10th Annual

IIDR Trainee Day 2020

Forging the Next Generation

of Infectious Disease Research

#NextGenResearch #IIDRTraineeDay2020


Event details

November 11th - 13th
10:00 am - 1:00pm daily
Start viewing posters November 4th!
Please see the Posters page for more details

Trainee Day, an annual event hosted by the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, has become the ideal forum to recognize and celebrate the innovative work being done by the Institute’s students and Postdoctoral Fellows.


This year the event will be held virtually over the course of 3 days using Zoom Webinar services in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Activities for each day will be approximately 3 hours in length.

**UPDATE** All content for the conference (i.e. zoom links for award presentations and keynote presentation) will be accessible through the Trainee Day iPosters website. Registered participants will be sent a unique login from iPosters by November 4th.

For posters this year, we will be working with the iPosterSessions team. Trainees can create interactive posters that will be hosted in a secure, online gallery for attendees to view the week leading up to the event. Questions for poster authors will be addressed during a Panel Q&A scheduled during the conference. Please see the Posters page for more details!

Abstracts are due August 28th, 2020 to be considered for talks and awards.

Abstracts for virtual poster presentations are due September 18th, 2020

Registration closes October 29th, 2020.

This event is open to all IIDR faculty, staff, undergraduate & graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows, technicians, and clinicians. For further inquiries, please contact the Trainee Day Student Chair,

Use #NextGenResearch and #IIDRTraineeDay2020 to post about the event.

Covid 19


Keynote Lecture
November 12th
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Trainees meet the Speaker!
November 12th
12:20 pm - 12:50 pm
Sign-up here!
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Dr. Volker Gerdts
Professor, Department of Veterinary Microbiology

Dr. Volker Gerdts received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Hanover Veterinary School in and his PhD from the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Island of Riems and Hanover Veterinary School, Germany. Following his PhD, Dr. Gerdts completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the German Research Council at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-Intervac). This fellowship focused on vaccine development and mucosal immunology. Dr. Gerdts remained with VIDO-Intervac as a Research Scientist and was appointed Associate Director in 2007. He then became the Director and CEO of VIDO-Intervac in 2019.


VIDO-InterVac was the first research group in Canada to isolate SARS-CoV-2 and develop an animal model for the novel coronavirus. Their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is highly effective in ferrets and is now being tested in hamster models, with human clinical trials expected to begin in the fall. To accelerate vaccine development in Canada, VIDO-InterVac is building a large-scale, federally-funded vaccine manufacturing facility.




Day 1 will celebrate the recipients of the Michael Kamin Hart Scholarships and the Michael Kiley Scholarship in Antibiotic Resistance. Graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows and MD Fellows will be given the opportunity to present their exemplary research achievements.

Following the presentations from our scholarship recipients, the first round of Poster Panel Q&A discussions will be held. Please see the Posters page for more details.


Day 2 participants are invited to hear our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Volker Gerdts, discuss his group's current work towards developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Following the lecture, our Keynote Speaker will be available to virtually meet with a group of students to discuss career advice and science. In addition, individual virtual meetings with PI's will be scheduled. Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

Day 2 will also celebrate the achievements of the Gerard Wright Postdoctoral Scholarship in Infectious Disease Research and Mildred Gulliver Postdoctoral Scholarship in Infectious Disease Research recipients. 


Day 3 will showcase the diverse research of the Institute with presentations from the candidates for the Mildred Gulliver Graduate Scholarship in Infectious Disease Research.  The three presentation categories trainees can apply to are outlined on the Talks page.

Following the oral presentations, the last round of Poster Panel Q&A discussions will be held. The day will conclude with a closing address and awards ceremony. 

Covid 19



Fisher Scientific


Fisher Scientific, an ISO 9001:2015 company, is a major provider of instruments, equipment and other products to the Canadian scientific community. We provide more than 800,000 products and services to research, health care, educational and industrial customers nationwide. We serve scientists engaged in biomedical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical and other fields of research and development and we are a supplier to clinical laboratories, hospitals, health care

alliances, environmental testing centers, quality-control laboratories and many other customers. We enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.

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CEDARLANE® specializes in providing high quality research reagents to the life science community. Through CEDARLANE® you have access to over 1,400 industry-leading global life science suppliers which manufacture products for all areas of research. We are an ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 registered company.

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New England Biolabs


Created "by scientists for scientists", NEB is renowned for consistently providing exceptional product quality and unsurpassed technical support. For over four decades, NEB has been shaping the landscape of bioscience research by discovering, developing and supporting superior research reagents. From our founding principles – placing the advancement of science and the stewardship of the environment as our highest priorities – to our unique corporate culture, NEB’s philosophy can be distilled down to three core values: passion, humility and being genuine. 

A supplier-of-choice for scientists across the globe, NEB offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. While restriction enzymes remain part of our core product portfolio, our ever-expanding catalog also includes products related to PCR, gene expression, sample preparation for next generation sequencing, synthetic biology, glycobiology, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors, including molecular diagnostics development. New England Biolabs Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor for Cell Signaling Technology.

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At Roche, we are committed to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system in the diagnosis, treatment and management of acute and long-term disease in key therapeutic and diagnostic areas. These include oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, virology, transplantation, diabetes, immunology, clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, histology and research.



Dr. Sara Andres

Assistant Professor at McMaster University

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences 


Dr. Amy Gillgrass

Assistant Professor at McMaster University

Department of Health Sciences 


Emily Bordeleau (Trainee Day Chair)

Ph.D. candidate- Wright lab

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences 


Hiva Mesbahi (Trainee day co-chair)

Ph.D. candidate- MacNeil lab

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences