VIDO-InterVac at the U of S hosts international experts in human, animal health

Oct 21, 2010

The Gairdner Foundation and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre of the University of Saskatchewan are co-hosting an international vaccine symposium in Saskatoon entitled Common Interface between Animal and Human Health to explore the relationship between animal and human infectious diseases.

"Human and animal health are linked," says Dr. Andrew Potter, director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac. "The majority of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals and research and understanding how these organisms cause disease will benefit society.

"Today's symposium, is the first of a series of planned special symposia co-hosted by the Gairdner Foundation across the country to explore a broad spectrum of biomedical issues", says John Dirks, president and scientific director with the Gairdner Foundation. "The symposium will explore the linkages between animal infections and human disease, an important economic and social issue to the people of Canada, and the world. It also ties in nicely to the construction of VIDO's new International Vaccine Centre, a containment level 3 facility that will be fundamental to further exploring emerging infectious diseases".

A panel of internationally renowned scientists including Dr. Albert Osterhaus from the University of Rotterdam, Dr. Greg Poland from the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, Drs. Lorne Babiuk and Michael Houghton from the University of Alberta and Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer will discuss emerging viral and bacterial infections that cross between humans and animals; novel approaches for preventing prion diseases; advances in Hepatitis C research, ethical and social issues of vaccines.

The Gairdner Foundation has a proud history of recognizing the world's most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists, and we are very pleased that this year, Dr. Calvin Stiller (a Saskatchewan native) who won the Wightman Award for outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science will address the symposium attendees. The Honorable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration for Saskatchewan will be giving greetings at the Thursday banquet. The Honorable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Diversification will be attending the Friday lunch and providing greetings on behalf of the Government of Canada.

This event is open to the media. We ask that you please RSVP.

Gairdner & Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) Vaccine Symposium - October 21-22, 2010

Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan