Infectious disease course attracts students

May 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Advisory, Medicine

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) International Infectious Disease and Global Health (IID&GH) Training Program is offering a course that’s designed to enhance graduate and post-doctoral research training.

Arguably the most unique feature of the training program is that the major course that is held annually at one of the four international sites; bringing together all IID&GH trainees (both Canadian and International).

This year the two-week-long annual major course on Ecology of Infectious Diseases (Eco ID) will be held at the U of M’s Bannatyne Campus from May 6-17. It’s the second time since 2010 the Faculty of Medicine has played host.

“The course is intended to demonstrate to the students the inter-relatedness of infectious diseases with their physical, social, biological, and cultural surroundings,” explained Keith Fowke, professor in the departments of medical microbiology and community health sciences, Faculty of Medicine.

“A number of applied topics are covered and these are designed to improve the students’ ability to plan, prepare and execute a scientific proposal as well as prepare for their future as researchers.”

This year there are a total of 27 students enrolled. Fourteen are PhD students or post-doctoral fellows in the university’s Faculty of Medicine; one PhD student is from Memorial University of Newfoundland; and 12 (PhD and post-doctoral fellows) are visiting international trainees in the IID&GH Training program from each of the four centres which are home to sites of major research activities (Kenya, 4; India, 5; Colombia, 3).

In addition to Winnipeg, Man., a province that’s known nationally for its strength in infectious disease research, the sites include:

• Nairobi, Kenya: where contributions to the epidemiology and basic science of HIV transmission and natural resistance goes back 25 years;
• Bangalore, India: since 2000 is a respected leading centre in the development of innovative and effective HIV prevention strategies;
• Medellin, Colombia: the newest international site and a focus for HIV surveillance and prevention efforts in the region.

Under Fowke’s [PhD/95] direction the program’s mandate is to foster the development of the next generation of multidisciplinary infectious disease researchers which has been made possible through the support of a CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research grant.

The training program’s curriculum consists of the trainee’s major research project, a short practicum, monthly video conference meetings (Infectious Minds), a scientific symposium and an annual major course.

The final assignment of the major course will be a CIHR-style multi-disciplinary grant that is due four weeks following the end of the last class.

Media interviews can be arranged.

For more information contact Ilana Simon, Director of Communications & Marketing, Faculty of Medicine, at: 204-789-3427 or BB: 204-295-6777, or email:

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