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Biology and Control of SARS-CoV-2 Webinar

Panelists

Dr. Sarah Wootton

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Dr. Wootton is an Associate Professor of Virology in the Department of Pathobiology specializing in viral vectored vaccines, oncolytic virotherapy, and gene therapy, The overarching goal of research in her lab is to engineer viruses to prevent, treat, and cure diseases, including infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, cancer, and monogenic lung diseases.

In her lab, she genetically modifies viruses to express therapeutic transgenes or antigens in order to prevent and/or treat genetic or acquired diseases in both humans and animals. This One Health approach aims to lower infectious disease burden, treat cancer and potentially cure genetic lung disease thereby reducing human and animal suffering

Dr. Byram Bridle

Dr. Byram Bridle is an Associate Professor of viral immunology at the University of Guelph. His research program focuses on the development and optimization of vaccines for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancers. In March of this year he and two of his colleagues were commissioned by the government of Ontario to engineer several potential vaccine candidates to provide protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019 (COVID-19). In collaboration with the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, one of the vaccine candidates proved effective in protecting hamsters from COVID-19. This resulted in a contract being established with the National Research Council of Canada to develop a manufacturing process for the vaccine. Dr. Bridle has also co-authored a series of lay articles in The Conversation to provide information to the lay public about the immunological aspects of COVID-19 and the development of vaccines.

Dr. Matthew Miller

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Dr. Matthew S. Miller is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Grad Education) in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. He is a member of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre. Dr. Miller is an expert in viral immunology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis, with a primary focus on analysis of mortality trends during influenza virus pandemics to identify high-risk cohorts, and the study of broadly-neutralizing antibodies for the purposes of developing “universal” influenza virus vaccines and therapeutics to prevent/treat future influenza virus pandemics. Recently, his research program has expanded to include drug discovery and vaccine development for SARS-CoV-2, and the development of functional and quantitative serological assays to assess antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2, among other things. He is the recipient of the CIHR Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity, a CIHR New Investigator Award, and an Early Career Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario.

Dr. Samira Mubareka

Dr. Samira Mubareka completed her MD at Dalhousie University and Internal Medicine training in 2002 at McGill University in Canada. She is currently a virologist, medical microbiologist and infectious disease physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Mubareka has been working on SARS-CoV-2 since the outset of the pandemic in North America with a focus on virus biology, bioaerosols and exposure, genomics and diagnostics through close and cross-disciplinary collaborations across engineering, computational biology, molecular virology and animal health.

Moderator

Dr. Shayan Sharif

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Dr. Shayan Sharif is a Professor of Immunology and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College. His research is focused on deciphering the complex relationship between microbes and their host. An area of research in his laboratory involves the development of vaccines against avian influenza viruses in chickens.