- Registration is now open for the CSM Annual Conference at the University of Waterloo, June 20-23, 2017. Your conference organizers, Josh Neufeld and Laura Hug, will be sending out an email update in two weeks providing you with important information on conference deadlines and planned events. Please send in nominations by April 14, 2017 for the Murray, Fisher and Armand Frappier awards that will be presented at the conference. Please refer to the Awards page for nomination guidelines and applications where applicable.
- At the 2016 Annual General Meeting in Toronto, the membership voted to amend the CSM by-laws to add a Post-doctoral representative to the Executive Committee and to also add a committee on Microbiology Undergraduate Education. You all had the opportunity to vote on these changes and the two amendments have now passed (out of 180 votes received, 96% said "yes" to adding a Post-doctoral representative and 98% said "yes" to adding an undergraduate education committee). Please consider nominating an enthusiastic Post-doctoral CSM member to work with us for the 2017/2018 term. Again I encourage you to refer to the nomination forms for all open CSM Council and Committee positions.
- We also had two excellent candidates nominated for the position of Vice-Chair in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Section. Although the number of votes was close, Steven Short from the University of Toronto Mississauga was elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the AEM Section. We welcome Steven! Other section representatives include: Andrea Kirkwood, Chair of AEM; Herve Le Moual and Sebastien Faucher, Chair and Vice-Chair of Infection and Immunity; Shawn MacLellan and Tracy Raivio, Chair and Vice-Chair of Molecular Genetics and Cellular Microbiology.
We thank all of you for your participation in the votes! There were several excellent suggestions in the membership survey. I will summarize the key points:
i. Email correspondence - the majority of respondents appreciated the effort put into sending out updates and wanted to be notified of any new developments. Those that felt they were receiving too many emails from multiple sources also said emails can easily be deleted. We will continue to send out emails when there is news of general interest - and post highlights on social media too.
ii. Rating of CSM activities - there was a general consensus that one of our greatest strengths is the focus on students and everyone valued all the opportunities we provide for our CSM student members: Awards - Armand Frappier Outstanding Student Award, Undergraduate Awards, Graduate Ambassador Awards, and Annual Conference student poster and oral awards; Funding - student organized Microbiology symposia; and Leadership - representation on the Executive Committee, CSM representatives at home organizations.
iii. Why are you a CSM member - so many positive comments were made about the Society - thank-you! The key themes were that respondents felt the CSM Annual Conference was an excellent opportunity for networking and that it was very important to support Canadian Microbiology.
iv. Suggestions for session themes for the Annual Conference that will be passed along to future meeting organizers - the majority of responses that we received recommended broader interdisciplinary themes with more virology and applications (biotech, agriculture, vaccines, etc). Then there were many theme requests that reflected the diversity of the Microbiology interests in Canada e.g. to also see more glycobiology; physiology; antimicrobial resistance; microbial pathogenesis; ecology; eukaryotic microbiology; immunology; biofilms; interbacterial interactions; beneficial microbes; microbes of plants, soil, water; microbiome research and its influence in cancer, intestinal pathologies and other ailments; bacterial secretion systems; -omics; plus more on education. There was also a notable suggestion to "Highlight the most creative and impactful science from Canadian labs from the past year."
v. Conference elements to keep - the general consensus is that everyone likes the conferences in the current format.
vi. Conference elements to remove/decrease - better representation of the national community and more thought into the design of poster sessions. There were also suggestions to broaden the themes.
vii. Suggestions for future speakers - all the recommendations have been compiled into a list for future meeting organizers that include many excellent Canadian and International speakers.
- Note that the CSM has joined the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences in their campaign to do the Double Double. Please refer to the petition page for further details and request a doubling of the CIHR and NSERC operating grants by 2019. We encourage you to participate in this initiative to help increase funding for Canadian research.
- The International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) is calling for submissions of nominees for two awards which will be presented at the IUMS Congress in Singapore in July 2017. Nominations must be received by April 15 2017.
- Remember to take advantage of all the member benefits including highlighting your research on the "Meet the Microbiologist" page and listing free "Career Opportunities" on our website, in addition to receiving reduced registration fees at our Annual CSM Conference, discounts in publishing articles in our society journal (Canadian Journal of Microbiology), and access to our member-only awards and student funding opportunities.