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.

Anticipating where the puck is going to be: using advanced technologies to keep ahead in the evolutionary struggle with the microbial world


Francis A. Plummer, National Microbiology Laboratory (Winnipeg), Public Health Agency of Canada and University of Manitoba

In recent decades, more than 40 new or newly recognized diseases have emerged, largely from animal populations, to become local challenges or major pandemics like swine flu. At the same time, familiar diseases have evolved antibiotic resistance or other properties that, in some cases, render them close to untreatable. Both trends – infectious disease emergence and re-emergence – are accelerating, driven by forces such as climate change, population growth, globalization and changes in food production and health care practices.

Dr. Plummer will describe the results of his research on major diseases, including HIV, and some of the exciting new technologies that have become key new tools in the human arsenal. He will explain how the marriage of proteomics and bioinformatics is providing unprecedented insight into the interaction between humans and microbes, and how this is giving new direction for treatments and vaccines for diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. Dr. Plummer will also explore new internet-based surveillance strategies that allow more rapid detection, alerting and response to disease outbreaks.

Dr. Francis A. Plummer is Scientific Director of the National Microbiology Laboratory, Chief Science Advisor to the Public Health Agency of Canada and Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. In 2001, he was named Canada Research Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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: Tuesday September 29, 2009 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 $20
Registration: Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Coordinator: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Thursday September 24, 2009