is a monthly meeting of the trainees, curriculum coordinators
and mentors. The format for this meeting is a very casual
atmosphere with a lot of discussion and team learning.
Trainee-selected topics are discussed in small groups composed
of trainees from different pillars and training sites.
The topics are presented to the group and often written
up later into a publication.
For each Infectious Minds meeting, we link the
four international sites together through video conferencing as a distance learning tool via internet or satellite
communication links. This is a technology PHAC has used for
coordinating activities in Canada and Africa during investigations
of viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks. PHAC’s National Microbiology
Lab had served as the distance learning coordinating
centre at the start of the program until in 2011. In January of 2011, grant funding was used to purchase and set up equipment at the University of Manitoba Medical Microbiology teleconference room. The meeting is now hosted from the University of Manitoba space every month, with exception of July and August months.
Based on direction from the trainees,
the Infectious Minds study groups have become involved
in developing community partnerships to identify and address
priority research issues. Previous research topics have included; pandemic
influenza, science and the media, HPV vaccination, resurrecting
ancient pathogens, community-acquired MRSA, Canada’s Rift
Valley Fever Virus preparedness, Knowledge translation
in infectious diseases, superbugs and solvent abuse and