Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

Preparing for the next pandemic: how we can gain the upper hand against new diseases


Eleanor Fish, University of Toronto

Newly emerging viral infections represent a significant threat to human health. Three major influenza pandemics in the last century together killed more people than any other natural disaster or war. More recently, SARS emerged in China and spread rapidly to 30 countries, causing over 800 deaths. In the wings lurks H5N1, a highly pathogenic influenza virus that many believe to be an increasing pandemic threat.

Dr. Eleanor Fish, a leading immunologist at the University of Toronto, will talk about the risk that emerging diseases pose for Canada as well as research advances that suggest new avenues to help our bodies defend themselves. These findings stress the importance of understanding the human ‘host’ in devising strategies that can work effectively under the time and economic constraints imposed by a pandemic. Dr. Fish will also introduce a new pharmacoecomic model for drug development, in which Canada has the potential to take a leadership role.

Dr. Fish is a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto. She is director of the University Health Network’s Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre and heads the Network’s Division of Cell & Molecular Biology at the Toronto General Research Institute. She is known internationally for her work on cell signalling proteins (cytokines) and in particular their roles in host-pathogen interactions and in autoimmune disease.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate
--the Speaker of the House of Commons
--Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Place: Room 200, West Block, Parliament Hill
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $15
Registration: Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Coordinator: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Monday March 3rd