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Dear colleagues,

I am writing on behalf of the Beyond Sciences Initiative (BSI), founded at the University of Toronto (www.beyondsciences.org). BSI is a not-for-profit network with a mandate to foster academic and personal growth while empowering young scientific leaders to make lasting and influential change within their local and global communities. This is accomplished by:

  •     Bridging the gap in access to academic knowledge through mentorship and trainee exchanges
  •     Increasing cultural understanding among geographically separate communities
  •     Participation in outreach activities within local and international communities

Attached please attached find an announcement for the BSI 7th. Annual Remote Conference: Science & Society. Here is a link to a video commentary on last year’s BSI Conference: https://youtu.be/f9dHaSzJ_zg

This online conference will take place on February 26th and 27th, 2022. The intent is to have an accessible conference where international scholars will present their research to a broad audience. The conference will be broadcast live and last year we had 1200 registrants from over 100 countries around the globe.

Conference topics include: infectious diseases, cancer, chronic diseases, biotechnology and bioinformatics.

Once registered (at no cost), participants join the live conference by following the Zoom link provided. Presentations are selected from submitted Abstracts, by an international committee. Those not selected for oral presentations will be invited to present a digital poster. Prizes are awarded for the top oral and poster presentations.

I ask that you please circulate this announcement to all trainees - undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and medical trainees - at your institution. We invite their participation in this conference.

Thank you,

Eleanor Fish

This new series is to bring together researchers from around the world interested in the B cell response to cancer, as well as related topics in fundamental B cell biology, autoimmunity, transplantation, infectious disease, and B cell engineering. The idea is to have a series of free, monthly 2h Zoom sessions with 4 x 30 min talks by PIs and/or their senior trainees. The first phase of the series will run from Sept 2021-December 2021. Our goal is to attract a wide audience but at the same time focus on people who are passionate about these topics and collaborative by nature. Our hope is that this consortium will grow to accelerate progress in the B cells in cancer field by fostering more interaction between PIs & trainees for idea and data sharing.

See attached Save the Date flyer for details.

And please email me at bnelson@bccrc.ca to get on the email list, as we won’t be sending notices through the current channel routinely. Hope you'll join us and tell others who may be interested!

Brad H Nelson, PhD,
Immunotherapy Program,
Deeley Research Centre,
BC Cancer


Teamwork against the Coronas! Issue #3 - this is a followup to a science education effort for kids, featuring many Canadian scientists including several CSI members. Issues are available in both English and French and focus on vaccines, viral variants etc.

CSI Election Results

The election results for the CSI Council and Executive were announced at the AGM on June 7/21. We thank all those that agreed to stand for election. Your willingness to contribute to CSI is greatly appreciated. We would like to welcome our newly elected 2021 - 2023 Council and Executive:

President: Dr. Aaron Marshall, University of Manitoba
Vice-President: Dr. Mansour Haeryfar, Western University
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Brent Johnston, Dalhousie University
Councillor: Dr. Colin Anderson, University of Alberta
Councillor: Dr. Craig Jenne, University of Calgary
Councillor: Dr. Mani Larijani, Simon Fraser University
Councillor: Dr. Heather Melichar, University of Montreal
Councillor: Dr. Lisa Osborne, University of British Columbia
Councillor: Dr. Bebhinn Treanor, University of Toronto

We would like to thank our outgoing President, Dr. Kamala Patel and Councillors, Dr. Jeanette Boudreau, Dr. David Brooks, Dr. Sherri Christian and Dr. Sam Kung, for their dedicated service and support of the Canadian Society for Immunology.

Dear CSI Members,

Protests against anti-black racism and structural inequities have erupted in the US and spread globally. Anti-Black racism is not confined to the US, but is also pervasive in Canada. Systemic inequities are faced every day and in every aspect of life by Black, Indigenous, racialized and marginalized people in our communities.

The CSI commits to confronting racism and inequity directly and specifically. This begins by acknowledging that Black researchers, trainees and staff face systemic racism. That Indigenous, racialized and marginalized groups face systemic racism. That our academic systems must change, and that we will use our resources and yes, our privilege, to take action and work towards change.

We have four specific actions we are taking immediately, with further initiatives to be rolled out in the weeks and months to come.

  1. We are asking for a few people to step forward and co-lead and facilitate a conversation with our community about anti-black and anti-indigenous racism in Canadian academia.
  2. With our increased activity in social media during the pandemic and beyond, we will invite leaders and participants to step forward for a conversation on race in academia. Along with this, we will amplify the work and twitter voices of Black, Indigenous and racialized people.
  3. We are establishing a Travel award for trainees from these under represented groups to participate in the CSI annual meeting.
  4. We commit to increasing the diversity of our symposia and workshops to include people from racialized and marginalized groups in addition to the gender balance that we have been achieving.

When we are complacent, we are complicit. When we are silent, we are complicit. We must join the voices of those impacted by racism and structural inequity, and work to make change.

CSI Council

CSI will be advertising a variety of University Seminar Series from various institutions through our Members only login page. If you are interested in advertising your University series on our website, please send details to info@csi-sci.ca . Visit the University Seminar Series for more information.

Science education piece on COVID19 for older kids (featuring a few CSI members) called "No Mercy for the Coronas". Quite packed with info including immunology and vaccine development. Available in both French and English Visit: https://www.lalibertesciencesmagjunior.ca/

Dr. Ninan Abraham of The University of British Columbia

Peter Wall Institute @WallInstitute New Ways of Knowing podcast episode: @KalinaChristoff and guest @ninan_abraham1 (@UBCMicroImmuno & @ZoologyUBC), an expert on immunity to respiratory tract pathogens, discuss how the immune system protects us from pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. Listen here: https://pwias.ubc.ca/podcast/ways-knowing-episode-6-ninan-abraham


Dr. Jeanette Boudreau of Dalhousie University provide a great interview on immunity to COVID-19. Check it out:





On January 8, 2020, flight PS752 crashed in Tehran leaving no survivors. Dr. Forough Khadem was one of the bright lights we lost that day. 
Dr. Khadem completed her PhD in Immunology at the University of Manitoba under the guidance of Dr. Jude Uzonna. She was an active member of the CSI, giving of her time and energy as the lead student organizer during the CSI 2015 meeting in Winnipeg. In her honour, the University of Manitoba has established The Dr. Forough Khadem Scholarship to recognize outstanding international female graduate students in STEM disciplines. 
Our deepest condolences on the loss of Dr. Khadem and the 175 others taken in this tragedy.