Message from Scientific Director

I hope 2019 started on a good note for all of you. As I write this, there is a sense of excitement in III, as we get ready to move into our new office space at the beginning of April and look forward to seeing it finally come together. We are very grateful to McMaster for its unwavering support in helping III get off the ground. The staff are at full strength now, with the addition of a couple of new members, Katherine Labenski and Danielle Vitali. If your travels bring you to Hamilton, please stop by to say hello.

It has been another busy quarter with funding announcements, including Early Career Investigator (ECI) grants in Maternal, Reproductive, Child and Youth Health in Infection and Immunity, Canadian Microbiome Initiative (CMI2) Research Core and successful Letter-of-intent (LOI) applications for CMI2 Research teams, and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Point of Care Operating Grants. Congratulations to all those who were successful in these competitions! Rest assured, we will continue to expand our support for ECI over the next year. New strategic initiatives were launched recently, including Joint Programming Initiative on AMR (JPIAMR) Diagnostics and Surveillance call as well as Sepsis Research Network. We encourage you to apply if these are relevant to your research.

Outreach and planning have been at the forefront of the Institute's activities in the new year. We are working closely with our federal partners to finalize the Federal Action Plan on Sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases, as well as the Pan-Canadian Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance. The former will be released in early spring and the latter in Fall 2019. In addition, we attended a number of workshops and consultations including JPIAMR-Virtual Research Institute (VRI) workshop in Amsterdam, a Health Canada Consultation on Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative in Canada, the Hemophilus Influenzae Epidemiology Workshop in partnership with the National Research Council (NRC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the AMR Research and Innovation Task Group face to face meeting.

Additional exciting developments include III's Twitter account that went live in February (@CKaushic). Please follow us to stay up to date with announcements and activities! We will also be reaching out to you via our biweekly communiqué, in addition to quarterly SD message. Stay tuned for new additions to our revamped website, a section highlighting some of III's top researchers. We are also reaching out to engage our community in more proactive ways. For example, III is sponsoring a CIHR New Investigator Session at the upcoming Canadian Society of Immunology Annual Conference. A survey will be sent out soon to get your feedback and suggestions. Also, those of you who follow JPIAMR developments will be very happy to know that the coordinating center for the JPIAMR-VRI, which is the signature initiative of JPIAMR is now located in III, with Edith Brochu as coordinator. This is great news for Canadian AMR researchers who want to be part of international networks.

Some final thoughts on what is big on our agenda for 2019. Both III and CIHR are launching their Strategic Planning consultations. The timings work out well, allowing III to conduct our consultations and align with CIHR's overall strategic plan. We will be reaching out through a variety of outreach activities (virtual and in person) to consult the community.

Meanwhile, we are always pleased to hear from you, so please reach out to us with your comments, suggestions, feedback. We are here to work with and serve the III community.

Happy Spring!

Charu Kaushic and III Team

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