IIDR Trainee Day 2021

Preparing today's researchers to fight tomorrow’s infectious diseases 


Event details

Join us November 10th - 12th, 2021 for our virtual event!


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.

For the second year, our event will be held virtually in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year we will be using Underline Platform for poster presentations. Check back soon for more information about our online platform.

Abstracts are due August 27th, 2021 to be considered for talks and awards.

Abstracts for virtual poster presentations are due September 17th, 2021

Registration closes October 29th, 2021.

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 #fighting4tomorrow and #IIDRTraineeDay2021 to post about the event.

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Keynote Lecture
November 10th
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Trainees meet the Speaker
November 10th
Time: 12:15-12:45 PM
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Dr. Jim Collins
Professor, Department of Biological Engineering, 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Jim Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty. He is also a Core Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is one of the founders of the field of synthetic biology, and his research group is currently focused on using synthetic biology to create next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics. Professor Collins' patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has co-founded a number of companies, including Synlogic, Senti Biosciences, and Sherlock Biosciences, as well as Phare Bio, a non-profit focused on AI-driven antibiotic discovery. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship and a MacArthur "Genius" Award, and he is an elected member of all three national academies - the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National
Academy of Medicine.




Day 1 participants are invited to hear our Keynote Speaker, Dr. James J. Collins, discuss his group's current work on using AI to discover new classes of antibiotics. 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 1 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 2 will celebrate the recipients of the Michael Kamin Hart Scholarships and the Michael Kiley Scholarship in Antibiotic Resistance. Graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Clinical 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 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. 


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Dr. Amy Gillgrass

Assistant Professor at McMaster University

Department of Medicine


Dr. Lesley MacNeil

Assistant Professor at McMaster University

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences 


Hiva Mesbahi (Trainee Day Chair)

Ph.D. Candidate- MacNeil lab

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences


Dhanyasri Maddiboina (Trainee Day co-Chair)

Ph.D. Candidate- Hosseinidoust lab

Department of Chemical Engineering


Amanda Bakke (Trainee Day co-Chair)

MSc Candidate- Kaushic lab

Department of Medical Sciences