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2022-2023 AMR Seminar + Social Series

The AMR Seminar + Social Series is a way for the AMR community to regularly meet and learn about the latest work in the AMR field.

Flyer with Yoshua Bengio keynote speaker photoSeminar + Social

Thursday, November 24th

in-person: Leacock Building, Room 232 McGill Campus Map
Online: Zoom link sent to registered participants.

We highly recommend wearing a mask during the main program.
Drinks and snacks will be served after the event in the open space just outside of the room.

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Pdf of program

"Machine learning and the search for new antibiotics"
Yoshua Bengio | Professor, Université de Montréal; Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute

Roundtable: "Discovering the next generation antimicrobials: what will it take?”

  • Moderator: Bastien Castagner, Dept Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University
  • Martin Schmeing, Director of the CRBS (Centre de Recherche en biologie structurale)
  • Véronique Dugas, VP Scientific Affairs at CQDM (Consortium de recherche biopharmaceutique)
  • Donald Sheppard, McGill Medicine and Executive Scientific Director PHAC AMR Task Force

Announcement of winners of the Student AMR Awareness Video Competition

About our speakers:

Dr. Yoshua Bengio is most known for his pioneering work in deep learning, earning him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of Computing,” with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. He is a Full Professor at Université de Montréal, and the Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute. He co-directs the CIFAR Learning in Machines & Brains program as Senior Fellow and acts as Scientific Director of IVADO. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Killam Prize and in 2022, became the computer scientist with the highest h-index in the world. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of London and Canada, Knight of the Legion of Honor of France and Officer of the Order of Canada. Concerned about the social impact of AI and the objective that AI benefits all, he actively contributed to the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. Martin Schmeing is a Professor in the McGill Department of Biochemistry and the Director of the Centre de recherche en biologie structurale. The Schmeing lab is interested in large macromolecular machines that perform important cellular processes. The lab researches the structures and functions of nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). NRPSs are large microbial enzymes that synthesize their products through amide bond formation between building block monomers (most commonly amino acids). The chemical and biological properties of these compounds often make them useful to society as therapeutics (antibiotics, antivirals, anti-tumours, and immunosuppressants).

Dr. Véronique Dugas is the VP Scientific Affairs at CQDM (Consortium de recherche biopharmaceutique). She joined the CQDM in June 2018 as Director, Fonds d’accélération des collaborations en santé. She previously worked for nearly seven years at Mitacs where she focused on research funding and collaborations between public and industrial partners. Véronique was awarded a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montreal in 2011. During her career as a scientist, she focused on immunotolerance mechanisms and genetic risk factors for autoimmune pathologies, including Type 1 diabetes. Afterward, she earned a Science and Engineering MBA at ESG UQAM, before pursuing her academic training as the first student from UQAM to complete a Short Graduate Program in Program, Projects and Services Evaluation.

Dr. Donald Sheppard is the Executive Scientific Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force of the Public Health Agency of Canada and practices clinical infectious diseases and medical microbiology at the McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Sheppard’s research interests focus on elucidating the mechanisms by which biofilm-forming microorganisms cause human disease and resist antimicrobial therapy in order to develop new therapeutics for these infections.

Dr. Bastien Castagner obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Columbia University in New York in 2004. His postdoctoral years were spent at ETH Zürich from 2005 – 2008. From 2009 – 2014 he was a Group Leader in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zürich working on drug delivery approaches. He joined the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at McGill in 2014 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2020. He holds the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Therapeutic Chemistry. His lab is interested mainly in drug discovery, notably against C. difficile infection. He is also interested in targeting the human gut microbiota with prebiotic approaches, in particular against cancer.


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