6th Canadian Symposium on HCV & CanHepC Annual Meeting in Banff, AB

Fairmount view Banff 2017

The 6th Canadian Symposium on HCV (CSHCV) took place in Banff on Friday 3rd March under the theme “Delivering a Cure for Hepatitis C Infection: What are the Remaining Gaps?”. The Symposium, organised by CanHepC & chaired by Lorne Tyrell and Carla Coffin, attracted a total of 264 attendees. It was a unique gathering of scientists, clinicians, affected communities, policy makers trainees and front line workers in the area of HCV from Canada and internationally.

The Symposium showcased some of the latest research discoveries in the field of hepatitis C in Canada and was punctuated by presentations from the CanHepC trainees. The opening keynote was given by Prof Thomas Baumert on the next challenges in virus-host interactions and liver disease. Other speakers included Dr Paul Kubes who gave a glimpse of some of the interesting work going on in his lab using cutting edge in vivo imaging of immunity. Prof Jean-Michel Pawlotsky discussed difficult to cure patients in the direct-acting antiviral (DAA) era and Prof Tim Caulfield gave a lively presentation on the role of popular culture in health and vaccination myths. The day included for the first time a panel discussion dedicated to the hepatitis C in indigenous people with members of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN). Dr Greg Dore gave an interesting perspective from Australia where universal access to DAA therapies is available which set the table for the last discussion panel of the day on how to achieve access to DAAs for all in Canada.

For those who were unable to attend you can watch all the presentation from the Symposium via YouTube.

The 2nd CanHepC Annual Meeting took place the day after the Symposium on March 4th and gathered the CanHepC investigators, knowledge users, trainees, some collaborators and members of the CanHepC International Advisory Committee. The objective of the meeting was to discuss progress within each of the CanHepC research cores, our scientific direction and establish priorities for the year to come. Each Core (Basic Science, Clinical Research, Epidemiology, Policy and Knowledge translation) met separately during the breakout sessions to discuss progress and a workplan for 2017.

Several other subjects were also discussed including administrative and financial matters. Dr Alexandra King gave talk on research ethics & samples in the indigenous context. Dr Holly Hagan also gave a special presentation on implementation research and HCV elimination in people who inject drugs (PWID).

Finally, 6 Student Prizes of $400 were awarded to the following recipients:

  • Adelina Artenie - best graduate student poster at the 6th CSHCV
  • Annie Bernier - best graduate student poster at the 6th CSHCV
  • Thomas Fabre - best oral presentation at the 6th CSHCV
  • Mohamed Abdel-Hakeem - best postdoctoral fellow poster at the 6th CSHCV
  • Maryam Darvishian - best postdoctoral fellow poster at the 6th CSHCV
  • Roxana Filip - best summer student poster, Frank Bialystok Award at the 6th CSHCV

Congratulations to all!