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Submitted by avnguye on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 8:23am

Recent News & Events

Congratulations to HPI Collaborator, Amanda Melin, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology for receiving the Excellence in Supervision Award from the Graduate Students' Association.  For the full story go">

Past News

  • Congratulations to Sarah Unrau in Dr. Cam Goater's lab at the University of Lethbridge for winning 1st place for her image in the graduate studies image contest at UofL.  Click on the link to see the image and the story:">">

  • Congratulations to HPI Collaborator Dr. Amanda Melin for receiving a Canadian Foundation for Innovation award. Dr. Melin's  research includes parasite-microbiome interactions and effects of short and long term climate change.  For the full story go to the">">UToday article.
  • Congratulations to Nidhi Sharma, PhD student in Dr. Gilleard's lab for passing her candidacy exam.
  • Congratulation to Dave Curran in Drs. Wasmuth and Gilleard lab for receiving his PhD.  His thesis title is: "Design of Novel algorithms for Comparative Analysis of Complex Gene Families and their Application to Nematode Detoxification Pathways."
  • Congratulations to Chelsea Matisz, PDF, HPI Alumni for receiving an AI-HS postgraduate fellowship for her new project at the University of Lethbridge, supervisor Dr. Aaron Bruber.  Her new project will be "The effect of a prevalent Albertan parasite on brain health."
  • Congratulations to Shruti Srivastava in Drs. Wasmuth and Mckay lab for receiving her MSc.  Her thesis title is: "A bioinformatics analysis to identify parasite proteins that mimic host immune proteins.
  • Congratulations to Chelsea Matisz in Drs. McKay and Sharkey's lab for receiving her PhD.  Her thesis title is:  "The adoptive transfer of helminth antigen-pulsed dendritic cells as a novel therapy for colitis." In addition, Chelsea's thesis was awarded the MDGI Program award for research excellence and had a paper accepted in Scientific Reports, entitled "Suppression of colitis by adoptive transfer of helminth antigen-treated dendritic cells requires interleukin-4 receptor-a signaling"....well done Chelsea!
  • HPI faculty members, Dr. John Gilleard and Dr. Constance Finney are among a group of researchers at UofC that have received matching funding to support applying knowledge about parasitic worms in livestock to help understand the spread of the parasites in humans, their emerging drug resistance as well as look for new drugs to treat and control them.  This funding is within the"> Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment university research theme.  
  • Congratulations to HPI alum Bradley Von Paridon on the amazing achievement of contributing a guest blog to Scientific American! You can read his article"> here.
  • Congratulations to Christina Amat (Buret lab) for receiving a University of Calgary Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship.
  • Congratulations to Camila Meira (Gedamu lab) for receiving the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Master's 2 year Scholarship.  
  • Congratulations to Sydney Rudko (University of Alberta - Hanington lab) for receiving the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, 2 year Scholarship.  
  • Congratulations to Michelle Gordy (University of Alberta - Hanington lab) for being appointed as PIE Student Executive Member for the Parasitism, Immunity, and Environment section of The Canadian Society of Zoologists. 
  • Congratulations to Christina Amat, PhD student in Dr. Buret's lab for passing her candidacy exam.
  • Congratulations to the">">Buret lab for having their research featured in">">Nature!
  • Congratulations to Chelsea Matisz, PhD candidate in Drs. McKay and Sharkey's lab who was awarded the best senior talk for the 2016 Joe Davison awards and for also being awarded the Dean's Doctoral Scholarship.
  •  Russell Avramenko, HPI PhD student (Gilleard lab) is featured in UofC Alumni Magazine, Spring/Summer 2015 edition. 
  • James Wasmuth's (HPI Faculty member) photo is feature in the Avenue Magazine.  The photo taken at “HPI AON, Party with Parasites".
  • Congratulations to Christina Amat for receiving a graduate student poster display award in the Department of Biological Sciences 2016 Student Research Symposium.
  • Congratulations to Pratap Kafle, PhD student in Dr. Kutz's lab for passing his candidacy exam.
  • Congratulations to Michelle Gordy, PhD student in Dr. Hanington's lab for passing her candidacy exam.
  • Congratulations to Ale Aleuy, PhD student in Dr. Kutz's lab for passing his candidacy exam.
  • Congratulations to Russell Avramenko, PhD student in Dr. Gilleard's lab for passing his candidacy exam.
  • Congratulations to Dr. James Wasmuth for receiving the Associate Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Supervision. For full article go to:
  • Congratulations to Dr. Susan Kutz for receiving the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence. For full article go to:
  • Announcing a new graduate course: Current topics in climate change and host-parasite interactions.

    This class will meet once a week for a three hour discussion group, and students (including auditors) will be expected to select appropriate literature to review and present. Grades for the course will be determined by a weekly discussion grade, as well as a final presentation and a final report. Email Dr. Susan Kutz for more details, but the class begins September 9 so hurry up!

  • Congratulations to Steve Cornick for winning "Best Oral Presentation" at the 15th Annual Quebec Molecular Parasitology Symposium at McGill University; June 8-9, 2015.
  • Congratulations to Michelle Gordy (Hanington lab) and Brad van Paridon (Gilleard lab) who co-won the Murray Fallis Prize for best talk in the Parasite, Immunology and Environment (PIE) section at CSZ 2015.
  • Congratulations to Guilherme G. Verocai, MV, MSc, PhD, DipACVM (Parasitology), under the supervision of Dr. Susan Kutz for successfully defending his thesis: "Contributions to the biodiversity and biogeography of the genus Varestrongylus Bhalerao, 1932 (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae), lungworms of ungulates, with emphasis on a new Nearctic species."  Gui has relocated to Tampa Bay, Florida where he is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Global Health, University of South Flordia - College of Public Health. He will be working with Dr. Thomas Unnasch, Chair of the Department of Global health. To read the full article about Gui, go to:
  • Congratulations to HPI trainee, Jeanie Quach (supervised by Dr. Kris Chadee) for passing her PhD candidacy exam!
  • Congratulations to Oscar (Ale) Aleuy Young, PhD candidate (Kutz lab) for being awarded the Killam Scholarship.
  • Congratulations to Steve Cornick, PhD candidate (Chadee lab) for being awarded the Alexander Graham Bell NSERC CGS Scholarship.
  • Congratulations to Dr. James Wasmuth, HPI Faculty member for being awarded an NSERC discovery award.
  • Congratulations to Teklu Gerbaba, alumni HPI member and PDF in Dr. Buret's lab on receiving acknowledgment of the ariticle "Giardia duodenalis-induced alterations of commensal bacteria kill Caenorhabditis elegans: a new model to study microbial-microbial interactions in the gut"; Teklu K. Gerbaba, Pratyush Gupta, Kevin Rioux, Dave Hansen, Andre G. Buret in The American Journal of Pysiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology  in being aknowledged by the American Physiological Society (APS) as an APSselect article, a collection from the APS that showcases some of the best recently published articles in physiological research
  • The following HPI trainees presenting at the Alberta Parasite Immunology Symopium on March 5-6, 2015.  This symposium was hosted by Drs. Constance Finney, HPI faculty member and Stephanie Yanow, University of Alberta and sponsored by HPI.

    • Jeanie Quach, PhD Candidate (Chadee lab): "Entamoeba histolytica induces caspase-4 activation in macrophage pro-inflammatory responses."
    • Emmanuel Pila, PhD Candidate (Hanington lab): "Immunological determinants of snail-schistosome interactions."
    • Chelsea Matisz, PhD Candidate (McKay/Sharkey lab): "How I learned to stop worrying and love the worm: A novel treatment for colitis."
    • Jennifer Beatty, PhD HPI Alumni (Buret lab): The Impact of Giardia duodenalis on human intestinal microbiota biofilms: A role in chronic post-infectious gastrointestinal disease development?"
  • Congratulations to Dr. Constance Finney, HPI Faculty member for being awarded Canada Foundation for Innovation funding.  Go to for the full UToday article.
  • Congratulations to Jean-Paul Motta, PDF (Dr. Andre Buret's lab) for being awarded a Eyes HIgh Postodoctoral Scholar award. Go to for the full UToday article.
  • Congratulations to Mani Lejeune, HPI Associate member (Dr. Susan Kutz lab) in passing the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (ACVM) Board Certification Examination.
  • Congratulations to HPI trainee Brad van Paridon (supervised by Dr. John Gilleard) for passing his PhD candidacy exam!
  • Congratulations to Gui Verocai, PhD Candidate (Dr. Susan Kutz lab) in passing the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (ACVM) Board Certification Examination, with a specialty in Veterinary Parasitology! Gui now has the title of Diplomate of the ACVM in Parasitology.
  • Congratulations to Dave Curran (Drs. Gilleard and Wasmuth's lab) on being part of the Student iGEM team who represented the University of Calgary at the international competition in Boston (see UToday article).
  • Congratulations to Steve Cornick (supervised by Dr. Kris Chadee) for passing his PhD candidacy exam!
  • Congratulations to Dave Curran (supervised by Drs. James Wasmuth and John Gilleard) for passing his PhD candidacy exam!
  • A warm welcome to the following students and post-doctoral fellows to the HPI group:
    • Josh Sullivan, MSc student - Dr. Susan Kutz
    • Ashley Schroeder, PhD student - Dr. Susan Kutz
    • Anja Carlsson, PDF - Dr. Susan Kutz
    • Janneke Wit, PDF - Dr. John Gilleard
    • Jean-Paul Motta, PDF - Dr. Andre Buret
    • Christiana Amat, MSc student - Dr. Andre Buret/Dr. Kris Chadee
    • Sharmin Begum, PhD student - Dr. Kris Chadee
    • Asel Murtatha, MSc student - Dr. Lash Gedamu
  • John Gilleard and James Wasmuth featured on UToday and on the Veterinary Medicine Website
  • KUTZ Lab at WAAVP Conference in Perth Australia.
  • Congratulations to James Wasmuth and his family on the birth of Eloise Wasmuth! Best wishes from all of HPI!
  • Remember to check out the U of C Student Success Centre's workshop events page   for the latest graduate level reading, writing and presentation skills workshops.  Many of them are offered from May 6th to May 9th with a few at the end of May.  Check out the entire Student Success Centre website for many helpful tips.
  • Amol Bhargava from Dr. Buret's lab gave a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Bilogy in Boston titled, "Giardia duodenalis cysteine cathespin proteases and their role in intestinal disease"
  • Jennifer Beatty from Dr. Buret's lab gave an oral presentation at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Bilogy in Boston titled "Gut microbiota biofilm disruptions by Giardia: Pathology in human enterocytes and germ-free mice".
  • Dr. Andre Buret has wound up his first pilot project course focussed on integrated teaching and reasearch. Fro full details, see the article in UToday, April 15, 2013, describing the course, Diseases in a Changing World: Scoical, Economic and Medical Perspectives
  • Dr. Tim Geary from McGill University gave a presentation as part of the Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine Seminar Series, titled, "Parasites Contribute to Cycle of Poverty --  One Health Strategy can break that cycle".
  • Teklu Gerbaba, PDF in Dr. Andre Buret's lab was the winner in the NSERC CREATE HPI's logo competition.  Thanks and congratulations to Teklu for his creative logo entry.  Thanks also to all those who submitted an entry...they were all great!

Past Events

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  • Nerd Nite Calgary (
  • Party with Parasites!
    • Adults-only night at Telus Spark Science Centre. Find out everything you didn't think you wanted to know about the parasites that live in and around us!
    • January 14, 2016, 6:00-10:00PM
  • HPI research seminar: Dr. Cam Goater, associate professor, University of Lethbridge.
    • Ecological epidemiology of emerging lancet liver fluke, Dicrocoelium dendriticum, in southern Alberta.
    • Tuesday December 15, 2015. 1:00PM, Theatre 3.
    • Apply for graduate, undergraduate, and summer student programs!
    • Tuesday November 17, 2015. BioSci building room 211
  • It's nearly time yet again for the 3rd internationally famous HPI curling event! It will be taking place Friday, September 25 at the Calgary Curling Club (720 3rd Street NW), and this year it will be an all-day event:
    • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm: HPI research presentations by the faculty. A brief overview from each lab introducing their trainees and research areas.
    • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Lunch (for HPI members only, sorry!).
    • 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Curling tournament (with instruction from the Club).
    • 4:00 pm: Post-curling socializing in the lounge.

As in years past the tournament promises to be a high-stakes clash between teams relying on blind luck rather than any sort of skill or experience, so those that have never stepped foot on a curling rink will fit right in. The cost is $30 per person to Ale Young (room HSC 2531), and you can sign up using Doodle. Act quickly though, as the deadline to register and pay is Thursday, September 10!

  • The Canadian Society of Zoologists

    Annual Meeting May 25-29, 2015: University of Calgary (or

    Invited and contributed talks covering diverse aspects of animal biology, including ecology, evolution, physiology, biochemistry, morphology, development, parasitology, immunity, infection

    Poster and oral sessions

    Workshops on teaching, diversity issues, and graduate student professional development

    The Zoological Education Trust lecture

    Several categories of Student awards

    Special Society awardee events

    Closing Banquet

    Join your colleagues from across Canada and internationally

    Abstract deadline March 6. Registration deadline May 1. Contact:

    CSZ 2015 Symposium Agenda – PIE Section

     Wednesday May 27th, 2015; 8:00-10:00 AM

    Title:  Host-Parasite Interactions: new paradigms of disease pathogenesis and immunomodulation

     Organizers/Session Chairs:

                Dr. Derek M. McKay (Dept. Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Calgary)

                Dr. John Gilleard (Dept. Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, University of Calgary)

    Symposium content

     8:00-8:10         Welcome: Dr. McKay

    8:10-8:30         Dr. Derek McKay (Calgary) - “Exploiting properties of helminth modulation of host immunity to treat inflammatory disease.”

    8:30-8:50         Dr. Constance Finney (Calgary) - “What do natural infection models tell us about host-parasite interactions?”

    8:50-9:10         Dr. Patrick Hanington (Edmonton) - “Immunological determinants of snail-trematode compatibility.”

    9:10-9:30         Dr. R. Pritchard (McGill) - “The interplay between immunomodulation and anthelmintics in Host-Parasite Interaction.”

    9:30-9:42         Trainee Speaker: Christina Amat, MSc/MD Candidate, Buret lab - “Modulation of host intestinal mucus secretion by Giardia duodenalis.”

    9:42-9:55         Trainee Speaker: J. Havixbeck (University of Alberta) - “Aeromonas infection induce high levels of soluble CSF-1R expression impacting inflammatory responses in teleost fish.”

    9:55                 Closing comments: Dr. McKay

  • Keyu Li from Dr. Wasmuth's lab will be talking about her internship experience with Innovate Calgary on December 2, 2014 at 4:30 (room G500). Dr. Jessie Kubes from Innovate Calgary will also be speaking about future available HPI internships.
  • HPI held its 2nd Annual Curling Social Event on September 26, 2014.  See article under "News and Events - Social Events".
  • HPI Faculty members, Andre Buret, Derek McKay and Kris Chadee are presenting at a major parasitology event: The 13th International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA 2014) in Mexico City August 10th - 15th    

    • Pathophyisiology of giardiasis: Chair Guadalupe Ortega-Pierres, Andre Buret, Staffan Svärd, Steven Singer
    • Inflammatory diseases and helminths: Chair Derek McKay, Miriam Rodriguez-Sosa, Sandra O'Neill, Edward Pearce
    • Helminths and helminth products for treatment of inflammatory diseases: Chair Alex Loukas, Sheila Donnelly, William Harnett, Derek McKay
    • Inflammatory diseases and helminths: Chair Derek McKay, Miriam Rodriguez-Sosa, Sandra O'Neill, Edward Pearce
    • Infection, biochemistry and Immunity in amoebiasis: Chair William Petri, Emma Saavedra, Kris Chadee, Michael Duchene  
  • M.Sc. Defense Seminar - Keyu Li: "Exploring the Metabolic Networks of the Nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans and Ascaris suum for Potential Drug Targets" - August 13th, 2014 Theater 3 9:00AM
  • PhD Exit Seminar - Marie Halliez: "Novel insights into the mechanisms of post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome in experimental giardiasis" - June 30th, 2014 BI 211 8:00AM
  • M.Sc. Defence Seminar - Amol Bhargava: "Giardia Cathepsins and Their Role in Intestinal Disease" -  June 13th, 2014 BI 211 9:00AM
  • PhD Thesis Defence Seminar:
    • James Cotton: "Epithelial immunomodulation by Giardia" - June 10th, 2014 BI 211 9:00AM
    • Jennifer Beatty: "Impact of Giardia duodenalis-mediated alterations in the gastrointestinal mucosa: a rold in post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome?" - June 11th, 2014 BI 211 9:00AM
  • MSc Thesis Seminar - Alec Campbell: "Assessment of the Rat Tapeworm Hymenolepls diminuta and its Antigens in the Treatment of DNBS Colitis" - June 4th, 2014 Room 1405A 9:00AM-10:00AM
  • MSc Thesis Defense Presentation - Sharmilah Luthfia Jezmine Latheef: "The use of natural genetic variation in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify novel polymorphisms that confer benzimidazole resistance" - May 30th, 2014 Theatre 3 9:00AM-10:00AM
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Dr. Pius Nide, Meharry Medical College: "Host-pathogen interactions: Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Fibrosis Induced by Trypanosoma cruzi Parasite Infection" - April 4, 2014 Room G384 2:30PM
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Dr. Kim Barrett, University of California San Diego: "Modulation of intestinal epithelial function by "good" and "bad" bacteria: insights into the mechanisms of infectious diarrhea" - March 27, 2014 HSC1405A 4:00PM
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Dr. Armando Jardim, McGill University: "Parasites as models for studying membrane-protein interactions and immunomodulators" - March 27, 2014 HSCG500 10:00AM
  • UCVM iDay: What's your exit strategy?
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Dennis J. Grab, PhD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: "Traveling with African trypanosomes: Their Twists and Turns Across the Human Blood-Brain Barrier" - November 19th, 2013 Room G500 4:30PM
  • Career Development Seminar - Matthew Geddes: "Interviewing for Results" - October 22, 2013
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Dr. Vicky Hunt, University of Bristol: "Proteomic analysis of parasitism in the nematode Strongyloides ratti" - October 1st, 2013 Room G500 4:30PM
  • NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions - Sharmilah Latheef: "Natural Genetic Variation and Benzimidazole Resistance in C. elegans." - October 1, 2013 Room G500 4:30PM
  • UCVM Molecular & Cellular Basis of Infectious Disease Research Symposium - September 13th, 2013 HSC Theatre 3 9:00AM-3:00PM
  • Seminar in Host-Parasite Interactions - Patrick Hanington, PhD University of Alberta: "Schistosomiasis from a snail's perspective" - May 28th, 2013 HSC Theatre 3 2:00PM
  • Parasites Everywhere - Dr. Patrick Hanington and Dr. John Gilleard: "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" - May 28th, 2013 Ironwood Stage & Grill, Inglewood 6:00PM
  • FIVM - Prof. Stephen Nadler, University of California: "Illuminating host-parasite ecology through molecular systematics: the example of pinniped hookworms" - May 10th, 2013 HSC Theatre 3 12:00PM
  • Student Success Centre's workshop events
  • AIHS workshop: "Plain Language Workshop Save the Date: May 20&30, 2013 in Calgary"
  • NSERC CREATE HPI first annual bootcamp
  • GIRG MDGI Trainee Workshop - Dr. Donna Stater: "All you need to know about PCR techniques and more" - April 24, 2013 O'Brien 1504/1506 10:00AM-12:00PM
  • Pilot parasitology course - Dr. Andre Buret: "Parasitic Diseases in a Changing World" - April 10, 2013 BI587 5:00-6:15PM
  • Molecular and Cellular Basis of Infectious Diseases - Dr. John Gilleard: "Sex, Drugs and Worms" - March 28, 2013 Theatre 3 10:30-11:30AM

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