that Professor Murray will be in attendance in St. John’s to confer the first CSM Murray Award. We are delighted that the Award will be sponsored by the NRC Research Press.
The first winner of the CSM Murray Award is Professor George Chaconas from the University of Calgary who was chosen by the Awards Committee from a very prestigious slate of candidates. The title of the lecture Dr. Chaconas will give at the CSM Memorial University Conference is “Functional studies of the Lyme disease spirochete – from mice to molecules”.
Microbiology in Canada received national attention when Professor Emeritus R.G.E. Murray, University of Western Ontario, was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada. He was honoured for his lifetime contributions to the development of microbiology in Canada. The Canadian Society of Microbiologists owes a special debt of gratitude to Dr. Murray. He was chairman of the Founding Committee for the Society, 1950-1951 and Founding President, 1951-1952. The Society, he said, was "a much-needed catalyst and unifier for the diverse applied and basic microbiologists of the country". He has remained an active member of the Society throughout his scientific career and was elected an honorary member in 1985. Societies and their journals, particularly the Canadian and American Societies, continued to be important to Dr. Murray over the years. He persuaded the National Research Council of Canada that a microbiology journal was a justifiable publication and was appointed the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1954-1960. Prior to this appointment, he was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Bacteriology, 1951-1954, and again from 1980-1986. He found his editorship of Bacteriological (later Microbiological, then Microbiology and Molecular Biology) Reviews, 1969-1979, to be a challenge, during which he honed his editorial skills. This involvement with the review journal increased his interest in the affairs of the American Society for Microbiology. He was elected President, 1972-1973, and an honorary member in 1988. He was also elected an honorary member of the Society for Applied Bacteriology in 1988. One of Dr. Murray's passions in life has been taxonomy. He inherited this interest honestly from his father, E.G.D. Murray, who was a trustee of Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 1936-1964. After his father's death in 1964, he was asked to join the Bergey's Manual Board of Trustees, and thus began another long association of a Murray with Bergey's Manual. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1976-1990. He has been a member of the International Committee for Systematic Bacteriology (International Association of Microbiological Societies) since 1962, and chairman from 1982-1990. He was elected an honorary member of ICSB in 1990. He was associate editor of the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 1982-1990 and editor from 1991-1994, and he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network of Centres of Excellence in an advisory capacity.
Dr. Murray's research in bacterial cytology, structure and function, and systematics and taxonomy has brought numerous honours and awards: the Harrison Prize, Royal Society of Canada (shared with C.F. Robinow), 1957; Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, 1958; the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Award, 1963; election to the American Academy of Microbiology, 1973; the Flavelle Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 1984; and the J. Roger Porter Award, American Society for Microbiology (U.S. Federation of Culture Collections), 1987. He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph and was granted the degree Doctor of Science honoris causa by McGill University in 2007. And, many of his students and postdoctoral fellows continue the fine road in microbiology he has forged for them.
CSM Cangene Award
This year's Cangene Award for outstanding graduate student will be conferred to Karlene Lynch who is completing her PhD under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Dennis in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. The title of the lecture Ms. Lynch will give at the CSM Memorial University Conference is “Genomic analysis and modification of Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteriophages.”
The selection committee stresses that there were many extremely deserving candidates for the award this year, and the competition was tough. Congratulations Karlene!
CSM Fisher Scientific Award
The CSM Fisher Award recognizes early career researchers for outstanding contributions and exceptional career potential. Dr. Mariela Segura from the Département de pathologie et microbiologie, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal is this year’s winner of the Award. Dr. Segura has a stellar record of achievements. She is the creator of the Swine Immunology Tool Bank, and directs a productive research program with a focus on the swine pathogen Streptococcus suis. The title of the lecture Dr. Segura will give at the CSM Memorial University Conference is “Comparative study of two encapsulated streptococci: The capsular polysaccharide differently modulates bacterial interactions with dendritic cells.” Felicitations Dr. Segura.
Announcement of new awards for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars
The CSM Executive is pleased to announce two new competitive awards available to student and postdoctoral members. Information on application procedures and selection criteria is forthcoming.
CSM Postgraduate Travel Award
The CSM wishes to encourage attendance of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to the annual conference. To this end, the Society will annually confer up to five $500 cash awards to defray costs for travel to the Conference. The award is accompanied by a certificate.
CSM Undergraduate Award
The CSM wishes to encourage undergraduate participation and success in the study of microbiology. To this end, the Society will confer up to five $500 cash awards to support educational expenses of undergraduate microbiologists. The award is accompanied by a certificate.
The CSM is now a member of the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE; http://www.pagse.org/). PAGSE was formed in June 1995 at the invitation of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada to represent the Canadian science and engineering community to the Government of Canada. Nancy Martin has agreed to represent the CSM.
Get your personal vignette on the CSM webpage
A reminder that with full membership comes the opportunity to get your story (“Meet the Microbiologist”) on the CSM website [http://www.csm-scm.org/english/mem_meet.asp]. In addition to showing the general viewing public how cool microbiologists are, this is an opportunity to showcase you and your program to potential grad students or future postdoctoral candidates that you may meet at the annual conference.
This is my last newsletter as President, an experience that has been an honour, and a pleasure. Thanks to the Executive, and to the Council and Committee members for their service, and to Wafaa Antonious for her invaluable help in running our Society.
The CSM has a long history of promoting microbiology in Canada, and in particular providing a forum for the professional development of students and early career scientists. It’s an exciting and valuable contribution that we make, and I encourage all members to experience the personal satisfaction that comes with service to the Society.
In that spirit, let me leave you with two quotes from Louis Pasteur, a personal hero to many of us:
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.”
“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.”