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MMI 2010 News Archive


University Teaching Program (UTP)

Congratulations to the following students who successfully completed the UTP: Carla Craveiro, Elisabeth Davis, Nancy Hu and Elsa Marquez on December 31, 2010. Great going (and great teaching) ladies! Thank you to Dr. Judy Gnarpe for her many years of leadership in this program!

Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell

Double Honours for
Dr. Lorne Tyrrell:

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame & Distinguished University Professor

On October 13, 2010, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame announced Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell as one of six inductees into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. For details, see The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the U of A Express News Dr. Tyrrell was also appointed a Distinguished University Professor (DUP), effective July 1, 2010. Congratulations Dr. Tyrrell!

GlaxoSmithKline donates $5 million to Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology



GlaxoSmithKline's president and CEO Paul Lucas has announced a major endowment of $5 million to the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. For Details, Click Here.


MMI Congratulates Our Graduates!


Dr. Kim Zimmerman and Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell

November is convocation time, and MMI is proud to congratulate our newest graduates: Andre Deslauriers, Katie Fagan, Melany Wagner, Kelly Watmough and Kim Zimmerman. All the best in your future endeavours - we will miss you!

Dr. Don Gammon's Research featured in Express News

Don Gammon

On November 4th 2010, Dr. Don Gammon was the winner of the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation award. Two awards are offered each year: one in engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences, which Don won, and one in fine arts, humanities and social sciences. These awards recognize doctoral students whose dissertations make an original contribution to their academic field.; Don’s research was recently highlighted in U of A Express news.

Pukatzki Lab News Story

Congratulations to the Pukatzki lab on their recent paper in PNAS explaining how outbreaks of cholera may sometimes recur six months or a year after the last reported case of the disease. For the CBC article click here.

Acknowledgement and congratulations to recent MSc and PhD graduates

Congratulations to the following students who have successfully defended their theses:

Graduates of 2010

Julia Parkman defended her MSc thesis on October 15, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "The role of Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) expression in the negative selection of T lymphocytes" Julia was a student in the Baldwin lab.

Kelly Mottet defended her MSc thesis on September 27, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Ubiquitin and the proteasome: Insights into the regulation of a poxviral ubiquitin ligase". Kelly was a student in the Barry lab.

Melany Wagner defended her PhD thesis on September 16, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Herpes Simplex Virus Requires VP11/12 to Activate Src Family Kinase-PI3 Kinase-Akt Signalling". Melany was a student in the Smiley lab.

Andre Deslauriers defended his MSc thesis on August 13, 2010. His thesis defense seminar title was "Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induction by an Endogenous Retrovirus Glycoprotein during Neuroinflammation: Regulation by a Free-radical Scavenger". Andre was a student in the Power lab.

Kimberley Zimmerman defended her PhD thesis on July 21, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Zinc finger proteins: novel therapeutics for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B infection". Kim was a student in the Tyrrell lab.

Katharine Fagan-Garcia defended her MSc thesis on July 7, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Safety in numbers: a vaccinia virus deletion mutant reveals additional NF-kB inhibitors". Katie was a student in the Barry lab.

Catherine Ewen defended her PhD thesis on April 1, 2010. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Catching Killer Granzymes: M.O.'s, Forensic Tools, and Biological Cops". Catherine was a student in the Kane lab.

Stacey Gelowitz defended her MSc thesis on December 14, 2009. Her thesis defense seminar title was "Detection of ABO Blood Group Antigen-Specific B Cells to Facilitate Infant ABO-Incompatible Heart Transplantation". Stacey was a student in the West lab.

Don Gammon

Don Gammon wins a CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2010

Congratulations to Dr. Donald Gammon who is the winner of the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation award in the category of Engineering, Medical Sciences, and Natural Sciences.

These awards recognize doctoral students whose dissertations make an original contribution to their academic field. Two awards are offered each year: one in engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences; and one in fine arts, humanities and social sciences.

The awards will be given at the next Annual CAGS/UMI Conference on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto.

Congratulations, Don!

anya's baby


More Baby News

MMI graduate student Anja Schindler and her husband Guy announce the birth of their son, Menelik Bayegnak Kuate on August 10, 2010. Menelik weighed 6 lb. 13 oz. when he was born and Anja says that except for the parents' lack of sleep, all are doing fine.



A Good Luck Baby!

Jens Hendrik Steenbergen was born early in the morning on Friday, August 13, 2010. Jens weighed 8 lb. 3 oz. at birth and according to proud mother Rineke Steenbergen is a 'healthy little fellow'. Dr. Steenbergen is a Research Associate in the Tyrrell lab.


Congratulations to Ana Clementin of the Ostergaard lab who has received the 2010 Rhind Autoimmunity Research Award.





Dr. Stefan Pukatzki's research on Vibrio Cholerae was recently featured in Alberta Innovates Research News. For details, Click Here.



foleyCongratulations to Dr. Edan Foley on the successful renewal of his Tier 2 Canada Research Chair and a five-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant which supports a study of the regulation of innate immunity. In addition, Dr. Foley has recently secured a five-year Discovery grant with The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and an infrastructure award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leading Opportunities fund.

Lorne TyrrellDr. Lorne Tyrrell Honoured as Distinguished University Professor

Dr. Tyrrell has been appointed a Distinguished University Professor (DUP), effective July 1, 2010. The title of DUP at the University of Alberta recognizes those exceptional faculty members who are globally recognized leaders and whose exemplary teaching, research and citizenship have made them leaders in their disciplines internationally. Congratulations Dr. Tyrrell!


Dr. Kinga Kowalewska-Grochowska Receives 2009-2010 PARA Well-Being Award

Warmest congratulations to Dr. Kinga Kowalewska-Grochowska on receiving the 2009-2010 PARA Well-Being Award from the Professional Association of Residents of Alberta. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of staff physicians to resident physicians' well-being. In her nomination, Dr. Kowalewska-Grochowska was noted for her strong personal support of resident physicians and her advocacy on their behalf - "We residents are immensely fortunate to have such a wonderful mentor in our program". The award includes a commemorative plaque and a donation to charity on behalf of the recipient.

Don Gammon Receives 2010 Governor General's Award

Don Gammon

Congratulations to Don Gammon who received the 2010 Governor General's Award. Awarded annually to the student who achieves the highest academic standing at the graduate level. The Governor General’s Academic Medal was first awarded in 1873 by the Earl of Dufferin, and has since become one of the most prestigious awards that a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive. Don Gammon was a student in the Evans lab and is now a post-doc at the University of Massachusetts.


MMI 499 Project Student Wins Top Award


Our warmest congratulations to MMI 499 project student Dana MacIntyre (Pukatzki lab), who has been awarded The Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Award. Her project "Antimicrobial Properties of the Vibrio cholerae Type VI secretion System" was recognized as one of the very best Biology 499 projects. During her tenure in the Pukatzki lab, Dana found that Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, has evolved mechanisms to kill other bacteria. This is an exciting finding, because it may explain how Vibrio competes with other microbes in the environment and the human host.

Dr. Michael Houghton Joins MMI


MMI is proud to announce that Dr. Michael Houghton, recently recruited to the U of A as a Canada Excellence Research Chair, is joining the ranks of MMI professors after a long and distinguished career in industry. Dr. Houghton is a co-discoverer of the hepatitis C virus. His work here will focus on hepatitis C & B vaccinology, virology and immunology, as well as investigations into the viral etiology of inflammatory disease.


Congratulations to Summer Student Award Winners:

MMI looks forward to welcoming a number of summer students into department labs this year. Congratulations to the following undergraduate summer student award winners: Amogh Agrawal, Lucy Bradley, Selina Dobing, Kris Dodd, Dominic Golec, Melissa Harrison, Shangming Hou, Evgeniya Kazachenko, and Daniel Zimmerman.




Welcome to a rosy new arrival!

PhD student David Bond and his wife Claire are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter Ava Grace Bond, born March 19 weighing 5 lbs. 12 oz. Mother and daughter (and clearly, dad) are doing well.






Dr. Larry Guilbert Honoured at Banff Meeting

Dr. Larry Guilbert was recently honoured at the annual Western Perinatal Research Conference (Feb. 12-14) by giving the 2010 Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation Lectureship. The meeting is held every year at the Banff Conference Centre and draws investigators from Europe to Australia. Dr. Guilbert’s talk provided an overview of tissue culture, his role in developing tissue culture methods and how the methods have led to discovery. He covered the period beginning with his own graduate work (studies of reaction kinetics with no tissue culture) through to the present and forward as he outlined possibilities for the future of understanding cellular interactions in complex tissues. He was introduced (and gently roasted) by the U of A’s Dr. Sandy Davidge. The meeting also featured a talk by Dr. Marek Zygmunt, Professor and Chair of the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Greifswald, Germany (Dr. Guilbert’s chosen speaker).

Welcome to Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Brad Thomas

Brad Thomas, who recently joined the Tyrrell lab, was also recently awarded a 2010 NCRTP-Hepatitis C POstdoctoral Fellowship. Brad obtained his PhD in Calgary in 2009 in Dr. Derrick Rancourt's laboratory. Brad is an avid skier who at an earlier point in his career won three gold medals representing the Province of Ontario in downhill skiing.

MMI Post-Docs Win AHFMR Fellowships



Our warmest congratulations to Dr. Qian Wang (Barry Lab) and Dr. Bianca Dauber (Smiley Lab) on winning Fellowships in this year's AHFMR Fellowships Competition. The awards will fund research on the role of ectromelia virus BTB/Kelch proteins in virus/host interactions (Wang) and the novel role of the HSV-1 virion host shutoff protein in boosting translation of viral late gene transcripts (Dauber). Keep up the good work!

New Canadians, Eh?


Drs. Kevin Kane and Hanne Ostergaard had reason to celebrate this last week - they were officially sworn in as new Canadian citizens on Thursday, January 7, 2010. The Department marked this very special occasion with a party, including Tim Horton's Coffee, Canadian Flag cakes and a uniquely Canadian gift - after all, what Canadian music library is complete without the signature sound of "Stompin"Tom Connors? MMI sends warmest congratulations to our newest Canadians. For more pictures, Click Here.

For past news check the archives in the navigation menu.

For questions or comments about new items please contact Mary Pat Gibson.