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.

30-year journey: winning the battle against Hepatitis C

Michael Houghton, University of Alberta

Brought to the University of Alberta in 2010 by the Canada Excellence in Research Chair (CERC) program, Dr. Michael Houghton is closing in on the ultimate solution for the Hepatitis C blood infections. In collaboration with Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, his laboratories have developed a strong vaccine candidate that is now being manufactured for clinical testing next year. For Houghton, this marks the culmination of an illustrious career. In 1989, working in the USA, he and colleagues discovered the hepatitis C virus and developed blood tests used around the world to protect the global blood supply. The discovery also led to recent approval of antiviral drugs that can cure the majority of patients. However the need for a vaccine remains urgent. The drugs are costly and in Canada each year the debilitating and sometimes fatal disease still infects 10,000 new individuals, the majority of these among our most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens.

Michael Houghton (PhD Biochemistry, King’s College, University of London, UK), directs the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta. Funding for the vaccine development comes from the CERC program, Western Economic Diversification, the Albertan government, Alberta Innovates, and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. Professor Houghton has received many awards including an Gairdner International Award. He is the co-author of more than 90 patents, and over 250 publications in scientific journals.

This breakfast is co-sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and CanHepC.

The presentation will be in English.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE).
Supported by: CANARIE inc. and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and many other sponsors.

The Speaker of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Commons

Date: Thursday, November 23, 2017, 7:30 am - 8:30 am (Hot breakfast is ready by 7am)
Location: Parliamentary Dining Room, Centre Block
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $25. Payment must be made in advance by credit card. No refunds for cancellations after November 20, 2017.

Contact information: Donna Boag,, 613-991-6369