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Priyadarshini Chidambaram 
Home Country: Bangalore, India
Degree:

1st Year PhD Student

M.D. (Community Medicine), Madras Medical College, TN MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu

M.B.B.S., Tirunelveli Medical College, TN MGR Medical University

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Krishnamurthy Jayanna c

Effect of gender on utilization of antenatal care services in rural Karnataka, India
Description of the Project: There are various drivers of gender-based health inequities in India present at the proximate, intermediary and macro –levels. A gender centric approach in maternal health including antenatal care is missing. In a country like India, the healthcare access to AN women is decided by family members like the husband and mother-in-law. This study tries to understand in these circumstances how gender influences antennal care access, how programmes and policy addresses gender and health workers comprehension of gender and its influence on field level service implementation.
François (Frank) Cholette 
Home Country: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Degree:

2nd year, PhD Student, University of Manitoba

MPH, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
BSc – Biotechnology, Department of Applied Sciences, La Cité Collégiale

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Lyle McKinnon, PhD and Marissa Becker, MD FRCPC MSc

An integrated approach to understanding HIV transmission dynamics from viral genomic data.
Description of the Project: Viral genomic analysis takes advantage of the relatively constant rate of HIV evolution over time and provides a useful snapshot of HIV transmission dynamics over time, geography as well as within and between population, which can be used to model potential interventions that could prevent future transmission events. By providing molecular linkages between infections, viral genomic analyses can add additional context to factors identified through behavioral modelling to improve overall efficacy of intervention strategies. However, many viral genomic studies focus on individual-level demographic and behavioral data despite the fact that biological, structural and environmental factors play a significant role in shaping transmission networks at the population level. My current research interests involve understanging HIV transmission dynamics among vulnerable populations using viral genomics based approaches that are congruent with broader, interdisciplinary, research programs seeking to address the national and global spread of infectious diseases like HIV.
Taylor Davedow 
Home Country: Winnipeg, MB
Degree:

University of Manitoba, 1st year PhD student.

MSc (Food Science) – University of Manitoba
BSc (Food Science) – University of Manitoba

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Celine Nadon

Genomic insights into Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 and the development of novel laboratory-based surveillance systems
Description of the Project: Cholera remains a disease of international importance. Vibrio cholerae serotypes O1 and O139 are solely responsible for seven pandemics to date, and have been widely studied. However, there are >200 other serogroups that cause sporadic cases or small outbreaks of foodborne illness around the world. The aim of this project is to undertake comparative genomic analysis of non-O1/non-O139 Vibrio cholerae to characterize virulence markers and reveal phylogenetic relationships within Canada and internationally. With this information, we expect to bring to light previously unrecognized outbreaks and linkages to the global food supply.
Shanelle Gingras 
Home Country: Winnipeg, MB
Degree:

University of Manitoba, PhD, year 3

Biology Degree, Pre-Master’s Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – U of M

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Paul McLaren

Genetic regulation of gene expression differences in inflammatory cells and its impact on HIV susceptibility
Description of the Project: Genital and systemic inflammation have been identified as key factors in women’s risk of HIV acquisition. Furthermore, inflammation has been known to reduce the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, damage the mucosal barrier within the vaginal tract, and attract HIV target cells. External factors (i.e. sexually transmitted infections, bacterial vaginosis, menstrual phase, etc.) that contribute to this inflammation have been well studied, however the contribution of internal genetic host factors have not been elucidated to date. My project is investigation genetic regulation of gene expression in inflammatory cells and its impact on HIV susceptibility in a cohort of South African women. My project serves to answer key questions surrounding host genetic variation of inflammation in relation to HIV acquisition and increase genomic research in underrepresented African populations.
Juliana Gonzalez Obando 
Home Country: Medellin,Colombia
Degree:

Universidad de Antioquia, PhD student - Microbiology, 2nd year

Master in Epidemiology, Universidad de Antioquia (2016)

Veterinary Doctor, Universidad de Antioquia (2010)

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Julian Ruiz Saenz

Epidemiological and phylogenetic characterization of the equine influenza virus in Colombia.
Description of the Project: Evaluate epidemiologically and molecularly the circulation of the Equine Influenza Virus in different regions of the country, this is a zoonotic disease. During 2018, one of the largest equine influenza epidemics that the country has reported in recent years has been occurring, even in the vaccinated population The objective of this research is to epidemiologically and molecularly evaluate the circulation of the Equine Influenza Virus in different regions of the country.
Toby Le 
Home Country: Guelph, Ontario
Degree:

University of Manitoba, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Year 2

Bachelor of Medical Science (BMSc), Honours Specialization in Microbiology and Immunology, Western University of Ontario

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Keith Fowke

Effects of DMPA on peripheral blood natural killer cells in sex workers from Nairobi, Kenya
Description of the Project: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is an affordable hormonal contraceptive that is administered every three months and is the most utilized form of hormonal contraceptive in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, the use of DMPA has been linked with increased risk for HIV acquisition. My research focuses on a specific immune cell called Natural Killer cells - a type of lymphocyte that protects against tumour cells and viral infections. Depending on their activation and function, Natural Killer cells have been shown to help prevent HIV infections. By using blood samples collected from the Kenya sex worker cohort, the goal is to compare and assess how DMPA affects the activation and function of blood Natural killer cells.
Diana Marcela Marín Pineda
Home Country: Medellín, Colombia
Degree:

Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, doctoral student in Biomedical Sciences, emphasis in Epidemiology, 2nd year

Master’s degree in epidemiology, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, 2011

Bachelor’s degree. Statistician, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia 2006

Supervisor:

Dr. Zulma Rueda

Project Title:

Effect of short and long term exposure to air pollution on acute respiratory symptoms, genotoxic and mutagenic damages in children under 5 years.

Description of the Project: Increased air pollution levels have adverse short and long-term effects on health, especially in children. In Colombia, 19,397 annual deaths in 2016 were attributed to air pollution and the additional healthcare cost was estimated at USD900.000. My study aims at investigating the effects of outdoor air pollution on heath in children under 5 year-olds. The one-year follow-up will concentrate on measuring cell damage, health outcome and hospitalization rates. The study will combine environmental and basic sciences with clinical and epidemiological information to provide a scientific base for future health-oriented environmental pollution control programmes.
Leidy Damariz Marín Palma
Home Country: Medellín, Antioquia, Colombi
Degree:

Universidad de Antioquia, PhD student of Biology 2nd year

Master’s degree in Basic Biomedical Science, Medicine Faculty, Universidad de Antioquia (2017)

Bachelor’s degree as Biologist, Universidad de Antioquia (2014)

Supervisor:

Dr Juan Carlos Hernández and Dr María Teresa Rugeles

Project Title:

Effect of particulate matter in the air on the inflammatory response and susceptibility to infection by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus and SARS-COV2.

Description of the Project: An association between exposure to PM and diseases of the respiratory system, including lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as increased susceptibility to respiratory viral infections, has been documented. In the pathogenesis of these various diseases and / or infections, the inflammatory process plays a very important role; however, the mechanisms involved in PM-induced inflammation are not yet clearly defined. The objective set for this study is to evaluate the effect of PM2.5 and PM10 present in the air of the metropolitan area of Valle de Aburrá-Colombia on cellular cytotoxicity, the inflammatory response and susceptibility to infection by viruses such as RSV and SARS-COV-2.
Marylin Mora-Morales
Home Country: San Andres island, Colombia
Degree:

Antioquia University, Doctoral student in Epidemiology 1st year

Master’s degree in biomedical Basic Sciences, Antioquia University, Medellín, Colombia, 2018

Bachelor’s degree as Microbiologist, San Buenaventura University. Colombia, 2004

Supervisor:

Dr. Zulma V. Rueda

Project Title:

Epidemiological characterization, risk factors and clinical impact of mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in native patients in San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina islands: diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

Description of the Project: It is the objective of the present research proposal to concentrate efforts by studying the dynamics of tuberculosis infection in the root population that inhabits the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. This will be achieved, assessing as a whole unreported transmission mechanisms and risk factors not described in this population, in combination diagnostic tool for latent infection and risk of reactivation in susceptible individuals.
Victor Moses Musyoki
Home Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Degree:

University of Nairobi, Department of Medical Microbiology, 1st year PhD student

MSc. Medical Microbiology, University of Nairobi

BSc. Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; BA, University of Nairobi

Supervisor:

Prof Omu Anzala

Project Title:

Whole genome shotgun sequencing and flow cytometry to explore the Diabetic Foot Microbiome and Inflammasome

Description of the Project: Diabetic foot ulcer is a global public health concern and has been associated with lower limb amputation and reduced quality of life among diabetic patients. These ulcer wounds are colonized by specific microbes or community of microbes mostly from the skin microbiome playing a role in clinical infection and delayed wound healing. Traditional culture methods used are known to have bias in characterization of microbiome present in these wounds. This study will employ a suite of molecular and chemical analysis in order to help better understanding of microbial communities, host inflammatory responses and healing outcome of the different diabetic foot ulcer presentations.

Zakayo Maingi Mwangi
Home Country: Kiambu, Kenya
Degree:

University of Nairobi, Ph.D Tropical and Infectious Diseases

MSc Infectious Diseases, BSc. Medical Laboratory Science

Supervisor:

Prof. Wallace Bulimo, Prof. Julius Oyugi, and Dr. Frank Onyambu

Project Title:

Molecular Characterization of Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria among symptomatic TB negative patients in Kenya

Description of the Project: Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) are ubiquitous environmental saprophytes with a potential of causing human infection and diseases states. Their pulmonary clinical manifestation are similar to those of Mycobacteria tuberculosis (MTB) and most often they are misdiagnosed for MTB which leads to treatment complications since the management strategy is incongruent. This study therefore aims at establishing the presence of NTM among symptomatic TB negative patients and establishing NTM species diversity in Kenya.

Faisal Nuhu
Home Country: Ghana
Degree:

Ph.D. Student, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba

BSc. Biological Sciences (Honors), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, 2017

Supervisor:

Dr. Lyle McKinnon

Project Title:

Mechanism of cytokine associated HIV susceptibility in female genital tract: Defining the roles of IFN-a2a and IL-2.

Description of the Project: The female genital tract (FGT) is a primary site for HIV acquisition, and inflammation has been shown to increase HIV risk. Understanding immunological and molecular mechanisms at mucosal sites may therefore represent a novel HIV prevention strategy. In contrast to many inflammatory cytokines such such as IFN-a2a that were strongly associated with HIV risk, homeostatic regulators such as IL-2 were associated with protection from HIV acquisition in South African women enrolled in CAPRISA-004. My research seeks to entangle how a canonical antiviral molecule, type I interferon known to interfere with viral replication yet associated with HIV risk. Also, we will investigate how IL-2 regulation in the cervicovaginal environment can lead to reduced HIV susceptibility.

Titus Olukitibi
Home Country: Nigeria
Degree:

University of Manitoba, PhD 2nd year

Master’s Degree in Medical microbiology; Federal University of Technology Akure; 2017

Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology; Federal University of Technology; Akure; 2012

Supervisor:

Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao

Project Title:

Development and Characterization of a Novel DC-Targeting Universal Vaccine Approach against Influenza Infection

Description of the Project: Influenza virus disease has received global attention because of its high morbidity and mortality rate and difficulty in management due to mutation and reassortment caused by antigenic drifts and shifts, respectively. The consequent constant changing in the forms of influenza virus has led to the yearly production of vaccine based on predictions; however, the predicted vaccines can be mismatched and may not be able to protect against emerging pandemic strains of influenza virus. Because of this, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently declared an urgency in developing a universal vaccine that can give broad protection against all existing forms and futuristic forms of the influenza virus. In our response to this call, we have developed a dendritic cell (DC)-targeting vaccine approach using Ebola virus glycoprotein with deleted Mucin-like Domain to direct the conserved epitopes of influenza virus surface antigens which include the haemagglutinin (HA), matrix protein (M2) to DCs. Our results so far have shown that the immunization of mice with virus-like-particles (VLPs) incorporated plasmids stimulate both adaptive and humoral immune responses against influenza virus; therefore, we will further investigate the protection induced by this approach in mice using different strains of influenza virus.

Tosin Omole
Home Country: Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria
Degree:

University of Manitoba, PH.D. student, 1st year

Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) in Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

Supervisor:

Dr. Lyle McKinnon

Project Title:

Pre-HIV Circulating T Cell Profiles as Predictors of HIV Acquisition and Early Disease Progression

Description of the Project: CD4+ T cells are central to the function of the immune system and play a crucial role in HIV infection. A previous report showed that specific CD4+ T phenotypes are associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition. My project, therefore, aims to investigate the association between an individual’s immune composition and the risk of HIV acquisition and progression. I am specifically looking at how the pre-HIV frequencies of CD4+ T cells, Innate lymphoid cells, and unconventional T cells (including iNKT, V?1, V?2 and MAIT cells) impact the risk of acquiring HIV and the progression of the disease after the acquisition. Also, this research aims to investigate if the association between a person’s immune composition and HIV outcomes can be affected by the sex of the individual, HIV clade and the type of HIV prevention intervention used. Flow cytometry is the primary technique in this research to measure the frequencies of the immune cells of interest in frozen PBMCs (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells) obtained from study participants from the Partner’s PrEP and HVTN 503 cohorts.

Katherine Peña-Valencia
Home Country: Florencia, Caquetá - Colombia
Degree:

Universidad de Antioquia, Doctoral student of Microbiology 1st year

Master’s degree student of Microbiology and Bioanalysis, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, 2018

Bachelor’s degree. Biologist, Universidad de la Amazonia, Florencia, Caquetá-Colombia- 2017

Supervisor:
Dr. Zulma Vanessa Rueda Vallejo
Project Title:
Effect of the pulmonary microbiome and its interaction with the immune response on pulmonary function, in a cohort of patients with HIV in Caquetá and Medellin, 2020-2023
Description of the Project: My PhD project focuses on the effect of the lung microbiome and its interaction with the immune response on the pulmonary function, in a cohort of patients with HIV in Caquetá and Medellin in Colombia, South America and aims to evaluate the role of the lung microbiome in patients with HIV, and its alteration during acute episodes of tuberculosis and PjP pneumonia. In turn, identify the immunological alterations that occur during the disbiosis of this acute episode, and how this alters gene expression, both in the lung and in the blood. To develop this research, we combined an epidemiological approach with cytokines and RNA sequencing (to study the immune response), and sequencing of the 16S rRNA and 18s rRNA gene to identify the bacterial microbiome and mycobiome.
Carlos Alberto Reina Bolaños
Home Country: Cali, Colombia
Degree:

University of Antioquia, Doctoral Student in Epidemiology. 1st year

Master’s degree in Public Health, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, 2018

Bachelor’s degree. Occupational Therapist, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, 2013

Supervisor:
Dr. María Patricia Arbeláez Montoya
Project Title:
Evaluation of effectiveness of an intervention for the control of one of the ETV transmitted by Aedes in Santiago de Cali, Colombia.
Description of the Project: Vector-borne diseases are causing increasing levels of morbidity and mortality around the world; mainly in countries with tropical climate. In the case of Colombia, the EGI strategy becomes very important because the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are responsible for the transition of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses. This project is an evaluative investigation of the effectiveness of the EGI-ETV on the incidence of dengue in the resident population of the different communities of Santiago de Cali, using a quantitative methodology with a quasi-experimental design of interrupted time series, based on secondary data collected in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Carolina Rodríguez Echeverri 
Home Country: Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Degree:

Universidad de Antioquia, Doctoral student of Microbiology 2nd year

Microbiólogist, Universidad de Antioquia (2016)

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr. Ángel González Marín, MSc, PhD

Hematopoietic and Mesenchymal Stem Cells as targets for Histoplasma capsulatum infection: effects on hematopoiesis, differentiation and proliferation.
Description of the Project: Histoplasmosis is a systemic mycosis of great importance in the world, which mainly affects immunocompromised individuals. In patients with disseminated forms of the disease the bone marrow is affected and is associated with leucopenia, anemia and thrombocytopenia; thus, worsening the clinical outcome. This study aims to determine whether the infection of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells from by Histoplasma capsulatum affects hematopoiesis, differentiation and proliferation of these cells.
Anitha R. Sagarkar 
Home Country: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Degree:

Faculty of Dental Sciences, Ramaiah University, Doctoral Student

Master’s degree in Public Health Dentistry from Government Dental College and Research Institute, Bengaluru

Bachelor’s Degree in Dentistry from Government Dental College and Research Institute, Bengaluru

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Dr.Pushpanjali Krishnappa

Effectiveness of Oral cancer health literacy intervention programme for adolescents at field practice area of an institution
Description of the Project: India ranks second among all the countries incidence (IARC, 2019),with highest age adjusted incidence rates (64.8) in the central zone among men and women for Oral cancer(OC). Low health literacy related to oral cancer is one of the risk factors, along with early initiation of substances at young age(Sharma et al., 2018). Hence, our study aims at developing oral cancer literacy tool and intervention, including implementation strategies among this vulnerable population i.e. Adolescents.
Jisuvei Clayton Salano 
Home Country: Vihiga, Kenya
Degree:

University of Nairobi, 1st years PhD student

MSc. Tropical and Infectious Diseases, University of Nairobi

BSc. Biomedical Technology, University of Nairobi

Supervisors:

Project Title:
Professor Walter Jaoko

Assessment of invasive Group B Streptococcus infection among infants at Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya
Description of the Project: Neonatal sepsis is the leading infectious cause of neonatal death in Kenya. At Kenyatta National Hospital, approximately two neonates die each day due to early onset neonatal sepsis (EOS). Majority of these infections have been thought to be caused by Escherichia coli and treated as such. However, the role of Group B Streptococcus in causing EOS at the hospital and country at large has not been fully explored despite evidence from developed countries indicating group B streptococus as the main cause of EOS. The aim of my study is to provide a better understanding on the role of group B streptococus as a cause of early onset neonatal sepsis at KNH. We determine the attack rates for invasive GBS infection in neonates during the first week of life as well as compare the incident rates of early onset neonatal sepsis due to GBS and E. coli among neonates at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Zachary Schiffman
Home Country: Montreal, Quebec
Degree:

University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Ph.D. student

B.Sc. Honours Biochemistry (Co-op) with Distinction, Concordia University

Supervisor:
Dr. Michael Drebot
Project Title:
Elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern filovirus pathogenesis with emphasis on Marburg virus
Description of the Project: In recent years, the domestic ferret has become increasingly popular as a small animal model for evaluating transmission and pathogenesis of filoviruses as well as efficacy of candidate vaccines and/or therapeutics. Interestingly, recent studies have demonstrated that infection in ferrets with the ebolaviruses Ebola virus, Sudan virus, Bundibugyo virus and Reston virus results in uniform lethality, whereas infection with the marburgviruses Marburg virus and Ravn virus is not lethal and does not cause disease. The fact that ferrets are highly susceptible to lethal infection with certain ebolaviruses but not marburgviruses, suggests that these viruses differ fundamentally in their pathogenic mechanisms, despite being phylogenetically related. As such, the aim of my Ph.D. thesis project is to develop a better understanding of filovirus pathogenesis, with a particular emphasis on Marburg virus, by elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern Marburg and Ebola virus infection both in vitro and in vivo, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets.
Brayden Schindell
Home Country: Winnipeg, Canada
Degree:

University of Manitoba Doctoral Student, Masters Transition 3 year

BSc (Maj. - Microbiology) University of Manitoba

Supervisor:
Dr. Jason Kindrachuk
Project Title:
Investigation of filovirus sex-specific reproductive tract tropism and long-term post- recovery health consequences
Description of the Project: My project focuses on the mechanisms of persistence by filoviruses including Ebola virus within the reproductive tracts of both male and potentially female filoviral disease survivors. There are very few reports of potential female reproductive tract persistence however, and we believe this is due to a lack of investigation that I hope to address mechanistically similarly to what I am conducting for testicular persistence. Ebola virus is known to persist within 50% of male survivors for at least 3.5 months with known cases of persistence up to at least 38.5 months (a little over 3 years). Along with reported cases of sexual transmission occurring up to 18 months from recovery of EVD. While conducting research on these projects I will also be helping run a cohort study of EVD survivors who had recorded cases of persistent infections following recovery for effects of persistent infection on their long term reproductive health.
Bharatesh Karunakar Shetty
Home Country: Manipal, Udupi District, Karnataka, India
Degree:

M.Sc (Health Sciences) with Public Health Specialization, from School of Health Sciences, Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra (1996)

B.Sc (Chemistry Botany and Zoology), Karnataka University Dharwad, Karnataka (1994)

Supervisor:
Dr.Reynold Washington
Project Title:
Understanding Mental Health Issues among Youth Living with HIV (19 to 25 years) in Belgaum district, Karnataka and Developing Appropriate Counseling Training Curriculum for Counselors in ART Center
Description of the Project: Mental health is one of the major public health concerns in the global context .It is a critical and neglected global health challenge for adolescents and youths. HIV infected youths who are in the age group between (19-25 years) are more vulnerable to mental health problems. This is less explored and understood in the current context of PLHIV care and support programs in India. Perintally transmitted children who were put on ART during their childhood are now surviving and they are in youth stage (19 to 25 years). Access to ART has helped in prolonging life of children, however their mental health issues not been addressed. Counselors at the facility level are less equipped with skills and knowledge on how to address these issues of YLHIV. The study mainly explores the mental health issues among YLHIV and help them to overcome these challenges. The study also aims to develop appropriate counseling training curriculum for the counselors on how to address mental health issues among YLHIV.
Elinor Shvartsman
Home Country: Israel
Degree:

2nd year PhD student, University of Mantioba

BSc. Microbiology Major minoring in chemistry and biology-University of Manitoba

Supervisor:
Dr. Kelly MacDonald
Project Title:
Delineating the Temporal Relationship of the Cervicovaginal Microbiota, Immune Activation States, and Soluble Inflammatory Markers in Kenyan Women at Low Risk to HIV
Description of the Project: Relavent to women’s health, certain vaginal microbial communities have been linked to increased susceptibility to HIV, however the mechanism by which these communities may increase risk are ucnlear. The relative paucity of longitudinal studies investigating temporal changes in the cervicovaginal microbiota and markers of inflammation including solule inflammatory markers and immune activation in the lower female genital tract have hampered our understanding of the association between cervicovaginal microbial communities and cervicovaginal immunity. Using a cohort of reproductive aged Kenyan women sampled approximately monthly for 48 weeks, my research focuses on delineating the temporal association between specific vaginal bacterial communities immune activation and soluble markers of inflammation.
 
Riley Tough
Home Country: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Degree:

Doctoral student 3rd year, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba

BSc Honours Genetics at the University of Manitoba

Supervisor:
Dr. Paul McLaren, Co-supervisor Dr. Blake Ball
Project Title:
Computational and Functional Characterization of a Novel Genomic Locus Associated With Decreased HIV Set-Point Viral Load
Description of The Project: HIV setpoint viral load (spVL), the amount of viral RNA found in the blood of individuals during latent phase of infection, is a strong predictor of disease progression rate and transmission risk. Many factors contribute to spVL levels, which can vary over several orders of magnitude between people, including host genetic background. In a recent genome-wide association study of HIV spVL, our group detected a novel association signal on chromosome 1 in 3,100 individuals of African ancestry. My project is to characterize the region of the genome to determine the functional characteristics and the impact of specific host genotypes on HIV disease progression.
 
Thérèse Umuhoza
Home Country: Rwanda
Degree:

PhD tropical and infectious diseases program

Bachelor’s Degree, Mass Communication, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, India

Supervisor:
Prof. Bulimo Wallace and Dr. Oyugi Julius
Project Title:
A retrospective investigation of acute viral respiratory infections, epidemiology, clinical characteristics and associated factors in Kenya (2007-2012)
Description of The Project: Acute respiratory infections of viral origin are recognized the top leading cause of morbidity and mortality in young children, mostly in developing countries. Recent studies indicated that other age groups are affected as well. My project focus on understanding the epidemiology of infections caused by respiratory viruses named respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza and adenoviruses in a Kenyan population.

University of Manitoba
University of Nairobi
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences
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