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STUDENTS  ::  Studying Microbiology in Canada

Studying Microbiology in Canada

University of Western Ontario

Department Microbiology & Immunology


The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is a core department in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and places a special emphasis on biomedical research and teaching with a focus on human disease, infection, and immunity. The Department is committed to the training of Ph.D. and M.Sc. students through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Graduate Program revolves around two major fields of scientific endeavor:

- The molecular and cellular biology of microorganisms

- The molecular and cellular biology of the immune system.

These fields involve studies on bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and immune cells with an emphasis on molecular biology, biochemistry, and pathogenesis.

Research Facilities

Excellent facilities and resources for carrying out research are available in the Department as well as in the University Hospital, Lawson Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute, and the London Regional Cancer Program at Victoria Hospital.

List of Faculty Dr. Stephen Barr – TRIM22 is an interferon-induced gene which is able to prevent HIV release from infected cells. The mechanism behind this defense is unknown and is the main research focus.

Dr. Peter Cadieux – Bacterial infections of the urinary and urogenital tracts, incorporating in vitro methods, animal models and clinical samples.

Dr. Ewa Cairns – The role of MHC class II molecules and auto-antigens in the development of rheumatic autoimmune diseases, specifically Rheumatoid Arthritis (RADr. Carol Creuzenet –To elucidate the molecular basis for the biosynthesis of surface virulence factors in the human pathogens, Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

Dr. Greg Dekaban –Major research focuses are to develop 1) improved vaccines for HIV/AIDS and cancer; 2) novel acute anti-inflammatory treatments for spinal cord injury.

Dr. Rod Dekoter – Study of transcription factors that regulate the immune system with a focus on PU.1 where reduced levels have been correlated to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Dr. Lakshman Gunaratnam – Study of the potential role of kidney injury molecule-1 in regulating the immune response and in preventing kidney transplant rejection.

Dr. Mansour Haeryfar - (1) Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) development in response to viral pathogens and tumor antigens; (2) Immunodominance hierarchies of CD8+ T cells; (3) Direct priming and cross-priming in CD8+ T cell responses.

Dr. David Heinrichs – Study of proteins of Staphylococcus aureus that are essential for the acquisition of iron.

Dr. Anthony Jevnikar – Study of autoimmune diseases, including diabetes and lupus kidney disease, and the prevention of kidney transplant rejection.

Dr. Yong Kang – Development of efficacious vaccines against various human diseases including AIDS, hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Sung Kim – Investigation of the molecular and signalling mechanisms by which macrophages interact and their response to different microbes including Bacillus anthracis, commensals and probiotics.

Dr. Jim Koropatnick –Investigation of the roles of metallothioneins and metal ion and amino acid transporter proteins that affect the toxicity and physiological activity of metals.

Dr. Susan Koval – Study of the mechanism of attachment and invasion of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, an obligate predator of other Gram-negative bacteria.

Dr. Tom Linn – Transcriptional and translational control mechanisms that regulate gene expression in prokaryotes. Emphasis is towards alternative sigma factors in Bacillus cereus, a species closely related to Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

Dr. Joaquin Madrenas – Regulation of the activation of T lymphocytes through their antigen receptor.

Dr. John McCormick –Structural and functional characterization of potent “super-antigen” toxins produced by Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus.Dr. Martin McGavin –Study of how secreted virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus, including serine-, cysteine- and metalloproteases promote rapid transition between colonization and infection.

Dr. Tina Mele – Investigation of human expressed genes and gene polymorphisms that impact the outcomes of sepsis.

Dr. Joe Mymryk –Use of small RNA viruses as tools to explore and discover fundamental mechanisms regulating eukaryotic cell growth and gene expression with focus on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Human Adenovirus.

Dr. Gregor Reid –Studies on how indigenous and exogenously applied (probiotic) lactobacilli confer health benefits in the gut and urogenital tract.

Dr. Bhagi Singh – Development of specific immunotherapeutic approaches for autoimmune type I diabetes (T1D).

Dr. Alp Sener – Establishment of novel strategies of minimizing post-transplant graft rejection and in promoting improved early and late allograft survival.

Dr. Miguel Valvano – Mechanism of assembly of O antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and pathogenesis of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.

Financial Support Available

It is the policy of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology that all Graduate Students receive a stipend that guarantees a living allowance (i.e. after tuition and ancillary fees) of no less than $12,500 for M.Sc. and $14,500 for Ph.D. students. This brings the total amount paid to each student to a minimum of ~$19,400-$21,400, before tuition. The base student stipend is typically a composite of funds from the supervisor's research grant, and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship funding (e.g. Schulich Graduate Scholarship or Western Graduate Research Scholarship).

A limited number of Teaching Assistantship positions (covered by the Collective Agreement between UWO and PSAC Local 00610) become available each year and information regarding these positions is communicated during the Summer term.. These are valued at approximately $2300 - $3300/ term and are normally above and beyond the base stipend values. Graduate Students in the Microbiology and Immunology program are also eligible for a number of competitive internal awards, including Departmental Entrance Scholarships.

Students are encouraged to apply to all available external agencies for support. Information on the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Awards program, and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Awards programs are made available when the program recieves the appropriate information.

Admissions and Enquiries Graduate Secretary
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario N6A 5C1

Phone: 519-661 3427
Fax: 519-661 3499
Email: jjbrace@uwo.ca

Web: http://www.uwo.ca/mni/

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Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3

Tel: (613) 421-7229

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