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Training Module

The CanCURE training module is led by Dr. Keith Fowke. Dr. Fowke is Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, at the University of Manitoba.  He leads the CIHR International Infectious Disease and Global Health Training program (  His laboratory focuses on defining cellular immune mechanisms of the control of, and resistance to, HIV infection. 

The 7 university partners provide nationally and internationally recognized training in the medical sciences and the  CanCURE training module adds unique multidisciplinary training opportunities in HIV cure research. Our trainees are exposed to cross-disciplinary expertise, including clinical and translational aspects of HIV research, genomics,/proteomics, bioinformatics, molecular and cellular biology, virology, and immunology; gain experience in working with BSL-3 pathogens, viral vectors and oncolytic viruses in BSL-2 and -3 laboratories; and use state-of-the-art technologies, such as systems biology, hu BLT mice models, sh/siRNA technology, microarrays, CRISPR Editing technology, CHIPseq, single copy and single-infected cell-PCR assays. In addition, they become familiar and develop expertise with the scientific, legal and ethical aspects related to working with research animals, human cohorts of HIV-infected subjects and biobanking of tissue samples. Trainees are fully integrated into regular Team meetings to discuss ideas, challenges, novel strategies and new developments.

The established CanCURE researchers have an outstanding training record, having mentored > 200 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) and medical residents, with >50% of the trainees having received competitive funding support. Several former trainees hold key academic, government and industry positions in Canada and abroad.

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Trainees involved in CanCURE research

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CanCURE Graduates

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CanCURE activities, workshops and mentoring

2017/2018: Career video capsules

Career preparation and the different path opportunities are frequent questions for students and trainees. CanCURE has developed video capsules in collaboration with mentors from different backgrounds. The videos are available to current and future students on the CanCURE YouTube channel.

Paul McLaren, Research Scientist, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Zabrina Brumme, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Julie Lemay, Grants Officer at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg

2016: Workshop on Professional Career Development

A career workshop was organised the day prior the start of the 3rd CanCURE annual general meeting and was available to every CanCURE trainee via webcast through a collaboration with ACO (alliance coordinating office). Dr. Keith Fowke (Academic research career perspective) Professor University of Manitoba, Dr. Mario Ostrowski (MD/Clinical research career perspective) MD and Professor, University of Toronto and Dr. Jean-Philippe Belzile (Industrial research career perspective) Research Scientist, Gilead Sciences, presented their career paths and spoke about current opportunities.


2015: Workshops

1- Communicating with the Community

The 2nd CanCURE annual General Meeting started early for trainees with a workshop on communicating with the community. Community representatives gave tips for effective communication to the general public, and trainees presented a one-minute talk about their project in a language understood by the general public. Community members then provided feedback and constructive comments on the presentations.

2- How to write a paper

The communication theme was continued with a workshop on writing/submitting a research manuscript. The session was led by Dr. Mark Wainberg and included tips on manuscript writing, choosing a journal, the editorial decision-making and reviewing process, ethics and a Q&A session.

2014: Workshop on Scholarship/Grant writing

Prior to the first CanCURE Annual General meeting (Nov 20th, 2014), trainees were invited to a session dedicated to grant writing. Dr. Keith Fowke introduced important information relative to grant writing and scholarship applications, with the objective to encourage new researchers and researchers to-be to develop independent research programs by accessing their own funding.

Science Buddy program

CanCURE developed a “Science Buddy” program where trainees and community members learned from each other on a one-on-one basis.  Trainees and community members who were attending the same scientific conferences are paired up, attend talks together and then discuss the significance and impact of the presentations.  Learning is achieved in both directions.

CanCURE Awards

Poster Presentation Prizes

Since the second edition of the CanCURE Annual General Meeting, trainees are invited to present posters and are evaluated on the quality of their presentation. Three poster presentation prizes are granted (500$ each), which can be used to cover conferences travel cost. Below are the awardees from previous meetings


Tomas Raul Wiche Salinas (Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal Research Center, CRCHUM)

Marta Massanella (CRCHUM)

Segen Kidane (University of Toronto)


Scott Sugden (Postdoctoral Fellow awardee)

Teslin Sandstrom (Ph.D. awardee)

Marion Pardons (Ph.D. awardee)


Nischal Ranganath (Ph.D. awardee)

Taharima Habib (M.Sc. awardee)

Amy Baxter (Postdoctoral Fellow awardee)

CanCURE Sponsorships



Dr Wei, trainee from Dr. Routy’s lab, received an sponsorship to attend the two week graduate level Summer Institute course in  ‘The Ecology of Infectious Diseases’ at University of Manitoba, which culminated with the trainees writing a multidisciplinary CIHR-style research grant


Dr. Mehraj (Dr. Routy’s lab) recently received a CanCURE sponsorship to attend ‘The ecology of infectious diseases’ at University of Manitoba, a 2 weeks intensive course to be held in the summer of 2018.

science buddy prog trainee
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