Global Pandemic: Another Y2K or Future Apocalypse?

Featured Speakers' Bios

Frank Plummer

Dr. Frank Plummer is the Chief Science Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Scientific Director General of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Dr. Plummer is recognized in Canada and abroad for his work in public health and science, having received numerous honours.

In 2001, he was named Canada Research Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has also been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, has served as an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences in the US, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Governments of Kenya, India and Lesotho.

Dr. Plummer received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1976 and trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Southern California, the University of Manitoba, the University of Nairobi, and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. He joined the University of Manitoba faculty in 1984 and is currently Distinguished Professor at that University of Manitoba, as well as Professor of Medical Microbiology and Community Health Sciences.

Michelle Driedger

A health geographer by training, Michelle Driedger is currently an Associate Professor, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Environment and Health Risk Communication, in the Department of Community Health Sciences.  Michelle’s broad areas of research interests include public and health risk communication, risk perception, and knowledge translation under conditions of uncertainty. Drawing primarily on qualitative methods, Michelle’s research focus involves the study of how new and emerging risk controversies develop in science, policy and public forums.


Anand Kumar

Dr. Anand Kumar is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Diseases), Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology/Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba and an attending physician at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospital. In addition, he is appointed as an Associate Professor of Medicine (Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Diseases) at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Toronto Hospital—University of Toronto. Dr. Kumar subsequently completed Fellowships in Critical Care Medicine and Cardiovascular Research at Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Kumar is trained in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Diseases with translational research interests in sepsis and life-threatening infections.  He has published over 350 original research manuscripts, reviews/chapters and abstracts.

Joanne Embree

Dr. Embree is the Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology as well as a Specialist in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health.  Her primary research has been related to determining the factors which affect the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children in both Nairobi and Canada. She is the Winnipeg site coordinator for IMPACT, the national immunization monitoring program in Canada and the Canadian National Infection Prevention and Surveillance hospital infection control network. She has also served on a number of advisory committees, most notably: the National Immunization Advisory Committee, the Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics for which she was the Canadian Paediatric Society liaison. She was the pediatric infectious disease specialist who was on call during the height of the June 2009 first wave of pandemic influenza in Manitoba.

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