Basic Sciences Track Co-Chairs
Lyle Is an Assistant Professor in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba, with cross-appointments at CAPRISA, the University of Nairobi, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. His research interests include understanding the causes and consequences of inflammation in the female genital tract, HIV target cells including those that home to the gut, and HIV transmission in MSM in Kenya. He did his PhD at the University of Manitoba and his postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto, both focused on the cellular immunology of HIV transmission and pathogenesis. During his training he was based in Nairobi, Kenya and Durban, South Africa for ~13 years, where he continues to work on epidemiological and immunological studies of high-risk men and women.
Joyce Wilson received her PhD from Queen’s University, postdoctoral training at the University of Georgia and the University of Toronto, and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research focuses on how viruses interact with host miRNA machinery and how viral life cycles are regulated by viral genomic RNA structures and RNA binding proteins. In particular her lab studies how miR-122, a liver specific miRNA promotes HCV infections. MiR-122 anneals to the HCV 5’ untranslated region in association with the host protein Argonaute 2 and is required for efficient genome replication. It is also an important regulator of HCV tropism to the liver. Her work focuses on discovering how and why the virus became dependent on a host microRNA and the mechanism by which is promotes the virus life cycle, to gain a better understanding of how genomic RNA structures regulate virus life cycles. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).
Clinical Sciences Track Co-Chairs
Dr. Skinner received his medical degree and internal medicine training from the University of Saskatchewan and completed his Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of Manitoba. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently based at the Regina Infectious Disease clinic. He also provides numerous outreach clinics throughout Saskatchewan providing HIV, HCV and chronic disease care in partnership with Indigenous communities. His research is focused on improving access to care for rural and Indigenous communities.
Dr Stewart is a general internist engaged in clinical care and research related to HIV, HCV and TB. He conducts clinics in Saskatoon and many other communities around northern Saskatchewan. Kris is the clinical lead for TB Prevention and Control of Saskatchewan and president of SIDCN and a colead of SHARE. He has a particluar interest in the delivery of care to vulnerable populationas including those living in rural and remote serttings as well as the inner city.
Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences Track Co-Chairs
Nnamdi Ndubuka, MBBS DHM MPH PhD
Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, is medical health officer with the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He obtained his PhD from University of South Africa focusing on Health-related quality of life among people living with HIV/AIDS.
As a researcher and public health expert, Dr. Ndubuka is particularly interested in the contribution of the social determinants of health to HIV- and HCV-related risk behaviors and practices. Over the last decade, Dr. Ndubuka has worked collaboratively with policy makers, Indigenous communities, and people with lived experience on a number of community-based studies concentrating on the social construction of HIV- and HCV-related risk.
His continuous involvement on regional, provincial and national programming and policy-making
advisory bodies ensures that Indigenous communities are engaged and contributes directly to decision-making priorities for the purpose of policy and program reformulation.
Dr. Khan is a public health physician with extensive experience in public health interventions, infectious disease control/prevention among the world’s most vulnerable populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and currently in North America in Indigenous Populations in particular. Dr. Khan has received numerous national and international awards/ medals (Government of Canada, Germany, US and many others) for his leadership in launching and effective delivery of quality health services, unique multijurisdictional communicable disease research projects and timely response to health emergencies (STBBIs like HIV, HCV, and TB, Ebola, VPDs) in close partnership with community leaders, health care professionals and affected people.
Dr. Khan speaks more than five foreign languages and has published in many international peer reviewed journals and has expertise in audiovisual products on increasing health literacy in vulnerable populations around the world.
Dr. Khan is a media spokesperson for FNIHB- ISC Government of Canada in the Saskatchewan Region and has appeared in numerous live TV, radio, print media, documentaries, health status reports and panel discussions. Dr. Khan is a dynamic team player, lead and perform very effectively in ethnically diverse team work. I am honoured to work for Indigenous population in Sask and Canada.
Dr. Denise Werker MD, MHSc, FRCPC is the Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer for the Province of Saskatchewan. Based in the provincial Ministry of Health, prevention and control of communicable diseases is one of her key responsibilities. Her public health practice has spanned all levels of government in Canada and the World Health Organization. She has also practiced as a family doctor in rural and urban communities in British Columbia, and served on various committees and boards of professional and non-profit organizations. Dr. Werker completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, her medical degree at the University of Ottawa, and her post-graduate degree as well as her Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialty training at the University of BC.
Social Sciences Track Co-Chairs
Vera Caine PhD, RN is Professor and CIHR New Investigator in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on life course perspectives in the area of health equity and social justice; particularly to advance health equity for people whose lives are affected by HIV, poverty, social exclusion, and discrimination. In the field of HIV Dr. Caine has engaged in research alongside nurses working in HIV care, women at risk for or living with HIV during their early mothering experience, immigrants living with HIV, and most recently alongside children who are at risk for sexual exploitation. Central to her work are a focus on experiences and relationships. Her research reflects her interest in Narrative Inquiry as a research methodology and phenomena. Dr. Caine is a member of the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC), and in November 2018 will begin her term as president elect with the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC). She is also a member of the Alberta Nurses Coalition for Harm Reduction (ANCHR) and the Co-chair of the Alberta Refugee Health Coalition.
Dr. Geoffrey Maina is an Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. His program of research focuses on interventions with an emphasis on HIV prevention and care, (i.e., on harm reduction, stigma reduction, and peer interventions, both locally and globally; and on improving clinical and social outcomes for clients and families affected by addiction). Dr. Maina uses diverse community-based research methodologies that employ qualitative research methods such as narrative inquiry, art-based methods, and methodologies that honour lived experiences such as patient-oriented research.
Knighton is from the La Ronge Indian Band and maintains strong connections with his community. He is Cree and as a fluent Cree speaker, he promotes Indigenous language as one way to better connect with each other and our culture. He describes himself as a long-term HIV survivor, and is happy to share how he has learned to live well with HIV. He is highly active as a peer mentor and peer researcher. He is also an activist, serving his community at the local, provincial and national levels. He is on the Board of All Nations Hope Network and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.
FAMILY MEDICINE REPRESENTATIVE
Kali Gartner is from Eatonia, Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Metis Nation and is descendant of settlers to Saskatchewan. Kali completed her medical training at the University of Saskatchewan and Family Medicine Residency in Vancouver, BC. She also completed training with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV Family Medicine Enhanced Skills Program. She is privileged to work at the Saskatoon Community Clinic and Westside Community Clinic with an incredible inter-disciplinary team. Her clinical interests providing holistic primary care in a team based environment including care for women, families, people living with HIV and people with trauma/substance use history. She also provides maternity care with interest in caring for women and infants with substance exposure in pregnancy and postpartum. Her research interests are community based and participatory oriented research. She volunteers as a co-lead with the Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Research Endeavour (SHARE).