(Student Honours below)

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Denice Bay has won a 2018 U of M/UMFA Merit award for in the “Service” category.  In addition to Denice’s never tiring service as chair of the graduate studies program (efforts which have resulted in record levels of MMID student awards this year at Research Days), she also serves as UMFA rep, worked on a committee to help define faculty teaching loads in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and is involved in training activities at the RFHS and nationally for the Canadian Society for Microbiology, among many other activities.

Congratulations to Dr Blake Ball (NML/MMID) for winning the “Researcher of the year - Basic Sciences” award from the Canadian Association for HIV Research and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.

At the joint meeting of AMMI and CACMID the following affiliated members won awards.  Congratulations to:
2018 AMMI – Canada Lifetime Achievement Award:  Dr. Greg Hammond
John G. Fitzgerald – CACMID Outstanding Microbiologist Award:  Dr. Allan Ronald
Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases – Dr. John M. Embil Mentorship Award in Infectious Diseases: Dr. Yoav Keynan

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation President’s Medal for Excellence in Housing Research - Dr. Linda Larcombe and Mr. Evan Yassie (Sayisi Dene First Nation), 2018

Educators of the year (Dec. 2018)
Jim Parker Award (UGME)- George Zhanel
Clinical Educator (PGME) – Andrew Walkty
Faculty Educator (MMID Graduate Students) – Jason Kindrachuk
Dr. Fred Aoki Career Achievement – Kevin Coombs
Theresa Birkholz Support Staff – Adriana Trajtman
Ethan Rubinstein Memorial Clinician Scientist – Kelly McDonald
Frank Plummer Researcher of the Year – Keith Fowke
Frank Plummer PDF/Research Associate – Julie Lajoie (Research Associate)
Research Manitoba New Investigator Operating Grant  – Jason Kindrachuk

2017 Merit Awards announced (announced May 29, 2018)

George Zhanel, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Research, Scholarly Work and Creative Activities
Lyle McKinnon, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Ayush Kumar, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science

Lyle Mckinnon -  Recipient of the 2018 Ken Hughes Young Investigator Award for Medical Research

Jason Kindrachuk and Denice Bay received a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant that will improve the infrastructure in their labs allowing them to conduct cutting edge research.

Kevin Coombs and Jason Kindrachuk received NSERC 5 year Discovery grant

Congratulations to Angela Nelson, recipient of the University of Manitoba Service Award of Excellence for Support Staff.

Congratulations to Drs. Denice Bay and George Zhanel Co-Chairs, AMR Symposium on a very successful day.

Congratulations to Drs. Lyle McKinnon and Paul McLaren, Co-Chairs, HIV Symposium on a very successful day.

CIHR HIV Innovation grants
· Lyle McKinnon
· New Investigator awards to Adam Burgener and Ruey Su

Congratulations of the 2017 Research Manitoba Health Research Competition awardees
· Dr. Silvia Cardona – Mid-Career Operating award
· Dr. Denice Bay – New Investigator Operating award
· Dr. Aida Sivro – Post-Doctoral fellowship

Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Dr. Gary Kobinger of the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg have won this year’s $100,000 Manning Innovation Principal Award for developing ZMapp, the world’s first Ebola disease antivirus.

The 2017 Faculty of Science recipient - Award for Best Mentor - Silvia Cardona

Joanne Embree - YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the science, technology and research category May 2017

We are pleased to announce that Lyle McKinnon has been awarded the 2017 Excellence in Research Award in the Basic Sciences track form Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR). 

At the March 7, 2017 teaching awards ceremony for Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME), Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases teaching excellence nominations:

Dr Pierre Plourde (Med 1 and Med 2)
Dr Fred Aoki (Med 1 and Med 2)
Dr Marissa Becker (Med 1)
Dr Eric Bow (Med 1)
Dr Phil Lagace-Wiens (Med 1 and Med 2)
Dr George Zhanel (Med 1 and Med 2 and winner teaching inspirational award)

Dr John Embil (Med 2)
Dr Sergio Fanella (Med 2)
Dr Ken Kasper (Med 3)
Dr Jared Bullard (Med 3)
Dr Evelyn Lo (Med 3)

The CIHR 2016 project grant results are in. Congratulations to Medical Microbiology’s 2016 CIHR Project Scheme Grant Recipients:
Dr. Marissa Becker
Dr. Keith Fowke
Dr. Lyle McKinnon

Dr. Lyle McKinnon was awarded a CIHR New Investigator 5 year salary award (July 2016)

Join us in congratulating our Research Manitoba award winner (July 2016):
Dr. Song Liu (Assistant Professor in Medical Microbiology)

Dr. Denice Bay obtained a NSERC Discovery grant for a project entitled "The influence of bacterial lipid composition variation on transporter function and folding" Announced July 2016

Congratulations to Jude Uzonna for receiving the Ed Kroeger Mentorship Award

Angela Nelson has been nominated for a Service Award of Excellence for Support Staff

Kathryn Bernard was awarded the Canadian College of Microbiology's Distinguished Microbiologist Award at the AMMI-CACMID Meeting 2016

Rachel Dwilow has been awarded a Dean of Medicine's Education and Research Fellowship for 2017

Frank Plummer, recipient of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, 2016.

Congratulations to our very own Fred Aoki who as awarded the 2015 AMMI Canada Distinguished Service Award from Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (AMMI) Canada.  This is a very prestigious award and is in recognition of his “many years of devoted service to our association and to the field of infectious disease in general”.

Medical Microbiology wishes to congratulate our own Dr. Stephen Moses who has been announced the 2016 Mark Wainberg Lecturer at the upcoming Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) in May 2016.  The Wainberg lectureship is a prestigious lifetime achievement award given to a prominent member of the Canadian HIV research community.  Congratulations Stephen!

Congratulations go out to UM-affiliated NML researchers Gary Kobinger, Jim Strong, Darwyn Kobasa and Steve Theriault who all received grants in CIHR's Innovative Ebola Research Grants.

Dr. Allan Ronald Selected as WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame’s 2015 Inductee (for more information, click here)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research awards
Keith Fowke
(medical microbiology) project titled “Understanding HIV-mediated innate immune dysregulation: The role of the immune inhibitory protein LAG-3.”
Kevin Coombs (medical microbiology/Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba)  project titled “Signaling perturbations during influenza virus replication and pathogenesis.”

John G. Fitzgerald Award - Kathryn Bernard received the John G Fitzgerald award for the 2015 Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases "Outstanding Microbiologist" at AMMI-CACMID (

National Institues of Health Award - Dr. Adam Burgener has received a 5-year research subaward grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project entitled “Why did an vaccine enhance HIV acquisition?”. This R01 grant from the NIH ($3.4 million), lead by Professor Chris Miller at the University of California, Davis, is to understand the mechanisms of enhanced virus susceptibility of the Merck Ad5 vaccine, which was shown to increase risk of HIV infection in humans during the HVTN 505 trial. Dr. Burgener’s research has focused on host immunology to HIV at the systems level utilizing proteomics techniques

Nominated - Drs. Kobinger and Qiu have been nominated for the Ernest C. Manning Innovations Award (

Congratulations to Dr. Adam Burgener, whose team was one of three chosen to receive grants under the auspices of the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI), the teams have been awarded grants totalling $3.4 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their goal is to improve our understanding of the mucosal immune response to HIV ( Medical Microbiology members, PI  Keith Fowke and co-investigators Julie Lajoie, Joshua Kimani are a part of the Charu Kaushic's (McMaster) team which also received a grant from CHVI. (

College of Medicine Teaching Recognition Dinner 2015 Celebrating 2013/2014 Teaching Awards Med 1 -4, Medical Microbiology recognized faculty:
Med 1 mentorship: Dr. John Embil, Dr. George Zhanel
Med 1 inspiration: Dr. George Zhanel
Med 1 innovation: Dr. George Zhanel
Med 2 innovation: Dr. John Embil, Dr. George Zhanel
Med 3/4 clinical teaching: Dr. Sergio Fanella

Banting Postdocotral Fellowship - Congratulations to Gary Wong who not only won a prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship from the CIHR but was ranked #1 out of 228 top applicants across Canada. Gary graduated with his PhD from Medical Microbiology in Oct 2014 and was a graduate student in Gary Kobinger’s lab at the National Microbiology Lab working on an Ebola project. Gary is now a postdoctoral fellow in China.

Drewry Award - Gary Wong a Postdoctoral Fellow, won the highly prestigious award, given to the "best of the best" at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum June 2015

Health Sciences Centre Foundation Infection and Immunity Award - Gary Wong, supervised by Dr. Gary Kobinger

Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada Annual Conference 2015
Dr. Mike Mulvey awarded honorary membership in AMMI-nominated by Dr. George Zhanel and Dr. Ronald Allen
Dr. John Embil won two awards from Doctors Manitoba for Health and Safety and the University/Family Physicians as Educator of the Year, the first award made by CME group
Dr. Fred Aoki awarded ‘Canadian medical association senior membership’ by Doctors Manitoba



2019 Vanier Scholar: Allison Balasko

2019 Emerging Leaders- recognized for outstanding contributions
Allison Balasko, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences: Medical Microbiology (PhD candidate)
Jasmine Frost, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences: Medical Microbiology (PhD candidate)
Carmine Slipski, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences: Medical Microbiology (PhD candidate)

Graduate Student Knowledge into Action – Alan McGreevy and Monika Kowatsch
Research Manitoba/Rady Faculty of Health Sciences studentships:

Hossaena Ayele (advisor A. Burgener)
Lauren Garnett (advisor J. Strong)
Michaela Nickol (advisor J. Kindrachuk)
Manitoba Graduate Scholarships:
Sandra Choi (advisor L. McKinnon)
Faisal Nuhu (advisor L. McKinnon)
Tosin Omole (advisor L. McKinnon)
Rachel Hink (advisor G. Zhanel)
University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships:
Monika Kowatsch (advisor K. Fowke)
Brayden Schindell (advisor J. Kindrachuk)
Andrew Webb (advisor J. Kindrachuk)
International Student Entrance Scholarships:
Cheli Kambaran (advisor L. McKinnon)
Faisail Nuhu (advisor L. McKinnon)
Titus Olukitibi (advisor X. Yao)
Tosin Omole (advisor L. McKinnon)

Student Name

 Project Title Supervisor  Award Won  Program 
Andy Injun Seo Screening System Development for the rapid detection of cationic antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria Dr. Denice Bay and Dr. George Zhanel  BSc(Med) Program award for an outstanding basic sciences project

$1,000 cash prize

Achieng Tago  Time trends in female sex worker HIV prevalence in Nairobi County, Kenya (2008-2017) Dr. Lyle McKinnon  Polly and George Sheps Prize for Presenting an outstanding thesis in social, preventative or community medicine

$575 cash prize

Andy Injun Seo Screening System Development for the rapid detection of cationic antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria Dr. Denice Bay and Dr. George Zhanel Awarded the ADE & Co. Award for Excellence in Biochemistry & Molecular Biochemistry with Potential for Commercial Application

$200 cash prize

 Andy Injun Seo Screening System Development for the rapid detection of cationic antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria Dr. Denice Bay and Dr. George Zhanel Dr. Charles Schom Travel Bursary

Reimbursement prize to attend and present at the National Student Research Forum in Galveston, TX

Tony Mao Inflammatory pattern in HIV Patients with community acquired pneumonia and its relationship with pulmonary dysfunction Dr. Yoav Keynan 1949 Travel Bursary

Reimbursement prize to attend and present at the National Student Research Forum in Galveston, TX

Carmen Tse Surveillance of echinococcus multilocularis in periurban and urban foxes and coyotes around Winnipeg, Manitoba Dr. Jared Bullard

Best Scientific research prize for MED II

$100 GCard to the Bookstore

Neil Reed Heterogeneity of the sub-Saharan HIV epidemic in Nairobi-based female sex workers Dr. Lyle McKinnon

Dr. Jack C Wilt Memorial Award for excellence and outstanding promise in research relating to infectious diseases, microbiology or communicable diseases

$1,000 cash prize from MMSF


Colin Graydon – UMFA Paul Fortier Prize for Student Activism for 2017
Allison Balasko – UM Student Affairs Participation Award
Monika Kowatsch – Best MMID PhD student research presentation 2017/2018

MMID top three student research seminar presenters for 2017-2018

Monika Kowatsch (PhD. presentation)
Title of presentation: The Use of Flow Cytometry for the Detection of Cell Trafficking Markers in the Blood
Supervisor: Dr. Keith Fowke

Jessie Varga (MSc. presentation)
Title of presentation: A Novel Role of Vaccinia Virus mRNA Capping Enzyme in Determining Virus Host Range
Supervisor: Dr. Jingxin Cao
Riley Tough (Rookie presentation)
Title of presentation: Functional Mapping of a Novel Genomic Locus Associated With Control of HIV Infection
Supervisors: Drs. Paul McLaren and Blake Ball

Three Minute Thesis Competition at University of Manitoba - Third Place, Carmine Slipski (April 2018)

Host Pathogen Interactions Journal Club January 2018:
Best Presentation:  Breanna Head
Best Rookie Presentation: Abu Siddik
Bacteriology Journal Club January 2018:
Best Presentation:  Carmine Slipski
Best Rookie Presentation:  Matt Klaassen

Molecular Virology Journal Club January 2018:
Best Presentation: Graham Casey
Best Rookie Presentation:  Lauren Garnett

Congratulations to Andrew Plesniarski, recipient of the Allan Ronald Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases graduate studentship award

Congratulations to the 2017 Research Manitoba Poster Award
· HSC Graduate Student Associate Caucus Poster Awards
· Helene Schulz PhD (Severini)
· Nicola Cartwright, MSc (Bay)

Dean of Graduate Studies Poster Award
· Breanne Head, PhD (Keynan)
· Jasmine Frost, MSc (Severini)
· Kerry Dust, PhD (Severini)

Manitoba Medical Services Foundation Award
· Amrit Boese

Congratulations to Andrew Denisuik, recipient of the 2017 Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (CACMID) Poster Award

Congratulations of the 2017 Research Manitoba Health Research Competition awardees
· Breanne Head – PhD studentship
· Shirin Moosavai – PhD studentship
· Md Mahamud ur Rashid – MSc studentship

Here are the winners of the Manitoba Poster Competition – Medical Microbiology Version (May 30, 2017):
Group 1: Andrew Plesniarski
Group 2: Breanne Head
Group 3: Carmine Slipski
Group 4: Robyn Thorington

MD/PhD student Andrew Denisuik won a  "Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CACMID) Poster Award” at AMMI/CACMID in Toronto, ON (May 2017)

Congratulations to Colin Graydon for finishing 3rd in the 3 Minute Thesis competition. Allison Balasko also performed very well, congratulations to her for making it to the finals.

Colin Graydon - Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (October 2016)

Andrew Mcdermid (Advisor Dr. Tim Booth) - UMGSA Award (September 2016)
Each year the Graduate Students’ Association confers peer-to-peer recognition of fellow graduate students who are currently not recognized by the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship, or other national awards.

Join us in congratulating our Research Manitoba award winners (July 2016):
Operating:  Mid-Career:
Coordinated Studentship:
PhD Degree:
Amrit Boese (Dr. Stephanie Booth, Advisor)
Xiaozhuo Ran (Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao, Advisor)
Master Degree:
Monika Kowatsch (Dr. Keith Fowke, Advisor)
Xu Zhang (Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao, Advisor)

Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Inc. Poster Awards 2016
The poster of PhD candidate Jessica Forbes (advisor Dr. Gary Van Domselaar) has been forwarded to the National competition portion of the forum for consideration

Dean of Medicine Awards
Jessica Forbes
(PhD student; advisor Dr. Gary Van Domselaar)
Dean of Graduate Studies Awards
Michelle Perner (PhD student; advisor Dr. Adam Burgener)
Manitoba Medical Service Foundation Awards
Monika Kowatsch (MSc student; advisor Dr. Keith Fowke)

Honorable Mentions
Helene Schulz (PhD student; advisor Dr. Alberto Severini)
Angela Harris (MSc student; advisor Dr. Blake Ball)
Chongbo Zhao (PhD student; advisor Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao)
Xu Zhang (MSc student; advisor Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao)

Major Awards
Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Inc.
Anna Majer
(PhD student; graduated October 2015; advisor Dr. Stephanie Booth)

2015-2016 Award recipients for the Medical Microbiology Student Research Presentations:
PhD Award: Lindsay Aboud
MSc Award: Colin Graydon
Rookie Award: Monika Kowatsch

Masters student Jessie Varga, received a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship MSc scholarship (2016). Jessie is a student of Dr. Cao

Congratulation to Colin Graydon who was just awarded a Emerging Leaders award from the U of M. Emerging Leaders are students who support the university community and educational mission by contributing to social, cultural or economic well-being here or off campus, encourage cross-cultural understanding, and demonstrate sustained leadership.

Colin Graydon received a three-year Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He’s one of only 55 recipients of this prestigious award across the country. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health-related fields.  Congratulations Colin.

Irene Xie: Congratulations to Irene Xie for the award, best presentation, for her Med II research project on "A proteomics approach to characterizing the vaginal microbiome in bacterial vaginosis" completed in Dr. Burgener's lab. Thanks to Dr. Keynan for co-supervising.

Research Manitoba Awards - July 2015
Postdoctoral Fellowships:
Dr. Jennifer Juno
Dr. Ifeoma Okwor

Alyssa Golden, PhD (Advisor, Dr. George Zhanel)
Kristyn Campbell, MSc (Advisor, Dr. Stephanie Booth)
Colin Graydon, MSc (Advisor, Dr. Keith Fowke)
Michelle Perner, MSc (Co-Advisors, Dr. Adam Burgener and Dr. Xiaojian Yao)

Niaz Rahim has been awarded a $500 student travel grant to attend the 2015 American Society for Virology 34th annual meeting hosted by Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.

Canadian Student Health Research Forum poster competition June 2015

Lauren Girard - supervised by Dr. Adam Burgener, received a poster award (Manitoba Medical Research Foundation) for her proteomic work on the Griffithsin based microbicide as part of her co-op research project.

Michelle Perner - supervised by Dr. Adam Burgener, received an honourable mention for her poster presentation on her research for improving mass spectrometry based methods for mucosal immunology.

Ifeoma Okwor - supervised by Dr. Jude Uzonna, won the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba Child Health Award

Best Journal Club Presentation

Molecular Virology Journal Club  
Year Name
2016-2017 Taeyo Chestley (Best Presentation)
Jessie Varga (Best Rookie)

Taeyo Chestley, PhD (Best Presentation)
Graham Casey, MSc (Best Rookie)

2014-2015 Mable Hagan, PhD, and Melissa Rabb, PhD (1st)
Kristyn Campbell, MSc (Best Rookie)
2013-2014 Taeyo Chestley, PhD, and Anna Majer, PhD (1st)
Guillaume Poliquin, PhD (Best Rookie)
2012-2013 Tracie EisBrenner, PhD (1st)
Chris Huynh, MSc (Best Rookie)
2011-2012 Taeyo Chestley, PhD (1st)
Melissa Rabb, MSc (Best Rookie)
2010-2011 Kyle Brown, PhD (1st)
Philippe Simon, PhD (Best Rookie)
2009-2010 Tracie EisBrenner, PhD (1st)
Shantel Gushue, MSc (Best Rookie)
Host Pathogen Interactions Journal Club  
2016-2017 Monika Kowatsch (Best Presentation)
Allison Balasko (Best Rookie)
2015-2016 Lindsay Aboud PhD (Best Presentation)
Monika Kowatsch MSc (Best Rookie)
2014-2015 Lewis Liu, PhD (1st)
Florence Mutua, PhD (Best Rookie)
2013-2014 Aida Sivro, PhD (1st)
Laura Romas, MSc (Best Rookie)
2012-2013 Kallesh Danappa Jayappa, PhD (1st)
Andrew Stalker, MSc (Best Rookie)
2011-2012 Jennifer Juno, PhD (1st)
Courtney Bell, MSc (Best Rookie)
2010-2011 Jennifer Juno, PhD (1st)
Lindsay Aboud, MSc (Best Rookie)
2009-2010 Mickey Sahib, MSc (1st)
Brenda-Lee Murray, MSc (Best Rookie)
Bacteriology Journal Club  
2016-2017 Alyssa Golden (Best Presentation)
Carmine Slipski (Best Rookie)
2015-2016 Leanne Scharikow MSc (Best Presentation)
Chris Yachison MSc (Best Rookie)
2014-2015 Jessica Forbes, PhD (1st)
Leanne Scharikow, MSc (Best Rookie)
2013-2014 Breanne Head, MSc (1st)
Romaine Edirmanasinghe, MSc (Best Rookie)
2012-2013 Jessica Forbes, PhD (1st)
Alyssa Golden, PhD (Best Rookie)
2011-2012 Amarnath Pisipati, PhD (1st)
Andrew Denisuik, MSc (Best Rookie)
2010-2011 Dylan Voth, MSc (1st)
Shelley Peterson, MSc (Best Rookie)
2009-2010 Trish Simner, PhD (1st)
Jennifer Ziegler, MSc (Best Rookie)