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Bacterial Pathogenesis Research Group (BPRG)

The Bacterial Pathogenesis Research Group (BPRG) is a research and educational group in the Emerging Infectious Disease theme of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation. The BPRG is comprised of scientists whose teams work to understand molecular mechanisms of bacterial diseases and develop vaccines or therapeutic targets for disease intervention. The major areas of research focus include pathogen-host interactions, virulence gene regulation, vaccine development, zoonotic diseases, bacterial communication, DNA replication and biofilm formation in chronic infections.

The BPRG provides an excellent training environment for graduate, post-doctoral and undergraduate research. We have well funded laboratories with state of the art equipment. There is a level 3 containment laboratory and a BPRG core lab that provides access to robotic equipment, plate readers, FPLC and other equipment. Additional core facilities are available through the The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation as well as the Faculty of Medicine. The group consists of 10 full and 6 associate members from the Faculties of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Science. There are currently 24 graduate students and 13 post-doctoral fellows. Potential graduate students may apply on-line through:

Members of BPRG

  • Glen Armstrong  
    Studies on how pathogenic microbes or their toxins identify and exploit host cell receptors and how to use this information in developing superior anti-infective drugs.
  • George Chaconas  
    Telomere resolution, DNA replication, antigenic variation and mechanisms of pathogenesis in Borreliaburgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete.
  • Jeroen De Buck  
    Pathogenesis and host adaptation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.
  • Rebekah DeVinney  
    Cellular Microbiology: E. coli O157:H7 and Vibrio parahaemolyticus interactions with intestinal. epithelial cells.
  • Shawn Lewenza  
    Microbial pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosainfections. Understanding the process of biofilm formation and inhibition.  Virulence gene regulation and environmental sensing.
  • Marie-France Roy 
    Host response to Salmonella Typhimurium in the mouse model of typhoid fever.
  • Anthony Schryvers 
    Molecular, biochemical and structural approaches to delineate the mechanism of iron acquisition in gram negative bacteria. Development of vaccines and therapeutic agents.

Contact Information

Bacterial Pathogenesis Research Group Chair:
Dr. George Chaconas

Taunya Shewciw
Telephone: (403) 220-4572
Fax: (403) 210-7882

The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases was named in 2008 in honour of Joan Snyder and her parents, who she credits for teaching her the value of philanthropy. It is a group of more than 104 clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists who are impacting and changing the lives of people suffering from chronic diseases, including sepsis, MRSA, cystic fibrosis, type-1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For more information on the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, please visit us at or follow us on Twitter @SnyderInstitute.