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Trent University Chancellor Dr. Roberta Bondar to host her first Chancellor's Dialogue

"SARS: How Do We Protect Ourselves in an Age of Global Epidemics?"

Thursday, February 19, 2004, Peterborough

SARS and the issue of protecting ourselves in an age of global epidemics will be the topic of discussion with a panel of distinguished experts led by Trent University Chancellor Dr. Roberta Bondar at the Chancellor's Dialogue on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Wenjack Theatre. The Chancellor’s Dialogues are generously sponsored by Pepsi-QTG Canada.

In Dr. Bondar's first opportunity to host the Chancellor's Dialogues in her role as Trent University's ninth chancellor, she personally selected the subject of global epidemics in light of last year's SARS outbreak and the current threat of deadly viruses such as avian influenza.

Following the tradition of engaging the community through the Chancellor's Dialogues, Dr. Bondar felt the topic of global epidemics would be of interest not only to the medical and scientific community, but to the people throughout the region. Recent news reports tell of experts warning that, based on historical data, the world is due for a pandemic of the nature of what became known as "The Spanish Flu" of 1918, which according to the World Health Organization, is said to have killed 40 million people by the time it had run its course in 1919.

An eminent panel has been lined up to discuss the issues and distinguish fact from fiction in these dire warnings.

Dr. Nuala Kenny, Professor of Pediatrics and Chair, Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University

Dr. Kenny was born in New York and entered the Sisters of Charity of Halifax in 1962. She received her BA, Magna Cum Laude, from Mount Saint Vincent University in l967 and an MD from Dalhousie in l972. She did postgraduate training in pediatrics at Dalhousie University and Tufts-New England Medical Center, during which she held a Killam Scholarship. In l975, she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and in l976 was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. After an extensive career in pediatrics and medical education, Dr. Kenny founded the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie in 1996. She now devotes herself to bioethics full-time. Her areas of research interest in ethics include: physician ethics, ethics education for physicians with particular attention to role-modeling, ethics and health policy at all levels, pediatric ethics and end of life care. Dr. Kenny is internationally recognized as a medical educator and lecturer on fundamental ethics questions in health care and policy. In 2002, she completed her first book, "What Good is Health Care? Reflections on the Canadian Experience". In addition to her academic work, Dr. Kenny is regularly involved in policy deliberations, particularly in relation to values and Canadian medicare.

Dr. Craig Brunetti, Department of Biology, Trent University

Dr. Brunetti joined the Department of Biology at Trent University as an Assistant Professor in 2003, looking for an environment that would not only allow him to teach, but to carry out an active research program. Dr. Brunetti earned his B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences in 1997 - both from McMaster University. His area of expertise is the molecular biology of viruses that infect humans - in particular members of the poxvirus and herpesvirus family. He specifically studies a group of poxviruses that include Yaba-like disease virus and Yaba monkey tumor virus that naturally infect primates. Over the last 50 years, this virus family has caused several human outbreaks in Nigeria and is considered a potential emerging disease. Dr. Brunetti has sequenced the complete genome of Yaba monkey tumor virus to gain a greater understanding of the virus. He is working to understand how these viruses cause disease by understanding the mechanisms that viruses use to evade the host immune system as well as understanding the function of conserved viral gene products. Dr. Brunetti has been the recipient of a Steve Fonyo Research Studentship from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and a Medical Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Tim Rutledge, Medical Director of Emergency Services Program, North York General Hospital

Dr. Rutledge has served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at North York General Hospital since 1996. He is a graduate of University of Toronto's Medical School, and did his Residency in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine also in Toronto. He spent the first nine years of his career as an emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital where he developed a special interest in education. From 1993 to 1995, Dr. Rutledge chaired a committee that developed University of Toronto's first undergraduate course in Emergency Medicine. He has served on many Academic committees, as well as numerous Expert Panels and Regional Advisory Committees and is currently the Chair of North York General Hospital's Medical Advisory Committee. He has written several articles and given over 100 presentations on a variety of topics in Emergency Medicine, Medical Education, Faculty Development and Health Administration. He has also directed over a dozen Continuing Medical Education Conferences. Dr. Rutledge is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Toronto. In recognition of his professional contributions, Dr. Rutledge was awarded a Fellowship from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1999.

Dr. James G. Young, Commissioner of Public Safety and Security, Province of Ontario

Dr. Young has three current appointments; Commissioner of Public Security for the province of Ontario since 2002; Chief Coroner and General Inspector of Anatomy for the province of Ontario since 1992; and Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Safety Division, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services since 1994. He oversees Emergency Management Ontario, the Centre of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Dr. Young maintains and enhances physical and economic security in Ontario and oversees numerous committees and coalitions. Dr. Young graduated from of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1975 and prior to his appointment at Chief Coroner, Dr. Young held positions as Regional Coroner, Metropolitan Toronto, Regional Coroner, Central Region, and Deputy Chief Coroner, province of Ontario. Since April 1994, Dr. Young has been an Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and since April 2001, an Associate Professor in Forensic Sciences, University of Toronto at Mississauga. In addition to his leading role in Ontario's response to SARS, Dr. Young has held prominent positions responding to numerous national and international disasters and emergency situations. In 2002, he supervised autopsies of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. In 2001, he was appointed Chief Medical, Emergency and Forensic Services Adviser for the Canadian Consulate General, co-ordinating the efforts to identify Canadians killed in the World Trade Centre attack on September 11. In January 1998 he led central operations and acted as liaison with the media in the aftermath of an ice storm that devastated eastern Ontario.

Moderator: Chancellor Dr. Roberta L. Bondar, O.C., O. Ont., M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.(C), F.R.S.C. Physician, scientist, astronaut, and photographer.

Dr. Bondar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and zoology from the University of Guelph, and developed new techniques for photomicroscopy while pursuing a master's degree in experimental pathology at the University of Western Ontario. She completed her doctorate in neurobiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bondar earned her medical degree at McMaster University with a special interest in space medicine. After completing her board certification in Neurology, she studied at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, specializing in neurophthalmology, how we see and record the world around us. In 1984, she was one of the six original Canadian astronauts selected to train at NASA. In January 1992, Dr. Bondar ascended into space aboard the NASA space shuttle Discovery. In her role as an international payload specialist she conducted life and material science experiments in space, becoming the world's first neurologist in space and Canada's first woman astronaut. For over a decade, Dr. Bondar headed an international medical research team, with NASA and the University of New Mexico, to study the effects of short term and extended duration space flight on the physiology of blood flow in humans. Dr. Bondar is an advocate of using space medical research to provide insight into the recovery potential of the human body, as it simulates disease states during readaptation to earth's gravity.

The Chancellor's Dialogues were initiated by the late Peter Gzowski when he served as Chancellor at Trent University. Mr. Gzowski, who expressed a desire to interact with students and the community in his role, favoured the "dialogue" format to lectures because of his background as host of CBC's Morningside.

All are welcome to attend this event which is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited, so please arrive early.


For further information, please contact:
Professor Kathryn Chittick at (705) 741-5252 (after 4 p.m.)
or Catherine Downey at (705) 748-1011 ext. 1347


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Last Updated February 19, 2004