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STUDENTS  ::  Studying Microbiology in Canada

Studying Microbiology in Canada

University of Alberta

Department Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Overview The Microbiology and Biotechnology research group offers a challenging graduate program to students who want to study the genetics, physiology and biotechnological exploitation of microbial cells and more complex organisms such as parasites and fungi. Graduate students can contribute to cutting-edge basic and applied research at the molecular and cellular level in areas including genetic engineering of microbial cells; production of antibiotics and other microbial agents; resistance to biodegradation of environmental pollutants; cell differentiation; microbial stress responses; pathogen-host interactions. Graduate students of the MMI department have ready access to a wide range of facilities and state-of-the-art equipment.

Research Facilities - FACS facility for cell surface staining and cell sorting that includes two FACSCAN units and a Coulter cell sorter.
- Scanning and transmission electron microscope facility.
- Confocal microscopy facility for cell biology studies.
- Phosphoimager for metabolic and cell signalling studies.
- DNA sequencing and oligonucleotide synthesis facilities.
- Peptide synthesis and sequencing as well as mass spectrometry facilities.
- Two x-ray diffraction data collection systems for structural biology.
- BIAcore technology for real time measurement of on-rates and off-rates of biomolecular interactions.
- Animal facilities (including transgenic mouse breeding facilities).
- Level III biocontainment unit.

In addition to the facilities listed, MMI graduate students have access to ultracentrifuges, film processors, radioisotope facilities etc. to carry out their research studies.

List of Faculty Michele Barry, PhD - Research in my laboratory is currently focused on understanding how members of the poxviruses family evade apoptosis.

Debby Burshtyn, PhD - The focus of my research is to understand how killer cell inhibitory receptors function by studying the intracellular events that occur when inhibitory receptors are engaged.

Peter Dickie, PhD - I study numerous transgenic mouse lines expressing HIV-1 gene products for the purpose of defining the inherent pathogenicity of viral genes.

John F Elliott, MD, PhD - HLA transgenic NOD mouse models to probe the cause of human autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and psoriasis.

David H. Evans, PhD - Research concerning the biology of poxviruses

Edan Foley, PhD - High throughput RNA interference (RNAi) as a tool to identify the networks that regulate innate immune signaling in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster.

Judy Gnarpe, Dr Med. Sci. - Role of Chlamydia pneumoniae in chronic diseases.

Larry Guilbert, PhD - In utero transmission of infectious diseases and the immunology of pregnancy.

Bart Hazes, PhD - Structural studies of disease-associated proteins using protein crystallography and bioinformatics.

Randall T Irvin, PhD - Characterization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesins, their respective epithelial cell receptors, their role in Pseudomonas pathogenesis and development of of an effective anti-adhesin vaccine. Characterization of Candida albicans adhesins and other asialo-GM1 adhesins.

Kevin Kane, PhD - Regulation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and natural killer (NK) cell recognition and destruction of pathologically altered cells, including virally infected cells and cancer cells. Role of class I MHC proteins in these processes. Influence of bacteria on antigen processing and presentation to T cells.

Kinga T Kowalewska-Grochowska, MD - Antimicrobial drug resistance.

Hanne Ostergaard, PhD - Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are required for the elimination of virally infected cells, cells infected with other intracellular pathogens and cancer cells. We are trying to understand how these cells become activated in response to antigen stimulation to facilitate knowledge-based manipulation of CTL to enhance protective immunity.

Mark S Peppler, DPhil - Molecular pathobiology of Bordetella species

Lynne Sigler, MSc - Systematics of fungi in the human environment.

James R Smiley, PhD - Molecular genetics of mammalian nuclear DNA viruses; control of viral and cellular gene expression; cellular antiviral defense mechanisms

Markus Stein, PhD - Understanding the complex interactions between the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori and the eukaryotic cells.

Diane E Taylor, PhD - Genetics and resistance mechanisms of Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori; Genetics of plasmids from Enterobacteriaceae

D Lorne J Tyrrell, MD, PhD - Molecular biology of hepadnaviruses. Animal models for hepatitis B & C. Chemo- and Immunotherapy for chronic hepatitis B & C

Financial Support Available Each supervisor is responsible for finding financial support for the graduate student until completion of the degree unless the student is not making normal progress towards completing his/her degree. Examples of inadequate progress would include not maintaining the minimum grade average, unsatisfactory performance at two consecutive supervisory meetings, and failure to pass the candidacy exam. The supervisor is required to support the student for up to three years for a M.Sc. and up to five years for a Ph.D. The level of support should be consistent with that outlined in the CIHR guidelines (currently $17,850) and should be paid through University-administered funds. Supervisors are also reminded that foreign students pay a 100% differential fee which will be more than $5,000 per year, depending on the number of courses taken and should be supplemented accordingly. The supervisor will provide funds separate from the stipend amount listed above to cover the entire cost of tuition fees.

All students, if they are qualified to do so, are required to apply to outside granting agencies, such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, for funding as soon as it is appropriate to do so. Students with excellent academic records are encouraged to apply for NSERC awards prior to or at the initiation of the graduate program. They should also apply for any University-sponsored fellowships for which they qualify. The Department can make no commitment to the financial support of the graduate students beyond the first term (for rotating students) and has no source of long term funding for students.

Admissions and Enquiries Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
1-41 Medical Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H7
Phone: 780-492-2309
Fax: 780-492-7521
Email: mmi.mail@ualberta.ca

Web: http://www.ualberta.ca/~mmi/

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CSM-SCM Secretariat
17 Dossetter Way
Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3

Tel: (613) 421-7229

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