Speakers

Sylvia Checkley

Sylvia Checkley, DVM, PhD

Contact information

slcheckl@ucalgary.ca, 403-629-2960

Sylvia is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). She completed her DVM at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and then worked in a rural community veterinary practice for many years as an associate and then owner. Dr. Checkley pursued graduate studies (Epidemiology) at WCVM. She then worked for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry on livestock health surveillance and disease investigation initiatives. She joined the UCVM Faculty in September 2009. Dr. Checkley’s research focuses on One Health approaches to complex problems like water quality and antimicrobial use and resistance, with a goal to improve understanding of the role of the environment in maintenance and transmission of antimicrobial resistance determinants, to inform animal health and public health mitigation strategies. Dr. Checkley also has an appointment to the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health where she leads the surveillance program in Environmental Microbiology.

A One Health approach to understanding resistance.


Chelsea Himsworth

Chelsea Himsworth

Contact information

Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture, 1767 Angus Campbell Road, V3G 2M3

Dr. Chelsea Himsworth received her DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, before staying on to complete a Masters of Veterinary Science and Senior Residency in Anatomic Pathology with a Wildlife Health focus. She went on to achieve Diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists before completing her Ph.D. in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.

Currently, she is a Diagnostic Pathologist and the Leader for Veterinary Science and Diagnostics at the Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture. She is also the BC Regional Director for the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and an Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.

Dr. Himsworth’s research and practice are focused on One Health approaches to the surveillance and management of health issues at the human-animal interface.

From Mink to Ministers: Lessons Learned from BC LOGI2C (with the 2 as superscript) – the BC Laboratory for the OneHealth Genomics Innovation and Implementation Community

In December 2020, an outbreak of SARS CoV-2 occurred in farmed mink in British Columbia (BC). Immediately, a One Health laboratory team (composed of members of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Laboratory and the Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries) was mobilized to support the outbreak response. Specifically, the team: compared methods of sample collection and diagnostic assays for the detection of SARS CoV-2 in mink; used genomics to assess the degree of viral evolution in mink and to infer transmission patters among mink and between mink and humans; performed surveillance of wildlife to detect viral spillover; and investigated the use of environmental samples for surveillance of SARS CoV-2 in mink farms. This integrated response highlighted the value of and opportunities for intergovernmental laboratory collaborations, but also critical barriers and capacity gaps, particularly regarding genomics for One Health and animal health. This presentation will share results of the mink program, as well as lessons learned from the journey of the BC LOGI2C team.


Yanyun Huang

Yanyun Huang

Contact information

Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc., 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK   S7N 5B4, 

yanyun.huang@usask.ca

Yanyun was born in China, and got his veterinary degree from South China Agricultural University (SCAU). He then finished a master program in SCAU working on shrimp pathology and got exposure of diagnostic pathology in other species. In 2005, he moved to Saskatoon. He got a MSc and diagnostic training in the Department of Pathology, WCVM, and later completed a PhD in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, WCVM. Yanyun joint PDS in 2013 as an anatomic pathologist. In 2020, Yanyun’s career took a turn and accepted the appointment as CEO of PDS. Yanyun is interested in swine, but also enjoy problem solving diagnostic exercises in other species, even including Scorpion. He is currently conducting research on the role of influenza D virus in Bovine Respiratory Diseases, and genetic diversity of bovine enteric coronavirus. Yanyun is married to Vivi and have two boys, Eason who is 12 and Gideon who is 8. Yanyun enjoys light hiking, snowshoeing and downhill skiing.

Selected emerging swine diseases in China - through the lens of a Chinese in Canada


Grant Maxie, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP

Grant Maxie, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP

Contact Information:

Phone: (519) 822-1640

Email: gmaxie@uoguelph.ca

Grant Maxie was born and raised in southern Alberta. After graduating with his DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon in 1969, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and a PhD in clinical pathology at the Ontario Veterinary College in 1973. Following 3 years working in Kenya on a bovine trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) research project, he joined the faculty at the OVC as an anatomic pathologist, teaching cardiovascular and urinary pathology. After moving to the Veterinary Services Laboratory of OMAFRA in Guelph in 1982, he became board-certified in anatomic pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 1984. He served as a veterinary pathologist and then as Guelph laboratory head for VLSB. He was, for 22 years at the University of Guelph, the Director of the Animal Health Laboratory plus, for the last 12 years, co-Executive Director of the Laboratory Services Division.

Pursuing an interest in scientific editing, Grant was the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Veterinary Journal (1986-91), has published extensively, and co-authored chapters in the 3rd to 6th editions and edited the 5th and 6th editions of “Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer's Pathology of Domestic Animals". He is a past-president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), volunteered for many years as an assessor on the Accreditation Committee, and is the current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (2014-present).

Grant married Dr. Laura Smith-Maxie (veterinary neurologist, also now retired) in Kenya in 1975. They have 2 children – Kevin, entrepreneur and showjumper, Erin, ON (first grandchild, Tristan Eames, 2020); Andrea, teacher and outdoorsperson, Nelson, BC. Grant is enjoying retirement, keeps editing and consulting, continues farming, plus horseback trail-riding with his wife

Changes I’ve seen in 50 years of veterinary pathology.


Dr. Natalie Prystajecky, PhD, SCCM (Env)

Dr. Natalie Prystajecky, PhD, SCCM (Env)

Program Head, Environmental Microbiology, BCCDC Public Health Laboratory

Co-Program Head, Molecular and Microbial Genomics, BCCDC Public Health Laboratory

Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Natalie Prystajecky is an Environmental Microbiologist at the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory, where she oversees two laboratories: Environmental Microbiology and the Molecular and Microbial Genomics laboratory. Through her leadership in these two programs, she uses emerging technologies such as genomics to improve routine surveillance and outbreak investigations. Dr. Prystajecky is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are broad, ranging from development of new water quality tests using metagenomics, to targeted resequencing of wetland sediments to study the emergence of avian influenza strains to whole genome sequencing of COVID-19. She is keen to promote the translation of research methods to routine testing in diagnostic and reference laboratories.

From Mink to Ministers: Lessons Learned from BC LOGI2C (with the 2 as superscript) – the BC Laboratory for the OneHealth Genomics Innovation and Implementation Community

In December 2020, an outbreak of SARS CoV-2 occurred in farmed mink in British Columbia (BC). Immediately, a One Health laboratory team (composed of members of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Laboratory and the Animal Health Centre, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries) was mobilized to support the outbreak response. Specifically, the team: compared methods of sample collection and diagnostic assays for the detection of SARS CoV-2 in mink; used genomics to assess the degree of viral evolution in mink and to infer transmission patters among mink and between mink and humans; performed surveillance of wildlife to detect viral spillover; and investigated the use of environmental samples for surveillance of SARS CoV-2 in mink farms. This integrated response highlighted the value of and opportunities for intergovernmental laboratory collaborations, but also critical barriers and capacity gaps, particularly regarding genomics for One Health and animal health. This presentation will share results of the mink program, as well as lessons learned from the journey of the BC LOGI2C team.


Thanks to our 2021 generous sponsors

Thanks to our 2021 generous sponsors