MMID CoVID-19 Student Contributions
The department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases has been assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of ways. We have found ways to take our training in infectious diseases and transfer those skills to this pandemic. Our students have assisted in critical research, knowledge translation and outreach. We have formed collaborations both locally (Cadham Provincial Laboratory), and internationally. The unified response of this department has shown the dedication we have to science, combating infectious diseases and ensuring everyone has access to valuable information.

U of M Today - Grad students use infectious disease know-how during pandemic (Jan. 25th, 2021)

Winnipeg HSC Screening
• Screened individuals at entry points of Winnipeg's Health Science Centre (HSC)
• Asked incoming visitors and patients for their purpose of entry, travel history, and presence of symptoms

Manitoba COVID-19 weekly Report
A collaboration between medical students and graduate students to produce weekly newsletters that address clinical questions based on current evidence available. The initiative generated 8 reports which were disseminated to approx 9000 health professionals across Manitoba, Canada, the US, South America, the Carribean/West Indies, Europe   

Jenny Myskiw
Jasmine Frost
Brayden Schindell
Hossaena Ayele,
Toby Le
Meagan Allardice
Ali Doucet

International Infectious Disease & Global Health Training Program -  Paper Collaboration from India

A collaboration with a research institute in India, students in the International Infectious Disease and Global health training program were invited to assist in writing articles for a COVID-19 special issue journal.

Kathleen Glover
Monika Kowatsch
Elinor Shvartsman

Community Engagement COVID-19 Activities
Several students in the department have taken personal initiative to educate their peers, high school students, and communities about COVID-19 via social media platforms, public talks, news outlets, and more.
Jasmine Frost
Brayden Schindell
Toby Le
Meagan Allardice
Zachary Schiffman
Lauren Garnett

Students on COVID-19 Research Project

Brayden Schindel - Studying if reproductive tissue persistence poses a risk to spread and complications. Additionally, he is also looking to survey Ebola survivors from Sierra Leone to determine if they have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Katherine Li - Studying SARS-CoV-2 genetic diversity at a global scale and characterizing variations in putative immune epitopes to explore how these contribute to SARS-CoV-2 evolution as a mechanism of viral fitness.

Grace Seo - Her research focuses on developing a sequencing infrastructure that would enable a national genomic surveillance system for SARS-CoV-2 as it is critical to monitor the effectiveness of diagnostic tests as the virus evolves.

Lauren Garnett - Contributed to a number of COVID-19 projects. She led a study on testing suitable swabs for COVID-19.C, to determine if alternatives are available in the situation that we experience a shortage. She also contributed to the development of suitable COVID-19 animal models and is currently assisting on determining the patient infectivity focused on the pediatric population in collaboration with Cadham Provincial Laboratory.
Zachary Schiffman - Contributed to several COVID-19 related projects within the Special Pathogens Program including the establishment of a sandwich ELISA for the detection and quantification of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Additionally, Zach’s current research focuses on seasonal human coronaviruses seeing whether antibodies against these seasonal coronaviruses are cross protective to SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, Zach is also exploring whether cells infected with seasonal coronaviruses are refractory to infection with SARS-CoV-2, a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion.

Megan Allardice - Currently, in an internship at Emergent Biosolutions working on an rhACE2-Fc immunoadhesin project there and I've shifted the focus of my masters project slightly to look at the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the blood-brain barrier.

Meagan Allardice and Brayden Schindell
Schindell BG, Allardice M, Lockman S, Kindrachuk J. Integrating Proteomics for Facilitating Drug Identification and Repurposing During an Emerging Virus Pandemic. ACS Infect Dis. 2020 Dec 15. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00579. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33319978.