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.

Winning the infection wars: by identifying bugs faster, doctors can save lives and health care dollars

Michel Bergeron, Université Laval

Until recently it took two days to identify the microbe making you sick. The delay often meant inappropriate therapy, the wrong choice of drug, and an increased cost for the health care system.

Professor Michel Bergeron and his team have made an impressive start on speeding things up, and right in the doctor’s office. They’ve developed the first real-time tests (just approved by the FDA) to detect Group B Streptococci and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Next in line are tests for a host of other nasties including SARS and C. difficile. The researchers’ ultimate goal is a “smart” compact disc that will read the DNA fingerprints of many different microbes in an instant.

The worldwide market for such novel rapid on-site detection devices is expected to reach US$10 billion in 2010. For Canada, the technology will mean lives saved, new high-tech employment, and high-value-added products.

Michel G. Bergeron, MD, FRCPC, is Professor and Head of the Division of Microbiology (Department of Medical Biology) at Université Laval in Québec City, and Scientific Director of the University’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre. With more than 250 researchers and research personnel, the Centre is one of the largest of its kind in North America. Dr. Bergeron is the author or co-author of more than 360 scientific publications and is on the editorial board of six international journals. He is a past President of the Canadian Foundation Louis Pasteur.

Simultaneous translation will be provided.

DATE: Thursday, March 10, 2005 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am
PLACE: Room 200, West Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
COST: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators & Media. All others - $10

PRE-REGISTRATION by Monday March 7th is required. Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Coordinator, email:, tel: (613) 991-6369, fax: (613) 991-6996.

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

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. Daniel Hays
--the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken
--Science and Engineering Research Canada (NSERC)